Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kyushu Spring 2014 九州春季之旅 - Soan Yokocho 宗庵 よこ長

Visited 17.03.2014

Ureshino Onsen's gourmet food: Tofu soup, otherwise known as onsen yudofu, is a specialty of Ureshino Onsen. In this small onsen town, beancurd is boiled slowly in Ureshino's very own hot spring water. After a while, the water will turn milky and beancurd becomes more silky in texture. Why? The hot spring water causes the proteins in the tofu to dissolve and gives rise to the change in colour of water - a phenomenon which we normally do not see if this is boiled in water.

Due to the popularity of onsen yudofu, many restaurants here are offering this specialty dish on their menu. Came to Soan Yokocho, which is by far the most widely publicized restaurant (at least I have seen it being featured on tv programs a couple of times). English menu was also available in the shop.

Special yudofu set lunch
Ordered two different set meals, each set comes with rice, pickles and side dishes:
- Normal set (湯どうふ定食): 790 yen (*850 yen after 1 Apr 2014)
- Special set (特選湯どうふ定食): 990 yen (*1,080 yen after 1 Apr 2014), which comes with seafood (salmon and prawn) in the soup.

Thought the soup was going to be bland on the first look. However, with vegetables and seafood simmered together in the soup and the additional touch of soybean flavour which was introduced as the beancurd gradually "melted" during the cooking process, all these elements combined to make this soup exceptionally tasty. The beancurd became silkier in texture, well-balanced between firm and soft. Every sip of the soup comes with a sense of satisfaction and exclamation on how a simple soup dish can be so fulfilling! Definitely a must try gourmet food for anyone who comes to Ureshino Onsen.


Soan Yokocho 宗庵 よこ長
843-0301 佐賀県嬉野市嬉野町下宿乙2190
Opening hrs: 1000 - 2100 hrs (Closed on Wed)
~5 mins walk from Ureshino Onsen Bus Terminal.


Video: Restaurant was featured in 遇约九州, a travel programme on Kyushu. Scroll to 3:50 for their recommendation.

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