Kisoji was founded in 1977, but 15 years ago, the second-generation owner, Takeshi Miyazaki, returned to Fukuoka and revamped the soba shop after his culinary training in Tokyo. He sources different kinds of soba from farmers all over Japan to create delicious seasonal dishes from hand-ground soba flour. Most soba-makers won’t change the flour-to-binding agent ratio, but Miyazaki will make slight adjustments depending on the provenance of the soba. He also employs different noodle-making techniques to achieve different effects: nihachi style for a smooth, slurpable noodle, or juwari style to emphasize the soba flavor. The broth, made from thickly sliced bonito, kombu kelp and soy sauce, also enhances the flavor. Kisoji also serves local sake, a practice Miyazaki brought back from Tokyo, where sake and soba go hand-in-hand. (Tipplers can opt for the sake sampler.) Once you try Kisoji, you may never see soba in the same light again.
Menu: Kisoji-zen ¥1,400, stone-ground seiro w/tempura ¥1,600, stone-ground seiro w/ dipping sauce ¥1,510, ita-soba (2~3 servings) ¥2,250, stone-ground seiro ¥760, coarse-ground soba (limited servings) ¥880, organic salad soba ¥1,280, stone-ground yamakake soba ¥1,080, spicy daikon soba ¥1,080, duck soba ¥1,510, tempura soba ¥1,410, kake-soba ¥760, tamago-don ¥860, oyako-don ¥970, katsu-don ¥1,080, tendon ¥1,400, soba tofu ¥280, hand-ground sobagaki ¥880, sake sampler (3 varieties) ¥780, sake (180ml) ¥750~, draft beer ¥540, shochu ¥540~, wine (glass) ¥650
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn211, Jul. 2016)