Abura Soba or literally translated as “oil soba” is probably not a familiar Japanese dish in Indonesia, like ramen, soba, or udon. Lucky for us, the very first outlet specializing in Abura Soba called YAMATOTEN Abura Soba has finally opened in Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK) recently, originally brought from Tokyo, Japan.
Yamatoten Abura Soba, the first chain of abura soba specialized restaurants in Japan, has been existing since 2011. Heard that one of the owners of the Indonesian outlet is Becky Tumewu, a famous Indonesian presenter and socialite. Location-wise, it’s very strategic as PIK has become one of the most-visited culinary spots in Jakarta, and it’s right in the middle of Ruko Garden House complex, just beside Hawaiian Bistro, Seorae PIK, and Cake A Boo.
Abura Soba is a type of noodle served without soup/broth that was originally created in Musashino, Tokyo, in 1950s. Contrary to its name, abura soba is not oily at all and has mild taste. The interesting thing is, while the “soba” that we know is the typical brown-ish colored buckwheat noodle with stiff texture, the abura soba has an appearance similar to udon, with springy and chewy texture that is fun to eat.
The menu is very simple, there are only 4 types of Abura Soba, a rice menu, along with some side dishes and pickles.
Price ranges from IDR 8,000 to 68,000.
Chicken Karaage IDR 36,000
Chicken Karaage is a simple dish yet tricky to find a decent one. The chicken is incredibly soft and smooth here, but the skin doesn’t have enough crisp. Beside that, I am kinda used to eat Mr. K’s homemade chicken karaage with distinctive flavor of ginger, which IMHO is the main feature of authentic Japanese-style karaage. I barely noticed or tasted any ginger flavor in here, so maybe next time I am gonna go with the other side dish, Soft Broiled Pork.
On every table, there are the containers for spoon, chopsticks etc, and we also notice the 2 bottles, which are actually vinegar and chili oil. Of course, there is another container for more-spicy-looking chili oil, but let’s talk about the two bottles first.
So basically there is a recommended way how to enjoy your abura soba, which is: adding 2 rounds of vinegar and 2 rounds of chili oil, then mix the noodle in quick circular motion while it’s hot!
We have to do these steps quickly after they are served, otherwise the noodle will become sticky. And sticky noodle is definitely a big NO NO! XD
Karami Ontama Abura Soba IDR 68,000
A twist of the original abura soba, soaked in secret mix of spicy miso sauce and served with half-boiled egg (onsen tamago) and slices of tender roast pork.
We skipped the original abura soba and this was my pick for myself, as this type has egg inside and also labeled as the spicy one. I actually really enjoyed the noodle, very soft yet chewy, I just fell in love to it immediately.
Surprisingly, there was a little spiciness from the sauce in the bottom of the bowl, so you’ll need to mix it well with the additional vinegar and chili oil. Still, the end result is not considered spicy for me, but if you think it is too spicy for you, mix the egg altogether with the noodle and you’ll be amazed how the yolk can help neutralizing the taste!
Shio Sudachi Abura Soba IDR 65,000
Perfect balance of savory Tare sauce and tangy Sudachi vinegar, both which are the signature sauces of Yamatoten’s kitchen. Served with mild-flavored winter radish, Japanese greens, chopped spring onions, sesame seeds, and slices of tender roast pork.
This is another version of the abura soba which DOESN’T NEED the additional vinegar and chili oil. The signature sauces are already very rich in flavors, giving a combination of perfectly delicious taste to compliment the noodle. However, of course you can add more condiments if you prefer to do so. Remember, it’s all about your preference!
Jya Jya Abura Soba IDR 68,000
Original abura soba served with minced meat stir-fried in thick sauce made of soy bean paste. We can choose the meat between chicken and pork.
At the first glance, it reminded me of Korean Jajangmyeon a.k.a. black noodle, and the sauce is indeed made from same ingredients: black soy bean paste.
I actually like this a lot because of its sweet and savory composition, it’s like, there are so many things going on inside my mouth when I tried it. The minced meat is perfectly blended with the sauce, and mixing it with spring onions makes it even better!
Venue-wise, Yamatoten Abura Soba in PIK only occupies one ruko unit at the moment, and the seating area is only on the first floor. Nothing is really special about the interior except the Mountain Fuji mural on the wall and the open kitchen in the back where we can take a peek of the abura soba preparation process, LOL.
With so many new dining places opening in PIK area, it’s impossible for us to go visiting each of them but Yamatoten is exceptionally must visit, and we put this in our recommended list. Simply must try!
Overall, a very nice experience we had for a first visit, and this is certainly not the last one. The food are simple yet make you think about them again and again (read: addictive) so, be warned! XD
With the large crowds waiting to try the noodle, I don’t think the hype will end anytime soon. Hopefully they will consider opening another branch in South Jakarta, amen for that!
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
YAMATOTEN ABURA SOBA
Ruko Garden House Blok A/12
Pantai Indah Kapuk (PIK)
North Jakarta 14470
Phone. +62 21 290 333 42
Mon-Fri 11AM – 3PM, 5.30PM – 10PM
Sat-Sun 11AM – 10PM