Friday, June 13, 2008


There is a little soba shop across the street from our favorite cafe called Jizaian. Jizai means freedom, An means place. So I think this place means place of freedom. The owner also had his motto up above the counter-- "asobu, dousei jinsei wa hima tsubushi"--play because life is to kill time.

This was our first time to try this place so we didn't really know what to expect.

There was a line out front when we got there, which was always a good sign in Japan. After waiting a little while, we were able to get seats inside.

There are only 16 seats, 6 at the counter and 2 tables for 4 people and 1 table for 2. The owner prepares the dishes one by one, so be prepared to wait for your order.

Satoshi had their tempura soba. Hot broth with two pieces of fried shrimp and a fried piece of nori. The shrimp were wrapped in green shiso (perilla)--1070 yen (about US$10.70). Satoshi said he like this dish, the tempura wasn't really oily or heavy feeling.

I chose the tenzaru. Cold soba served with a side of tempura. I really enjoyed the tempura, there was corn, shrimp wrapped in shiso, fresh shiitake & shishito (Japanese green pepper). The soba was al dente, not mushy like some other places serve it--1370 yen (about US$13.70)

At the end of the meal they brought a pot of sobayu. This is the water that the soba is boiled in. You are supposed to put it into your dashi (soup) or tsuyu (dipping sauce), this is to dilute the soup/sauce so that you can drink it up. I've had bad experiences with this in the past, it has tasted like perspiration to me...blah. I had Satoshi drink it for me.

I think we'll try this place again on a weekday, when hopefully it won't be so crowded.

1-1-9 Sakura
Minoo, Osaka
Phone: 072.723.6800
Closed on Wednesdays
UPDATE:not sure when this place closed down, but as of October 2011, it is no longer there


Jann said...

This was a great looking meal-I am always so impressed at the wonderful spots you pick to dine....

Anonymous said...

Your tempura and soba look delish! I'm more of a cold soba person myself. I feel kind of foolish asking, but I was wondering how corn tempura is prepared. Is it "kakiage style" with individual kernels of corn? I couldn't tell for sure from your picture even though I enlarged it. Thanks!

sara said...

I really enjoy Sobayu, but I suppose it isn't for everyone! Love you blog, as it reminds me of my travels to see my best friend who lives in Japan. I hope to relocate there someday. but we shall see..

rowena said...

I made notes of the use of shiso right away - tempura sounds like a great idea right now. And with the euro, those prices are so cheap! We really got to get to Japan one of these days...

K & S said...

I should re-try sobayu, Sara. Good luck with your relocation plans :)

mmm, can't wait to see your tempura, Rowena :)

Take care you two.

K & S said...

sorry Anon, I missed your comment.
The corn was cut from the cob, so a lot of the kernels were stuck together in a row. Then it was battered and fried. The corn was sweet so frying it was a real treat :)

Take care.

K & S said...

Thanks you Jann, I'm also so impressed with your adventures!

Take care.

bourgogne said...

i love soba of any kind! but drinking sweat doesn't sound very appetizing :)

K & S said...

soba = good, sweat = bad.

Take care.

OkiHwn said...

Both sobas look great!

K & S said...

they were worth standing in line for, Nate :)

Take care.

SteamyKitchen said...

I haven't had proper soba in such a long time - I can't remember what it should taste like! I don't think I've ever had the sobayu - but with your I'll skip!


K & S said...

I'm going to re-try sobayu the next time I have soba, Jaden. But, I have a feeling it is one of those foods that you either like or don't. :)

Take care.