I suffer from a Serious Life Threatening Condition - I'm a self-diagnosed Noodles Freak.
Although I'm certain many are in the same boat as I am, sometimes I feel weird that even though I'm a HongKie, I can survive without rice or pilafs for weeks at a time. But no noodles? You must be robbing me empty....! When I heard the 別府 Group has opened a new SOBA (蕎麥) Noodles joint all the way in 奧海城二期, I did not hesitate to arrive here to be one of their 1st Guinea Pigs. I'm sure we all know the pedigree of the 別府 Group and what one would or shouldn't expect from their Food Quality: but I was Fearless this very day and I haven't been on the receiving end of a good Soba for a few years already. Let's just wait and see !
******************************** 更科蕎麦(冷) with 金三寺わさび - $35
1st things 1st. Although this shop sells Soba Noodles, its called a 蕎麦處 and not a 蕎麦屋 for a reason and that's because it never pretends to be the really expensive BEST OF THE BEST SOBA HOUSES in Japan. Its meant to be more of a everyday Casual Soba shop and should be judged accordingly, because it never pretended otherwise to the Customer. So don't expect any 蕎麦 Sashimi, 蕎麦湯 or つけ蕎麦 here, as those are only carried in top tier shops! The fact they import real 生麺 from Kyushu and only sell them at affordable prices, plus they carry six types of specialty soba: 田舎蕎麦、茶蕎麦、山芋蕎麦、更科蕎麦、四季蕎麦 & 真打蕎麦 is definitely commendable!
There's a myriad of different Soba styles in Japan, so I'm not surprised I didn't know 更科蕎麦 is supposedly one of the best treasured sobas - one certainly learns more when dining out each time!
I only know 田舎蕎麦 is famous from 信州 lol! This 更科蕎麦 is 80% made of the prestigious Buckwheat's centre only and 20% from Wheat.
I must say I was slightly disappointed in my 更科蕎麦 however as it lacked Buckwheat Taste nor Wheaty taste - even before I dipped it into the sauce. (Note: Some Specialty Soba's in Japan don't have much Soba taste too, to be fair. It depends!) Mine was quite bland, also when it got Ice-Bathed after boiling, I believe too much ice water stuck to the noodles so it tasted too wet and of water!
Anyway - one must take into consideration they will carry at least 1-2 Soba Types here which might just carry a stronger Buckwheats flavour! Together with the Tsuyu Dip on the whole, and marked for this particular Soba type, I'll give it a SCORE OF: 2.8/5 豊後鶏唐揚げ - $12
豊後鶏 is another Kyushu's Oita Prefecture specialty, quite famous in fact! Remember Kyushu is famous for chicken stuff! This was fried ok-well with skin on, oily but not stupidly so! Doesn't have much Chicken taste however...
SCORE: 3.5/5 蕎麦茶焼酎 - $28
Since I'm eating Kyushu style Soba food, I ordered this too. Its ok-good. However the 焼酎 base was of dubious quality, tasting like its made from Sweet Potatoes rather than Wheat, which the latter should work better with the 蕎麦茶. Having said that, Kyushu and Oita is more famous for sweet potato Shochu's and very rarely other types, I suppose!
******************SUMMARY: I didn't think what I ordered was convincing enough, especially when the noodles lacked what it should taste of, despite an ok-great texture. I'll however reserve final judgment until I have tried their other Stronger Soba noodle offerings, plus don't forget this is a Cheapo type of Soba Shops, the ones you'll find in most Train stations over there in J-Land!
Worth a Smile for 'Concept and Heart' for now.
Only an OK for execution and what I ordered!
早知留些少位, 去試多啲車品品其它 product ?
Soba Tea with Shochu
更科蕎麦: 最出名, 反以無咩味. 下次試其它!
What I Ate, Out of 6 Selections.
Spending per head: Approximately HKD80Other Ratings:
Value for Money 4