Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chugoku Sanyo, San-in 中国地方山陽、山陰 - Izumo Soba Enishi 手打ち 出雲そば えにし

Visited 21.04.2015 (Tue)

Izumo's specialty. After visiting Izumo Taisha, it was time for lunch! Along Kamimon dori 神門通り, between Izumo Taisha mae Station and the entrance of the shrine, there are numerous shops and restaurants lined on both sides of the street. Before arriving here, I already had in mind to try two food - one is red bean soup with mochi/glutinuous rice balls (otherwise known as zenzai ぜんざい) and the other is Warigo Soba 割子そば, which is exclusive to this region.

Izumo Soba 出雲そば has been voted as one of Japan's top three soba, alongside Nagano Prefecture's Togakushi Soba 戸隠そば and Iwate Prefecture's Wanko Soba わんこそば. Izumo Soba is characterised by its darker colour and this is a result of using flour, grounded from both buckwheat and its hulls. Came to Enishi, a local restaurant specialising in Izumo Soba, to try out this food for ourselves. At Enishi, the noodles are made from gensoba (玄そば), which is organically cultivated by farms whom they collaborate directly with. The owner still relies on the traditional method of grounding gensoba with millstone and handmade their noodles freshly everyday in the premises. Warigo Soba is available in different serving sizes, three, four or five tiers, and we ordered the three tiers. The soba were served in three round lacquered containers and there was another container in which condiments such as grated daikon mixed with chili (known as koyo oroshi 紅葉おろし), seaweed and chopped spring onions were placed.

Step by step. First, place a bit of each condiment on top of the soba from any of the container, and pour dashi onto it. Mix the noodles, condiments and dashi and it is ready to be enjoyed. After finishing the first container of noodles, pour the leftover dashi from this container into the next one, add condiments and dashi to adjust the taste accordingly before you tuck in again. This step is repeated until all tiers of soba are completely eaten. After you consumed the noodles in the last container, add water, in which the soba was boiled in, into the leftover sauce before slurping up the broth to its very last drop. Izumo Soba is much firmer and fragrant than the ones I have eaten before. The condiments and flavourful dashi, each played an important role in elevating the taste further. Though three tiers of Warigo Soba had exceeded the serving size I could handle, the wonderful taste impelled me to gulped down the soba, one container after another effortlessly.


Izumo Soba Enishi 手打ち 出雲そば えにし
島根県出雲市大社町杵築南836-2 出雲大社神門通り
Operating hours: 1100 - 1600 hrs; closed on Wednesdays

How to get there?
Approx 2 minutes walk from Ichibata Densha Izumo Taisha-mae Station 一畑電車出雲大社前駅.

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