Katsuki Sakurai: Europe’s best soba maker
Originally from Tokyo, soba master Katsuki Sakurai has always wanted to live abroad. When the fashion company he was working for proposed him to move to Paris and take care of their new soba restaurant, Sakurai didn’t doubt a second and embarked on a new adventure. To learn the complex art of soba making, he became an apprentice of Japan’s best soba master from Kyushu, Takahashi Kunihiro. After learning the craft for one year he then moved to Paris, where he has been the head chef of Yen restaurant for almost 20 years.
At first sight very simple, the craft of soba making requires lots of know-how and skills. Water and buckwheat flour are all that you need to make soba noodles, but their high quality is essential. At Yen restaurants in Paris and London (London branch opened one year ago), Katsuki Sakurai imports buckwheat from Japan, where he grounds it, mixes with water and cuts soba daily. The speed of cutting the noodles is another crucial element. Best soba will never be too dry, perfectly ‘al dente’ and will have the beautiful aroma of buckwheat.
190 Strand, 5 Arundel St London WC2R 3DX
+44 20 3915 6976yen-london.co.uk
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