Little places that do good food that take bookings.
There’s not many of them in Melbourne, but they do exist!
Although I didn’t realise Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar took bookings until after I got there with Brad for a cheap and cheerful eat before a friends drinks later in the evening. It had been on my ‘want to visit’ list for a long time, but I kept forgetting to visit in the midst all the pretty Scandinavian interiors and fermented everything that keep popping up.
We had just booked our trip to Tokyo (which won’t be until November this year) a few days prior to visiting Shimbashi, so once we stepped in, I was almost quivering with excitement, as it almost felt like I was back in Japan and made me wish our Japan trip was coming up much much sooner!
The staff are sweet and friendly, obviously Japanese; the cocktails all play off J-pop band names or popular karaoke bands and general Japanese culture, but what we’re really here for, is the soba noodles that are not only hand made, but the buckwheat flour is even ground by them, with the buckwheat sourced from Tasmania. These guys are legit.
Prior to our soba, we received a complimentary potato salad, and some cold sake for a balmy night.
Brad got the warm Sansai Soba, which is served in a hot soup with mushrooms and vegetables, and I opted for chilled Soba with tempura on the side.
The noodles were definitely the star, with a nice firmness, and a smooth texture, my plate was definitely empty a lot faster than I had expected! I really enjoyed the tempura as well, the batter was very light and crisp; almost reminiscent of the amazing tempura I had in Tokyo last year, but not quite there yet. Brad’s soup was very tasty, and as he finished up his noodles, I kept reaching over the table to slurp up what was left of the soup.
Shimbashi really is a slice of Japan in Melbourne, and I would absolutely visit more frequently…if my office wasn’t on the other side of town. Sigh!
17 Liverpool Street