Sakura are blossoming all over Tokyo. One of my go-to soba shops Akatsukian at Ginza Mitsukoshi is serving sakura soba that is made with the leaves from the cherry tree. Only ten servings are made daily so go early. The seasonal soba is only for two weeks, March 15-28.
The meal started with saké in this lovely pourer. Crunchy fried soba noodles are presented with the nihonshu. The sakura soba has delicate floral notes which comes from coumarin. Coumarin is a compound which gives sakura dishes its notable sakura cherry aroma.
Sakura are blossoming weeks earlier than usual. It’s also unusually warm so I am sad to think that our window for hanami picnics under the sakura blossoms will be short this year.
Akatsukian is a famous soba shop from the onsen hot springs resort town of Hakone. I am so happy there is a branch in Ginza where soba buckwheat noodles are handmade daily. There is a window in front of the shop to watch the noodles being made.
Ginza Mitsukoshi 11th floor
Chūō-ku, Ginza 4-6-16
Pro tip: Department stores in Japan often have restaurants on the top floors. These are famous restaurants that have a branch in the department stores. A good place to go when one is hungry as there will be a variety of restaurants to choose from. Some shops will have wax food samples or menus with photos.
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¡Que impresionante idea culinaria!