What is abura soba?
Ramen comes in all different flavors and different variations. Even different colors. But did you know it can even come without soup? This incarnation is called abura soba. The name can be misleading since most people know soba as thin buckwheat noodles. But the noodles used in abura soba tend to be the nice and thick variety typically used in certain types of ramen. The other word in that name is “abura” which means “oil” in Japanese. So yes, the name of the dish, if translated into English would indeed be “oil noodles.” Wait, wait, before you click off of this page at how disgusting that might sound, hear me out. It’s actually a very delicious Japanese dish that should be part of your food bucket list in Japan despite what images those two words together might conjure.
Abura soba is a relatively new dish on the Japanese food scene, at least in terms of popularity, so, if you’re adventurous and in the mood for something just a tad different from the usual fare you could do no better than paying a visit to Akihabara’s BEEFst.
Beef-ify your abura soba at Akihabara’s BEEFst
Standard abura soba is topped with the usual ramen toppings, i. e. chashu, egg, menma, green onions, etc. But what sets BEEFst apart is the roast beef topping adorning their signature dish.
The toppings on the standard BEEFst bowl are simple which is good for those who prefer simplicity over the usual cluttered bowl of ramen. The beef is as tender as you’d expect looking at the pictures, but it’s also topped with ground beef in a special sauce, chopped white onions, sprigs of kaiware sprouts, and a dollop of something white. At first, I thought the white stuff might have been sour cream. But what the white stuff turned out to be, to my surprise, was mayonnaise. Wait, wait, I’m losing you again. I get it. Mayonnaise in oil noodles. Not the most appealing combination of words, but the flavors worked together, and the mayonnaise added a nice creamy texture to it that I didn’t realize I missed until I had it.
If mayonnaise isn’t your thing, you can order a bowl without it. Or, if you’re adventurous you can replace it (for an extra charge, of course) with a couple of other yummy extras like avocado, poached egg and a silky cheese sauce. There also 3 recommended (free) toppings: Wasabi, chopped onion and chopped garlic (Wasabi is a personal fave).
They also have a duck version of their bowl if you aren’t in the mood for beef. Hey, even if you aren’t in the mood for noodles (why would you be in a ramen place if you weren’t, though) they also have you covered there with a roast beef rice bowl.
BEEFst is located in a somewhat secluded part of Akihabara, which is perfect if you just want to get away from the crowds of tourists and rival bargain figure hunters and just chow down on a hearty bowl of noodles. Who knows, maybe a maid or a butler from the neighborhood may join you.