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Fukagawa Soba ($19) is a winter specialty menu

By Maiko Kobayashi, translated by Bruce Rutledge,

Soba has become trendy in the US. No place in Seattle has a better grasp of this trend than Kamonegi, featuring tempura and homemade soba noodles. It recently opened in Fremont. “Soba is delicious throughout the year,” says owner/chef and soba expert Mutsuko Soma. “We’ll put our efforts into offering a seasonal menu that customers will enjoy.”

The luxurious aroma and pleasurable feeling of the noodles going down your throat are just some of soba’s charms. Soma reflects on each day’s climate and temperature when she makes the noodles. She makes several versions of dashi, using dried bonito purchased from Japan at times, and changes the way she uses them depending on whether she’s serving cold or hot noodles.

Fukugawa Soba ($19), a winter specialty, offers the mellow fragrance of black garlic oil to spark your appetite. The tangy, spicy taste of shichimi and leeks with the noodles make for an addictive combo.  The soup is made with either dried bonito dashi, sodabushi fish dashi or mackerel dashi. The Manila clams give the soup that extra depth that makes you want to drink every last drop.

Satsuma Yam Tempura with buckwheat honey gorgonzola$8

Tempura and soba are a popular combination. Satsuma Imo Tempura ($8) features a piping hot but gently sweet satsuma potato. It comes with seasoning, soba honey and gorgonzola cheese, which all have amazing chemistry with each other. There are also local vegetables, and surprising items like celery root tempura.

Juicy and soft Yakitori duck tsukune with soft egg $14 is worth a try

The yakitori duck tsukune with soft egg ($14) is juicy and soft. There’s also homemade chicken tsukune, a delicious dish made from whole chickens purchased from a California farm. There’s demi-glace, teriyaki, original sauce and, of course, the homemade shichimi to try.

Tsukemono assorted housemade pickle$14 is perfect with Sake

Japanese sake stands out on the drink menu. There are plenty of brands to pair with your dishes. The restaurant has the same sort of equipment to warm your sake that you’d see at an outdoor yatai food cart. You can even try blowfish sake. “I want to offer things that you can only try here,” Soma says. The chef’s unique sense gives a subtle twist to Japan’s traditional tastes. Depending on the day, Chef Soma may offer an inspired, out-of-the-blue menu. Kamonegi is a small space, so reservations are recommended.

Toshikoshi Soba in Seattle

In Japan, there’s a tradition to eat toshikoshi soba at the end of the year to wish for good health and a long life. Kamonegi will open on Sunday, December 31, for lunch and dinner so that people can have their special year-end soba.

Find the bright red window frame and Kamonegi logo on 39th

1054 N. 39th St., Seattle
(206) 632-0185

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The North American Post is a community newspaper that celebrates Japanese culture in the Greater Seattle area. Founded by 1st generation Japanese-Americans in 1902, the publication is one of the oldest minority-owned newspapers in the region. Today, with bilingual articles in English and Japanese, the publication connects readers with diverse cultural backgrounds to Seattle’s Japanese community. Our articles include local news, event calendars, restaurant reviews, Japanese cooking recipes, community interviews, and more.