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Shimbashi Soba @ Orchard Paragon

By 13:24 , , ,

Last week, I went with Mum to Shimbashi Soba at Paragon! It's quite difficult to find vegan restaurants in the Orchard area (), and most eateries only offer 1 or 2 veg options (or none at all!) This is one of the few restaurants that has quite a good selection of vegan food!

This menu board was prominently placed at the entrance of the restaurant! ^^ Everything looks super pretty and yummy! I've not had Japanese food in ages, because authentic Japanese food that's also vegan is rare.

I read about Shimbashi Soba from Amanda of SGVegan and Luke of Hungry Ang Mo! :)

As I've read from Amanda's blog, Shimbashi Soba uses the same oil to fry veg and non-veg items. But I was fine with that.

Sadly, there were no vegetarian lunch sets!!

But the selection of vegetarian food was surprisingly quite extensive - there were a whole 3 pages of soba, shokado set, sushi and dessert! 

Okay, maybe you wouldn't consider 3 pages to be extensive, but it's definitely enough for a few more trips to this restaurant! ^^ 

From what I know, though they say that it's vegetarian, the food's all actually vegan! 
While we waited for our food, I went to see the chef make noodles! Ooooh. 

The noodles are all freshly milled, freshly made and freshly cooked! ^^ It's not gluten free though, for according to the sheet of paper on the table, it's made with 'a special blend of 3 types of soba flour', wheat flour and water.

I took this photo from this side because obviously you can read Japanese.

The first item that was served was Yaki Miso ($5.80). It's grilled miso and it's actually a really tiny piece stuck to the wooden spoon.

The taste and texture was really interesting though! Mushy with crunchy bits. Reminded me slightly of Wang Wang rice crackers (you know, those round ones coated in soy sauce and seaweed flakes?). It was not too salty, and it was fragrant. According to Luke, there's walnuts, white leek and Japanese rice crackers in it. No wonder! 

Mum was concerned about the burnt bits being cancerous LOL. But since it was expensive we scraped the wooden spoon clean. ^^

Next up, we had the Veggie Chikara Soba ($17.80). 'Warm soup noodle with rice cakes, seasoned beancurd, mushrooms and vegetables'

The soup stock is made with konbu (kelp) and soy sauce. It was nicely flavourful! The rice cakes were deep-fried and very chewy. The soba was delicious too! I also liked the presentation.

We also had the Vegetarian Shokado ($25.80). Expensive! Haha.
Soba, three side dishes and dessert.

This is a small bowl of soba with seasoned beancurd and wakame seaweed.

Vegetarian sushi (cucumber, avocado, tomato and shiitake mushroom) with pickled ginger slices. There was soy sauce provided, but no wasabi. I'm curious why this is so o_o

Something I learnt from Mum that day:
This is nigiri sushi, where the seaweed is wrapped around the topping and ball of rice.
Gunkan nigiri sushi (subset of nigiri sushi) is where the seaweed is wrapped around the perimeter of the ball of rice and topping. How interesting. Haha I hope what I'm saying makes sense.

5 kinds of vegetarian tempura. There was pumpkin, lotus root, yam, mushroom and cucumber (I think). It was too greasy and oily, I felt. Or maybe that's just what tempura is supposed to be like. This was to be dipped in the matcha powder provided - first time having tempura like this!

Vegetarian salad. There was avocado, tomato, lettuce, jicama shreds and this intriguing purple sea plant that was bouncy and chewy! There was balsamic vinaigrette to go with this.

Homemade green tea jelly topped with peanut powder, in a brown sugar syrup. The matcha taste was quite prominent, and it had a texture kinda like mochi, but smoother. The peanut powder complemented it really well! 

By the way, Mum says this is the best way to present food - 'Angel Wings' LOL hahaha.

Oh yes, according to her, all of the deep-fried food has a taste of... Japanese oil. Like not Chinese oil. But Japanese oil. o_o  I wish I had fantastic tastebuds haha.

Then, we had dessert! Which I was most excited about! This is Soba Kashi Moriawase ($6.80). Clockwise: there was the homemade green tea jelly, deep-fried sweet soba, gluten cakes with sweet red bean and soba balls.


The deep-fried sweet soba was coated with sugar and it was deliciously crunchy! Breaks many of my 'food rules' though (which I often don't care about when I'm eating at a restaurant). 100% sure that 4 out of 5 people I know will be shocked to know that I enjoyed eating deep-fried and sugar-coated food. Hahahaha

The gluten cakes with sweet red bean looked so pretty and cute! ^^ The green cubes are coloured with wormwood, and the yellow ones are coloured with millet, according to Luke (I believe that it's the same gluten cakes as in the Dengaku Fu). The mochi-like cubes itself were quite bland, but they were nicely balanced out with the red bean paste. 'Gluten cakes' sound really intimidating though. Like they'll cake up your intestines with glue. 

Just kidding.

We spent about $66 in total, so it's not really an 'anytime' place to eat. Well, you could just have a bowl of soba for under $20, but how can you stick to just that where there's so many wonderful things on the menu?? The food will have you going SO INTERESTING OMG. (Okay, that's only if you're a frog-in-a-well like me.) Hehe. It's a great place to eat if you like Japanese food and you feel like treating yourself! ^^

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