People are very serious about soba – buckwheat noodles – in the Kansai region and nowhere more serious than Genji Soba. Genji was founded in 1929 down at Shinsekai and relocated to the Minami district of Namba in the 60’s.
Here the focus is on good provenance. The menu gives a nod to the growers of rice, buckwheat and daikon whom the restaurant has contracts with some going back decades. Much of the food is organic, MSG free and all served in a non-smoking environment in order to enhance your soba eating experience. Even the water used to make the noodles is spring sourced so as to not contaminate the pure buckwheat with the harsh Osaka municipal tap water.
We tried the juu-wari soba made from 100% buckwheat milled on a hand-cranked grindstone in the front of the shop. This textured, firm soba is served chilled with a rich dipping sauce.
Later soba-yu (water used to cook the soba) was brought out to enjoy with the rest of the sauce. Soba –yu is meant to strengthen the immune system and lower blood pressure.
We also tried ankake soba. Although not on the menu the chef was happy to make this classic hot bowl of soba served in a thick slightly sweet soup.
Don’t be surprised if they ask you for your photo at the end of the meal and a few comments for the guest book.
The hospitality is excellent and they have both an English menu and speak a few words as well.
Genji is a few minutes walk from Namba Station.
Open 12 – 3pm, 6 pm to 11 pm (last order at 10:30 pm). Closed on Sundays.