Monday, June 09, 2008

banbatei

About 3 minutes from the Hankyu Nishinomiya-Kitaguchi station, there is a tiny shop that serves curry soba.

The restaurant, Banbatei, was featured in a foodie magazine last year and I just came upon the article recently.

Since Satoshi had the day off, we decided to check out this place for lunch. When we got there, there was a line of people out in front.

There are only 24 seats--5 at the counter and 19 on tables. After about 10 or 15 minutes, we were seated.

If you are eating alone or as a pair be prepared to share your table with someone. This is called aiseki and it is quite normal in Japan. We too had to share our table with someone.

Since it was lunchtime, the table next to us were filled with salarymen (businessmen). They were busily eating their curry soba and perspiring buckets all the while. Several times they grabbed tissues to wipe their faces from the tissue box provided on the table.

I ordered the sudachi (lime) soba--750 yen (about US$7.50). I have a hard time eating hot foods, I usually end up burning my tongue (they call this nekojita (cat's tongue)) and then not being able to enjoy my food, so I usually prefer going for the cold stuff. This bowl of soba was served with grated ginger, tempura kasu (the bits from frying tempura) and sudachi. It was very refreshing and just enough for me to finish.

I'm glad that I didn't order the curry soba, the bowls were huge (about 10 or 12 inches in diameter)! Satoshi ordered the seafood curry soba--1180 yen (about US$11.80). When he ordered they asked him what level of spiciness he wanted and he chose normal. He was said it was good and he was perspiring from the heat of the dish more than the spices.

Banbatei
1-6-7 Koufuen
Nishinomiya, Hyogo
Phone: 0798.66.0995
Open 11:00-20:30 Closed on Sundays & Holidays

12 comments:

Jann said...

I enjoy eating spicy foods, but wonder if I could handle this? Your hubby must have a cast-iron stomach!

K & S said...

Satoshi said it wasn't really spicy, Jann, but it was temperature hot. I think you could handle it :)

Take care.
Kat

Lori said...

Never heard of lime soba before but I bet I'd like it. I like to put fresh lemon and lime juice on almost everything. That was a good choice for a summer lunch!

K & S said...

Thanks Lori, it was very refreshing :) I hope you get to try it.

Take care.
Kat

rowena said...

Looks delicious, despite the heat factor (and the company of sweaty salarymen!)

Nice photo changes in your header Kat. I'll be tagging you in a post scheduled for later today...it's your best 10 food photographs! I know you have TONS, but feel free to decline if you think it'll be too difficult to choose.

btw, I thought you might know those fuzzy cucumbers, figuring that Japan seems to be on the cutting edge of cool vegs (referring to the square watermelons of course).

K & S said...

Thanks Rowena! Japan not only has the square watermelons, but I think they figured out a way to put a 3-D face onto the watermelon too...

Take care.
Kat

bourgogne said...

i can't get the image of men "sweating buckets" out of my head - probably accompanied by loud slurping :D

the lime soba sounds good!

K & S said...

the lime soba was really good, Bourgogne! Sorry about the bad images :(

Take care.
Kat

Dhanggit said...

oh kat this is so mouth-watering!! too bad the asian shop here in southhern france is a bit far from where i live..even if i have this tremendous craving for japanese food i will need to wait..gaman dekinai :-(

ps, this is what i miss in japan..strolling and eating around hehe

K & S said...

Dhanggit,
I guess you should stock up on Japanese pantry items so that you can ease your cravings...or come to Japan :)

Take care.
Kat

KirkK said...

Hi Kat - Wow Curry and Sudachi Soba...that's new to me. Sounds quite tasty.

K & S said...

Thanks Kirkk, it was delicious :)

Take care.
Kat