[Fuji Soba] Tachigui Soba and Recommended Menu
This post is also available in 日本語
Tachigui soba (soba-noodle stand) is found at eateries that provide soba or udon noodles in a standing format. This is traditional Japanese fast food that you can eat cheaply and quickly.
Of all of the many tachigui soba restaurants, “Nadai Fuji Soba” is a famous chain that stretches out across the metropolitan area, mainly in central Tokyo. I am sure many of you will have seen it before. Have you had the experience, though, of hesitating to use it because you do not know the system? On this occasion, I will introduce you to how to enjoy Fuji Soba.
What is Nadai Fuji Soba?
The first store (now closed) was opened in 1966 in Shibuya. Up to this point, they have expanded to more than 130 branches. Although some of the branches have a closing time, basically since the first store opened, their 24-hour business style has remained unchanged. Although it is Tachigui soba, many of the branches also have chairs inside so you can sit down and eat as well. They also offer other dishes, in addition to soba, such as udon noodles, curry & rice, or “katsu-don” (pork cutlets with rice).
Some branches offer “Rangiri soba” in addition to traditional soba as well. Typical soba noodles have a uniform thickness, but, with “Rangiri soba”, the extrusion noodle making machine can make different thicknesses of noodle. Different noodle thicknesses create differences in noodle texture.
Branches offering “Rangiri soba”
You can check this from “Shop list” on their website.
Flow from entering to leaving the store
Choose what you wish to eat and purchase a meal ticket.
Choose what you wish to eat by looking at the samples in the shop window or menu next to the ticket machine in the store. Both of these include an English description. Stand away from the ticket machine until you have decided what you want to order to prevent creating a line within the store.
At Fuji Soba, there are ticket machines located in two areas, both inside and outside the store. Once you have decided what to order, put money in the ticket machine, press the button on which the “name of the dish” or “number at the beginning of the name of the dish” is written. Take the meal ticket and find a seat.
Even with the same name of the dish, there may be both hot and cold versions. If you do not know whether the menu item written on the ticket machine button is “hot or cold”, first buy the meal ticket, and then state your preference later when handing over the ticket.
Pass over the meal ticket at the counter
Pass the meal ticket to the attendant at the galley counter. At that time, state your preference for “soba or udon” and “hot or cold”. Once you have purchased it, return to your seat and wait for the dish to be prepared. The store is self-service, so pour water into the cup by yourself. You can go and get the water while waiting for your food.
Normally, the attendant will rip the ticket, pass half of it to the customer, and call out the “number written on the half-ticket stub” when the food is ready. However, currently, at some branches they are calling out the “food name” as a measure against COVID-19.
Receive the food at the counter
When your food is ready, your “food name or number written on the ticket stub” will be called by the attendant. When called, go to the counter to pick up your food. You can find chopsticks and “Renge” (an implement like a spoon) on the counter or table.
Return the dishes to the return counter
After finishing eating, the customers tidy up their dishes themselves. Take the whole tray back to the location marked as “Return counter”.
Popular menu items
Fuji Soba has many menu items, such as limited-store or limited-period items. Particularly popular is “Niku Fuji Soba”. This is a very filling item topped with sweet & spicy pork, a half-boiled egg, “nori” seaweed, “wakame” seaweed, and green onion. Additionally, a popular item in the period from now when it becomes warm is “Hiyashi-Tokusen Fuji Soba” (Cold Special Fuji Soba). Cold soba is topped with sweet boiled “Abura-age” (fried soybean curd), imitation crabmeat, “onsen tamago” (eggs boiled in hot springs), “agedama” (tempura bits), “wakame” seaweed, and green onion. These can eat well even in summer when you tend to have less appetite.
Nadai Fuji Soba