Nadai Fuji Soba is a popular restaurant chain that's open 24 hours a day and offers casual and incredibly tasty buckwheat soba noodles! You’ll find these restaurants in various convenient spots, such as right next to a station, so simply hop by for an authentic Japanese gourmet experience, rich in taste and reasonably priced! This time, we asked the famous Nadai Fuji Soba what the most popular choices among its international diners are!
We went over to the Nadai Fuji Soba in Akihabara’s Electric Town. As many as 300 international tourists visit the restaurant in a single day! It’s right next to Akihabara Station and right at the entrance of the famous Electric Town, making it a popular spot for both Japanese and international guests.
The restaurant is fairly small with merely 25 seats, all tables have proper chairs and let you enjoy your soba delicacies leisurely.
Well, which items on the menu are the most popular? We’re comparing the top 3 of international and Japanese guests respectively, asking the shopkeeper for the reason behind the popularity!
Insanely Popular with International Guests! The Heavenly Combination of Egg and Sweetish Sauce...
#1 Katsudon (490 yen)
Surprisingly, the most sought-after dish for international guests of Fuji Soba in Akihabara’s Electric Town is not soba but katsudon, pork cutlet bowl! The breaded pork cutlet is cooked in dashi broth and topped with soy sauce-based sauce, egg, and onions. It certainly is a Japanese original! A lot of people who visit the store apparently say that the one thing they want to eat when coming to Japan is katsudon!
The pork cutlet is wonderfully thick! Fuji Soba’s katsudon offers plenty of substantiality! The special sauce that glazes the fresh eggs boasts a wonderful dashi aroma, piquing the appetite immediately. The juicy crunchiness of the onions is also perfect and the white rice has been soaked by the flavorful sauce – it’s impossible to put the chopsticks down.
It’s one of the signature dishes of Fuji Soba and is extremely popular among the non-Japanese guests. And at 490 yen per bowl, the price is also excellent for tourists, offering a lot of flavor for very little money. On top of that, for international guests who'd prefer not to have buckwheat noodles, katsudon is a great alternative.
#2 Niku Fuji Soba (470 yen)
The second place in the non-Japanese popularity ranking is Niku Fuji Soba (buckwheat noodles with meat) with pork and slow-boiled egg. The secret to this bowl’s popularity is the exquisite blend of full-fledged buckwheat taste and the rich flavor of meat. Non-Japanese people tend to like hard-boiled eggs rather than soft ones, so the Japanese slow-cooked “onsen tamago” egg seems to be interesting as well. Even people who don’t like raw eggs seem to enjoy these slow-boiled eggs a lot.
During summer (between April and September, to be precise), this dish is also available as chilled, featuring cold soba topped with pork, egg, and pungent sauce. It’s particularly popular not only because it’s a great choice for the scorching summer heat but also the taste differs from the regular menu.
#3 Tempura soba (410 yen)
The third place on the popularity ranking for international guests is tempura soba, buckwheat noodles topped with crisply fried vegetable and seafood tempura called kakiage. Eating freshly fried tempura, crunchy to perfection and enjoyed with soba sauce, is obviously popular among non-Japanese people. Fuji Soba’s soba sauce is made from fresh soup stock and soy sauce from Shodoshima, a flavor that seems to be well-beloved among the store’s international guests as well.
Japanese People go for Soba, of Course! Fried Food Plus Soba is Addictively Delicious!
Let’s look at the top 3 popular choices of Japanese guests next! Especially young men come to Akihabara Electric Town and the area boasts a distinctive local character. Again, it seems that dishes with good volume at great prices are particularly sought-after.
The kakiage that tops the tempura soba at Fuji soba measures a whole 12 to 13cm in diameter. It’s also rather heavy if you try to lift it with your chopsticks. Whether you eat it in its crispy state or dip it in the sauce is entirely up to you – it’s delicious either way!
Pleasantly savory sauce coats the soba noodles for a rich flavor experience. The noodle portion is generous and is just right for a lot of people, but big eaters can further top the bowl with fried delicacies, inari sushi, and other delectable additions. One reason why Fuji Soba is so popular is the possibility to arrange the soba bowls in your own way!
#2 Katsudon (490 yen)
What is in first place for non-Japanese guests is in second place for Japanese people! While the main Akihabara demographic – young men – may be responsible for this ranking, Fuji Soba’s fresh and juicy cutlet bowl does have a lot of fans of all ages and genders. Rich in taste and very reasonably priced, it’s easy to see why it ranks high for both international tourists and Japanese people. The special sauce is also a key component!
#3 Croquette Soba (410 yen)
The croquette soba ranks in third place for popularity with Japanese guests! As the name suggests, this bowl has a crispy croquette on top of the generous, warm soba serving and is usually found in soba standing bars. The potato croquette is infused with mixed vegetables, seaweed, and green onion and while being rather voluminous, each bite is light and crunchy nonetheless! Dipped in the sauce, it goes from a satisfying crunch to a rich juiciness, offering an entirely different gourmet experience. The oil of the fried croquette likewise gives the soba broth a unique taste!
Signature Dish Popularity: Katsuon and Tempura Soba are the Clear Winners!
We’ve seen what the most popular dishes are among Fuji Soba’s Japanese and international guests, and the clear winners of this little contest are the shop’s signature dishes: juicy katsudon and crispy tempura soba! A lot of customers also seem to look for volume in their dishes, which is why meat and fried dishes are high in popularity as well.
Store manager: “People come to enjoy the original menu of Fuji Soba, no matter if they’re Japanese or from abroad. In summer, we offer the Meat Fuji Soba as chilled, so please give that one a try as well. Our shop’s international customers usually ask for warm soba, I think they’re not really used to eating cold dishes like this. However, we offer our soba at a reasonable price, so I’d be happy if people challenged their eating habits and try cold dishes, fried chicken, for example. Of course, we are happy to answer any extra requests such as extra wasabi as well!”
Fuji Soba is most crowded during lunch. Between noon and 2 p.m., the shop seems to be filled to the last seat.
Store manager: “Of course, lunch is the most crowded time, but our shop is ever really empty. Besides the dishes introduced in the popularity rankings, we offer a variety of other soba creations for both lunch and dinner. For a casual soba experience, we also have simple dishes such as morisoba (300 yen), kakesoba (300 yen), or wakamesoba (370 yen).”
Nadai Fuji Soba in Akihabara Electric Town also has a case with food samples outside the store, each of them with a number. If you see something that you like, get a meal ticket at the vending machine at the shop’s entrance for that specific number and hand it to the staff. The number of the dish will be called out and you can pick up your freshly made dish. The soba noodles can be replaced with the thicker udon noodles as well, so simply tell the staff “udon ni shitai” as you hand over your ticket if you’d prefer your bowl that way.
Store manager: “We call out the numbers in English, but oftentimes, our international guests don’t notice that they were called. Since it’s a shop with a self-service system, I’d be grateful if people paid a bit more attention to that. (laughs) However, a lot of people seem to be surprised at the speed of the kitchen, saying ‘Sorry, I didn’t think it would be ready that fast.’ That is because we prepare the raw soba in the morning at every store and boil them fresh for every order, so that’s a very authentic taste I’d like people to try. And oh, it would be great if people returned their dishes once they’re done eating. (laughs)”
Nadai Fuji Soba indeed serves the authentic flavor of Japanese buckwheat noodles for very reasonable prices, which is the key to its popularity. Whether as a full-fledged lunch or dinner or as a snack to recharge your energies, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try this part of traditional Japanese cuisine in its many delicious variations!
Nadai Fuji Soba Akihabara Electric Town名代 富士そば 秋葉原電気街店
- Address 1-14-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 101-002
- Phone Number 03-6276-3857
Written by Chiemi Matsumura
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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