Nihombashi Miyoshikai Gourmet Tour - Part 4 - Soba at Rikyuan
As the literal centre of Tokyo, Nihombashi has long been the beating heart of the city, not just as the cultural hub and the capital since the Edo-era, but also the economic engine that powered both the metropolis and the country at large to economic prosperity in the booming years of mid to late Showa-era Japan (1926-1989). Fueling this cultural and economic powerhouse since 1952 has been Rikyuan, an oasis of calm in the heart of the city specializing in Japanese washoku cuisine whose sumptuous soba has made it the choice of the cultural class and businesspeople alike.
Over its expansive four floors we find a series of settings for any occasion, whether a quick lunch for the tourist and local alike on the first floor that recalls the spirit of Showa, a quiet drink with friends on the underground floor, right up comfortable sofas on the second, and private dining in a traditional Japanese setting on the third. Over his years at the helm, third generation representative of the family run restaurant Hiroshi Mizutani can attest to the great variety of characters who come to Rikyuan and reflect the diversity of the Nihombashi area as a whole. It is a restaurant that reflects the Japanese omotenashi spirit in catering directly to the needs of each customer, whether the clock-watching businessman or the foodie looking to savour every last bite.
Miyoshikai Groumet Map
Binding this diversity together which extends to the washoku menu itself is Rikyuan's celebrated white Sarashina soba noodles. Sourced from Hokkaido and made from the region's most refined buckwheat flour using only the very center of the grain, the noodles are a dish in and of themselves for a hearty lunch, or as the finale to a banquet. The simple but refined noodles are complemented with a broth unchanged since Rikyuan's founding made of well-matured bonito that doubles as a soup once you have had your fill of soba, which the restaurant serves in small portions so they are as fresh as possible no-matter one's appetite.
Featuring a fine selection of fresh Japanese produce that changes with the market of the day Rikyuan is a perfect place for an authentic taste of the variety of Japanese washoku cuisine, as well as the varied settings that accompany it. Whether this is your first taste of Japan or if are a seasoned connoisseur, this is a flavour of the real Japan in all senses of the word.