Got pretty excited when the news of Reiwa Soba opening a new outlet at Trengganu Street had first been announced on their social media account — have been very much a convert ever since we tried their buckwheat soba that is made from scratch ever since their days as a coffeeshop stall at Kelantan Lane. The folks behind the stall had since expanded to operate several standalone outlets, including Reiwa Soba Honten at Bedok Reservoir Road, as well as the new Soba Kappo Reiwa that is located within Hotel Calmo. Whilst the address is stated as 25 Trengganu Street, the main entrance to Soba Kappo Reiwa is actually situated at the neighbouring Smith Street just opposite the now-defunct Chinatown Food Street, and also several doors away from Ah Pui Tiong Bahru Satay towards Chinatown Complex Market. Their new space is decked in a simplistic style similar to that of their Bedok Reservoir Road outlet though smaller; reservations are recommended before making a visit. Offering their signature Reiwa Pork Soba and Reiwa Chicken Soba that has been a mainstay on the menu since their days as a coffeeshop stall at Kelantan Lane, Soba Kappo Reiwa also serves up other soba dishes including a small variety of hot soba, side dishes and appetisers, rice dishes such as Donburi and a Maki that is dubbed the Reiwa Roll, Agemono — Deep Fried items and Sushi. Being fairly similar to Reiwa Soba Honten, Soba Kappo Reiwa serves up a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages — their signature for the former being the Homemade Umeshi, whilst those who are looking for a non-alcoholic variant can opt for the Honey Ume Soda.

Going straight for the chef’s recommendation, we found ourselves trying out a new item after having mostly only ordered the Reiwa Pork Soba and Reiwa Chicken Soba during our previous visits to both Reiwa Soba at Kelantan Lane and Reiwa Soba Honten at Bedok Reservoir Road. The Sea Bream Kake Soba (Hot) is an item that features the same 100% handmade buckwheat soba that is pretty much the icon of Reiwa Soba since Day One; all that with slices of sea bream that seems to be cooked in the same broth that it comes with. This was a refreshing change from the usual Reiwa Pork Soba and Reiwa Chicken Soba which we were used to having — a bit of a lighter and more refreshing item against the one that we are familiar with which was more of an item created with a fusion approach. We were told to have the item fast, and for a good reason — the buckwheat soba noodles actually soak up that broth pretty quickly; to have it fast is to avoid the buckwheat soba noodles from turning too soft after absorbing the broth for an extended period of time. What we really liked in this broth is how light it was — that slight touch of umami from what seems to be a bonito stock with the addition of kelp, made with a slight refreshing zing coming from the yuzu zest that they had included. Whilst the sea bream is added to this one, we were pretty glad how the entire bowl didn’t taste particularly fishy — the slices of fish also being pretty fresh and flaky as well. Would say that the Sea Bream Kake Soba (Hot) is an item that would work even for those days that one is feeling under the water — the hot soup not only is particularly heartwarming, but also feels gentle to the gut without being lacking in flavour; the item also is best to paired with their Homemade Umeshi that adds a slightly dreamy touch.

Reiwa Soba has been a favourite of ours even since we had tried them during their initial days at Kelantan Lane; their effort in making buckwheat soba from scratch and their fusion approach makes them a standout from the dining scene in Singapore; one that is all about skill and execution of the craft, whilst tuning it to the preferences of local diners to bring the dish closer to the masses. It is also pretty amazing to see how they have grown over time; from just a coffeeshop stall offering a limited menu to a full-fledged restaurant that had expanded to serving other forms of Japanese cuisine using some locally-sourced ingredients, they have also been consistent in their quality all this while. Perhaps it is this reason that makes them still pretty popular especially amongst Japanese expats. Seating is fairly limited in this outlet, so reservations are recommended — that being said, looking forward to what the folks of Reiwa Soba would be able to put out in the future; also hoping that we would be able to move on from their soba offerings and try the Reiwa Tendon the next round, which features a tempura pieces with a buckwheat flour that sounds pretty appetising!