Tuesday, September 13, 2011

四百年伝統の味:臼家 Usuke

臼家 is a shop that originated from 小豆島  that is famous for its tenobe somen 手延麺. It started in the late 16th century and hence it is one of the very traditional flavours that is not really found overseas. Somen is a kind of Japanese vermicelli; fine, long noodles made from wheat flour, sesame oil and salt. 

手延 (literally "hand-stretched") refers to the process of coating a lump of wheat flour dough with sesame oil and then stretching it as far as possible by hand. Stretching the fine noodles out in this manner can only be done during the dry months of winter.臼家 still uphold this tradition of making its noodles by hands and indeed you can taste its difference from the udon, soba or 面线。Because of their persistence in carrying on the tradition, they have been certified and recognised as a shop that specialised in this noodle 7 years ago.

あつあつだし巻玉子 600円
As mentioned by my partner, tamago roll is a test of the chef's skill. Hence we ordered this along with the noodles. And this did not fail our expectation. The egg roll was warm and surprisingly not that sweet. It remained very moist and did not actually require any additional condiments. 

The serving portions were generous and is good for sharing between 2.

なすピリ辛臼家そうめん (冷)780円
This is a spicy eggplant soumen with bonito flakes and dried red chilli. This was limited to only the Summer Season and one should not miss this as the broth is really refreshing and light. Yet, the occasion spicy tanginess of the chilli can really set the tastebuds on fire. The eggplant is cooked just right and not too mushy. 

たぬききつね手延麺 (冷)880円

This is also another cold noodle that is filled with much more ingredients like the fish cake, the inari (beancurd skin) and spring onions. There were some fried bits of cracker-like toppings that gives the dish a crunchy texture. Yet as they slowly dissolve into the broth, it softens and blends well with the soup. The fish cake was slightly hard and chewy but the broth that is mixed together with the runny egg yolk makes this a better broth than the eggplant noodles. 

In all, this is a place that serves the traditional  Japanese noodles at an affordable price. Yet at the same time, one not only get the taste but also experience the tradition of the noodles and the hard labor of making the noodles. Indeed, four hundred years of tradition 真的不是盖的

〒169-0075 東京都新宿区高田馬場1-26-5 Flビル2F ( the outlet featured in this post)
〒104-0061 東京都中央区銀座5-8-20 銀座コアビルB ( second outlet)
Website: www.usuke.co.jp

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