Food and Drink


Shimbashi Soba and Sake Bar

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About halfway down Liverpool Street in the CBD Shimbashi Soba and Sake Bar has just opened its doors, serving up handmade noodles and some sensational sake.

The small space has a cosy fit out with pillows, soft lighting and K Pop playing. The staff are as authentic as the food, conversing in Japanese with patrons who are able. We received a pleasant surprise after sitting down – a complimentary bowl of cold steamed greens topped with shavings of katsuobushi – shaved, dried tuna.

Every morning Chef Taka Kumayama hand makes the soba noodles from scratch, which you can see for yourself if you’re passing by between 10 and 11 in the morning. And while the menu includes lunch sets, sashimi and other Japanese standards, don’t leave without trying the noodles.

I tried the Sansai soba ($12), buckwheat noodles served in a soup with enoki mushrooms and vegetables. The buckwheat noodles were silky smooth and had an undeniably earthy, which was probably helped by the fact I’d seen them being made a few minutes earlier.

My friend went for the Seiro ($9), chilled noodles served simply with a dipping sauce. I think this dish more successfully highlighted the flavour of the noodles, though it could have done with some sides. (Although as a bonus Chef Kumayama presented us with a cup of ‘soba broth’ that we were told should be mixed with the dipping sauce and drunk for good health. It tasted like Japanese bonox.)

Beside the food there’s extensive range of imported sakes that range from dry and semi dry to fruity and rich, plus cocktails and Japanese beer. However it was lunch and we had to get back, so couldn’t crack the booze. That’s for next time.

Soba, so good.

17 Liverpool St, Melbourne
9654 6727
Mon – Fri 11.30am – 2pm & 6pm – 10pm
Sat 6pm – 10pm

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