Noodle Shop Nadai Fujisoba Breaks the Ramen Trend with Udon and SobaApril 7, 2015
Finally, a Japanese noodle shop that does not serve ramen. Japanese franchise Nadai Fujisoba recently opened its first Philippine branch in Bonifacio High Street last March 28. Having set up shop in Shibuya in 1966, it expanded to Taipei, its first international branch, and now, it has made its way to the Philippines.
After experiencing what has been years of bowl after bowl of scalding hot broth and endless scouting for those perfectly firm noodles, Nadai Fujisoba breaks the streak and enters a completely different (and not to mention, untapped) market—soba and udon. This comes as a great relief, especially now that I know where to get my cold noodle fix. Zaru soba has always been a staple of mine especially during the hot season, so the timing couldn’t have been any better.
We went during lunch-time and it was packed! Enter the place now and you’ll be surrounded by Japanese people—Japanese servers, waiters, customers. The heat outside was insane, the air conditioners weren’t functioning at their best, and the ice cubes in our cold teas melted five seconds after the glasses were placed on the table. We were hardly in the mood for anything warm, but succumbed to the chef-recommended Ko-Ebi Kakiage Ten Soba. We also ordered the Hiyashi Kitsune Udon and an Ebi Tendon set that came with Mori Soba on the side.
I have to say, the tempura batter here is quite commendable. The kakiage in the soba held pretty darn well despite soaking in the warm broth, which was a combination of dashi and soy. It is an impressive-looking dish, and the noodles were done right—none clumped together nor stuck together, which is a common mishap with soba and a tragedy to experience when in a Japanese restaurant. Hey, shit happens right? But not here.
After trying the ebi tendon, we knew that the tempura was a star dish in Nadai Fujisoba. Come here, please, for these deep-fried fritters. With a distinct crunch that’s so light, you know that they aren’t trying to fool you into the disillusion of fat, thick tempura when you bite into the airy batter. So far, we are loving our meal.
The champion dish of this visit, though, was the Hiyashi Kitsune Udon. Kitsune means ‘fox’ in Japanese, which the tofu it’s served with resembles. Slippery and slightly chewy, the noodles were incredible especially when paired with the light and clean-tasting broth. Sprinkle with some togarashi and it will be hard to put your chopsticks down. Perhaps a huge factor was the cold broth given the hot weather, but even taste-wise, this dish was the winner—hands down.
We were eyeing a Sobacha (Buckwheat Tea) Pudding and Kuro Goma (Black Sesame) Ice Cream for dessert—both of which were still unavailable given the soft opening period. But folks, if you find yourself ambling around High Street with a craving for Japanese noodles (or even if you’re just hungry or want to try something new), this will not disappoint. Time to ditch the ramen, guys. Udon and soba might just be the next big noodle trend to hit Metro Manila; after all Marugame is coming next.
Have you tried Nadai Fujisoba? What’s your verdict? Do you think udon and soba are going to kick ramen butt soon? Tell us your thoughts with a comment below!
This review was conducted solely by the author, who did not accept any form of cash advertising, invitation, sponsorship or payment. It was paid for by the author or Pepper.ph, and the views represented are purely the writer’s own. It is based on one anonymous visit to the restaurant.
Address: B7 Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
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