Since their conception in 2011, I don’t think Hakata Ikkousha and Ikkudo Ichi have any contender that’s strong enough to mess with their revenue pie, until now.
Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK comes strong from Tokyo to Jakarta with tons of determination, a few years of F&B expertise under its sleeve, and a very receiving early adopters. With only four main menu, Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK manages to do its job really well in introducing the new concept of eating Japanese noodle without broth. Now the venue is pretty much packed on both lunch and dinner times. If you’re heading there, note that weekdays have a friendlier queue than weekends.
What is Abura Soba?
Abura literally translates as ‘oil’ and Soba means ‘noodle’. Its birth is something that is born not out of coincidence, but out of necessity. It is said to have started in the 1950s in Musashino area. Back then, ramen (noodle with soup) was the staple food of the Japanese. As we all know, they put so much attention and care into making a perfectly umami broth. Some shops were—still are—notoriously known for spending 24-48 hours simply to craft the broth.
This made the broth became the most expensive item in a bowl of ramen. As a result, shop owners allowed their staffs to eat the noodle for their daily meal, but prohibited them from taking the soup. Left with no choice, these ramen shop staffs then made their own alternative using oil instead of soup, thus Abura Soba was born.
What are the popular menu at Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK?
If I may suggest, you should try these dishes below. And I think it’s important to know that I’m writing this after my fifth visit to Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK. It’s safe to say that these are what works for the majority.
1. Original Abura Soba (Top picture, far left)
Go with the original if you are unsure of your palate preference.
2. Karami Ontama Abura Soba (Top picture, far right)
The chefs mentioned to me that this is the most popular signature dish at the moment. Taste-wise, because it is mixed together with Onsen Tamago (half-boiled egg), the texture is very creamy and rich with mild spiciness coming from the chili.
3. Shio Sudachi Abura Soba
Personally this is my favorite after the original. It has a fresh tangy flavor that revolves around Yuzu aroma. I’d say moms or the women will be more keen on this one.
4. Chicken Karaage
You’ll find the karaage here is not coated with flour. Some would question it, but I’ve witnessed most friends like it even better. The reason is simply because now that the seasonings go beyond skin deep, the karaage becomes much more flavorful. I personally don’t mind losing the crunch over a good taste.
5. Wasabi Potato Salad
I’d suggest having this as appetizer as it is served cold. A great palate starter with a mediocre hint of wasabi on the nose and great potato texture.
How to eat Abura Soba?
A quick guide to eating Abura Soba. All their soba except Shio Sudachi need to be added with two rounds of chili oil & vinegar (the two bottles that are available on every table). You’ll have to mix them up with the soba for the best flavor. Feel free to try without it though if you are curious. I’ve tried them and I still prefer the one with both chili oil & vinegar.
Seeing how it grows in popularity and the customer’s acceptance towards the taste, I’d say the competition is heating up again and it’s really interesting to see who comes up at the end of this. In the meantime, I’m rooting for Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK as it leaves me with less guilt afterward, compared to having a pork-powered ramen broth.
What do you think?
To infini-food and beyond,
My Instagram: @captainruby
Yamatoten Abura Soba PIK
Ruko Garden House Blk A/12 PIK
(Next to Hawaiian Bistro, at the row of shophouse just right across Ikkudo Ramen)
Everyday 11AM – 3PM and 5.30PM – 10PM
Google Map Location: