Soba — Japanese buckwheat noodles — is usually enjoyed cold with tsuyu, a dipping sauce made by adding soy sauce and mirin to dashi (Japanese soup stock). But at new hawker stall Reiwa Soba, you won’t find the traditional tsuyu on the menu. Instead, its signature dipping sauce is a house-made chicken, fish and seaweed dashi spiked with chilli oil, with the option of smashing in a gooey soft-boiled egg.

Reiwa Soba’s owner, Shinji Matsudaira, 36, came up with his proprietary sauce some 12 years ago. The Ehime native was working in Tokyo when he came across a soba shop whose chef-owner added chilli oil to the usual tsuyu dip, and was inspired to create his own concoction. “He was the first one to do it, but there are now a few soba shops in Tokyo which have tsuyu with spicy oil,” he says.

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