Berkeley: Soba at Ippuku
On my last trip to SF, we went over to Berkeley for lunch. We stopped in at Ippuku, lured in by their housemade soba with flour imported from Japan. It had a very traditional feel to the place and we opted to sit at a booth that required taking our shoes off.
Ippuku does have “American” style booths as well if you fear revealing your tattered socks.
We ordered a couple of appetizers including seaweed and fried shiso-wrapped chicken which was a special that day. I really liked the chicken as there was a bit of ume (sour plum) in the middle that gave it a piquancy.
The Opportunarian decided to get the veggie fritter soba. The fritter looked amazing- almost like a creature of fried veggies. She declined the bonito (fish) based sauce and used soy and some ground red pepper.
Some friends got the cold soba with tempura. I thought the way to go was to get a double order of the veggie tempura instead of tempura shrimp and veggies.
I got an extra appetizer of cold tofu since I was getting a mushroom soba and felt I needed just a tad more protein.
Although it was a warm day in Berkeley, I wanted hot noodles. The beautiful bowl of mushroom soba came with pickles and a dish of ground red pepper. I enjoyed my noodles. The orange zest was really nice with the light broth.
We were incredibly full and could have sat all day in our cozy booth sipping hot tea but we were heading to the St. George Spirits Distillery next! If we weren’t heading off to a distillery, I would have been tempted to order some of the sakes on tap.
2130 Center St., Berkeley, CA 94704 — (510) 665-1969
© The Minty 2012