Shimbashi Soba (Paragon)

The novelty of watching your soba freshly made aside, there is nothing much to shout about here, not even the soba itself.

The Hana Skokado lunch set, while giving good value with a bowl of soba, a variety of sushi, sashimi, tempura, tofu, chicken cutlets and soft shell crab, was average. The much-hyped-about buckwheat soba turned out to be a disappointment—it was not al dente or smooth in the slurp-friendly way soba is supposed to be. The soba was also served in the broth, not separately like how it is should be enjoyed.

Two things deserved the thumbs-up, though—the unusual but spectacular matcha cheesecake with vanilla ice-cream and red bean, and the prompt, pleasant service even during peak hour. We won’t be back for the soba, but we might come back during tea-time for their smooth, pleasantly sweet sake and more of their delectable desserts.