Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi (again!), 25 March 2010

It had been too long since our last meal at Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi and we missed the slippery smooth texture of their handmade soba as well as their okonomiyaki. Monsieur Poisson suggested it as a catch-up location when his friend was back in Sydney for a brief stint from London, and the place was most accommodating when we had last minute additions (2 adults and 2 young children, no less) to our dining party.

Once we have everyone assembled, we settle in with some soba chips which are a hit with the kids and allow the rest of us some time to peruse the menu.

I’m surprised when the soba chips arrive as a tangle of deep-fried stringy noodles, as I’m sure I’ve seen photos of it somewhere as flat, potato chip-style things? They’re crunchy and not at all greasy, but could do with some liberal salting in my opinion.

Next up we have some more nibbling-type food in the form of edamame, which turn out to be quite a revelation for me. I am normally not a fan of these boiled, young soy beans as the squishy texture of the overcooked pods – although discarded and not eaten themselves – are a bit of a turn-off for me. But the edamame here are just cooked enough for the sweet little gems within to be popped through and, in contrast to the soba chips, are very well seasoned.

We’ve also ordered a serve each of chicken and pork gyoza to share. They’ve been split so that four of each appear on each plate and there is an initial confusion as how to tell, and taste, the two apart. It transpires that the chicken ones are sweeter and juicier, whilst the pork ones have a meatier flavour. Nevertheless, both are enclosed in thin dumpling wrappers and are fried to golden-bottomed crispiness.

Once again Monsieur Poisson and I find it hard to go past ordering something from the specials menu, especially when our attention is caught by the promise of flavoured soba. In this case it’s the ‘Three-flavoured tori & kinoko seiro soba’ with green tea, Earl Grey and plain soba served cold accompanied by a hot chicken and mushroom dipping broth. The soba is wonderful without even a hint of graininess and the tea flavoured ones are most refreshing, with the Earl Grey being much more subtle in taste than the green tea variety. As with our last visit, the staff considerately split this serve of soba in two when Monsieur Poisson indicates that we will be sharing it between us.

And then we have the okonomiyaki. It’s the ‘Ju Ge Mu Special’ which features such wonderful things as bacon, scallops, prawns and calamari covered in a tangy barbecue sauce, spring onions and squiggles of mayonnaise. As always served with a tin of nori flakes and bonito shavings (AKA sawdust, by one Dr King) alongside for sprinkling, the okonomiyaki is savoury, sweet, salty and tangy all at once – should rate highly on the umami scale, yes?

Monsieur Poisson and I do not pass up on dessert this time. He goes for the ‘Zenzai ice-cream’ which has the simple combination of green tea ice-cream, azuki beans and ‘slippery dumplings’. Actually, at first, he orders this entirely out of curiosity for what the ‘slippery dumplings’ could be, and all is revealed when the dessert arrives with flat discs of unfilled mochi – chewy glutinous goodness!

As for me, I revisit the ‘Ice-cream Tempura’ fondly remembered from a previous visit. There’s actually not a lot of ice-cream within, but I’m quite taken by the hidden raspberries and their tartness contrasted by the chocolate sauce. The tempura coating is crisp and any possible greasiness is negated by the pieces of fresh fruit alongside.

Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi
246 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW
Tel: (02) 9904 3011

Opening Hours:  Mon  CLOSED
Tue-Sat  12pm-2pm (lunch)
Tue-Sun  6pm-9:30pm (dinner)

Ju Ge Mu & Shimbashi on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. I loooove this place, been there so many times, but I can go back anytime for both the hand made soba and the okonomiyaki!

  2. Looks good :) gotta say I love well salted dishes :)

  3. Looks like a great meal - I still need to get myself over the bridge and try this place out!

  4. I can't wait for Maria to take me here. I have a love affair with Japanese food and i think japanese food loves me too ;)

  5. mmmm this has made me realise I haven't had Japanese food for aaaaages.... I <3 gyoza and edamame.
    i love the sound of the soba.... earl grey would be interesting!

  6. these photos are gorgeous Sunbeam!

  7. The soba chips look really interesting, I would have been quiet along with the kids ;p

  8. Ah yes we had the soba chips (in their Singapore outlet of all places). The serving was incredibly large and really, I would have loved to have taken them home for TV snacking.

  9. this is probably one of my favourite places in sydney!
    anyway, just wanted to let you know i've awarded you with the 'sweet blog award'. swing by my blog and pass the award along :)

  10. what a cute japanese place this is! im curious to try the earl grey soba with the broth looks like something really soothing for the cold.

    I loveeeee edamame beans ^_^ <3 <3

  11. I like you use the word "again" on the title. I go back to this place again and again for their soba and okonomiyaki.

  12. Mmmm getting okonomiyaki withdrawal. Haven't been here in such a long time! Where have I been eating :S?

  13. Their noodles are quite addictive aren't they! I just love okonomiyaki too :)

  14. Hey Maria, don't you love how the soba noodle strands have that rustic, handcut look about them?

    Hey Fiona, yeah, bit of a pain when dishes are not seasoned well.

    Hey missklicious, it's a little bit out of the way but the food really is worth the trip here.

    Hey Amy, so did you like this place when you tried it over the weekend?

    Hey Shellie, I have such a soft spot for meat-filled dumplings...of any sort! Steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried, baked...

    Hey Gastronomy Gal, thank you!

    Hey Sara, haha, nothing like squiggly deep-fried noodles to bring out the kid in you? =p

    Hey Helen, although great for presentation, I would've liked the soba chips to be a little less tangly for ease of eating!

    Hey Panda, I love that there's a real authentic touch about the food here. And thanks for the award! I will try to post about it soon(ish) =p

    Hey Leona, there seems to be flavoured soba featured on the specials menu every time I'm there. But as to what flavour, then that's just the luck of the draw.

    Hey Ellie, same...I can't help but keep going back again and again and rave about it to people who haven't been!

    Hey FFichiban, this is THE place for okonomiyaki in Sydney!

    Hey Lorraine, I can't go back to dried packet soba now... =(


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