Let’s visit Osaka’s famous soba shop listed on Michelin Guide! It is “Naniwa Okina” where you can enjoy both Kanto and Kansai flavored soba dishes.
Osaka is famous for “udon noodles,” and now, this delicious “soba” shop is drawing attention.
“Saba,” considered as a Japanese national dish.
Having a long history, soba (or buckwheat noodles) is a national dish favored throughout Japan. Depending on the region, soba noodles and soup vary in color and taste.
There are various ways to eat it, and it is one of the Japanese dishes which is not easy to understand deeply. Since it is nutritious, it is favored by health-conscious foreign tourists as well as vegetarians.
“Naniwa Okina,”a famous soba restaurant in Osaka listed on “Michelin Guide Kyoto and Osaka 2020”
Here I present is “Naniwa Okina” introduced in “Michelin Guide Kyoto and Osaka 2020” as Bib Gourmand, or a restaurant serving dishes which give satisfaction exceeding prices, are made with good quality ingredients and careful work, and are available at prices lower than 6,000 yen.
It is a soba specialty shop which has drawn attention not only in Japan but also overseas, and in fact, it was visited by a member of Korean rock group JAURIM, Kim Yun-a as well as China Central Television for TV program shooting .
Here you can eat soba in two types of flavors, a flavor of Kanto region with Tokyo as its center and of Kansai with Osaka and Kyoto. Impression of soba noodles in Kansai is rather soft, but soba served at this restaurant has a sharp feeling to the throat. I’m sure you would be so impressed with its taste.
“Naniwa Okina’s” original buckwheat flour
Buckwheat flour made from domestic soba seeds is blended according to the condition of the time. Their soba flour, grinded by a stone mill just before making soba, is rich in fragrance.
Juwari- or Towari-soba is made only with soba flour. Therefore, you can enjoy “the original rich taste and fragrance of soba”. On the other hand, nihachi-soba featuring with bouncy texture and smooth feeling to the throat is made with blended ingredients, i.e. 80 percent of buckwheat flour and 20 percent of wheat flour.
Cold saba with Kanto flavored dipping sauce
At “Naniwa Okina,” there is a big difference between “zarusoba” or cold soba eaten with dipping sauce and kakesoba in hot soup.
Kanto flavored dipping sauce is used for “zarusoba” which has a slippery feeling to the throat. It is made only with bonito broth, dark soy sauce and mirin or a kind of sweet sake seasoning.
A dried bonito is shaved into flakes just before they are put in the pot. That’s why its strong flavor remains in the sauce.
With crisp texture, their hand-made soba smooth to the throat goes well with sharp soy flavored dipping sauce.
It is just great to eat it during hot summer in Osaka. Soba lovers are dying for its firm texture.
Hot soba in Kansai flavored soup
“Kakesoba” is soba in hot soup.
Secret soup which has been succeeded since the establishment of the shop is rich and mild.
Light colored kombu-based soup, found only in Kansai region, has a gentle taste.
“Kamo namban” is a kind of soba dish. Duck meat and green onions are cooked in kakesoba soup, and then, that soup is poured over soba with topping of earlier mentioned duck meat and green onions.
Green onions which go well with duck fat and fragrance of fresh yuzu citron bring out the sweetness of the dish.
With sweetness and rather springy texture as its features, this dish warms the body.
Having unique Kansai flavor, “kakesoba” is loved even by professional chefs.
“Naniwa Okina’s” original buckwheat seeds available as a souvenir
Except soba noodles, I strongly recommend soba seeds. They are boiled in the soup of “kakesoba.”
Soba seeds are sweet and gentle in taste. Its popping texture and stickiness make you addicted to it.
Soba seeds available in the shop are served with “nitamago” which was soaked in the dipping sauce of zarusoba. So, you can enjoy both Kanto and Kansai flavors at the same time.
This menu is flavored with soba sauce only available at soba shop, and it is recommended as a side dish served with sake.
It really goes well with dry sake.
You can buy a package of “soba seeds” which is recently drawing attention as a healthy food product.
Boiled in hot water, it is used for salad and soup as well as a substitute for rice.
Dietary fiber and vitamin B2 are abundantly contained in it, and it helps to adjust intestinal conditions.
It is getting popular as a diet food as well to prevent overweighting. Therefore, it would make a nice gift for the health-conscious.
Tourist attractions around the shop and access to this soba restaurant
It’s about ten minutes-walk to “Naniwa Okina” from those subway stations, i.e. “Kitahama” station on Midosuji line, “Minamimorimachi “ on Tanimachi and Sakaisuji lines, and “Osaka-Tenmangu” on JR Tozai line.
Osaka City Central Public Hall is a tourist attraction near the restaurant.
Completed in 1918, the building is designated as a national important cultural property.
This beautiful construction harmonizing well with the scenery of Nakanoshima and sumptuous interior design make this place a popular photo taking spot.
Nakanoshima is actually a sandbank between Dojima River and Tosabori River, and it takes about five minutes to walk one lap there.
It is a great place to enjoy beautiful riverside views of “Osaka,” a city of waterways.
Being in Osaka City where time flows quickly, you can enjoy relaxing time here.
Soul foods in Osaka have rather strong taste.
How do you like the idea of eating healthy soba at the end of your trip and appreciating “Osaka,” a city of waterways?
I’m sure you would find one more pleasure in Osaka.
|Name of the restaurant||Naniwa Okina|
|Address||4-1-18 Nishitenma, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu|
|Closed||Sundays & Mondays (Except the time when a holiday falls on Monday)|
|Payment||Cash, E-money available|
*The information herein is as of March 2020.