Fukuya soba restaurant is a hidden gem in the Kamakura restaurant scene. Its authentic, Japanese cuisine (constituting mainly soba and ramen), along with an impressive array of Nihonshu (Japanese sake), is both fresh and local. Located down winding, narrow Kamakura back streets, simply stumbling upon Fukuya is almost impossible for travelers – unless they know where to look.
Eating soba is completely satisfying, from the soft, silky texture of the noodles to the burst of smoky flavors released in the sauce. Even the way you eat it is addictive. Unlike with some cultures, bringing the bowl to your lips to drink the sauce is not considered rude. In fact, it is recommended in Japan. I have to say that, even at home, I do not eat soba any other way.
Feeling the bowl’s smooth rim on your lips is incredibly satisfying. Using a fork or a spoon just wouldn’t feel right anymore. Whether slurping on cooled soba during the summer months or warm soba in the winter, this simple Japanese dish stays incredibly satisfying at any time throughout the year.
Fukuya sources their buckwheat noodles locally while also preparing their delicious homemade sauce in-house. So, not only are you enjoying fresh soba, prepared in front of you, but you are are also helping support the local Kamakura community at this restaurant.
The exterior of Fukuya features typical Japanese style noren curtains. Its equally Japanese interior has large bottles of expensive Nihonshu alongside rows upon rows of crafted sake cups at your selection. There are a few coat hangers and a small walkway leading to your seat, although there remains barely enough room for taking off your coat inside. This may sound like a bad thing, but it is actually the exact part that I enjoyed the most.
The soba aside, you just don’t get any restaurant with this atmosphere anywhere in England. With only enough room to fill the six bar stools at the old, wooden counter that carries the feel of a bar more than a restaurant, the whole place does have a very cozy feel. Behind the intimate counter is a single chef, who you can observe preparing your meal before your eyes. That is the most magical thing about this new eating experience. It is completely intimate.
There is something about Fukuya’s tiny coziness that I really like. If you haven’t experienced this dining style, I would highly recommend this truly Japanese culinary journey.