Buck Noodle

Sakurai focuses on sophisticated soba

Teiichi Sakurai, whose dining innovations include skewered beef tongue and live lobsters on ice that twitch and stare at diners seated in front of the open kitchen, has a jones for buckwheat. After selling off Tei Tei Robata Bar (to opening chef Katsutoshi Sakamoto) and Teppo Yakitori and Sushi Bar with its concomitant lounge Moosh (to opening chef Masayuki Otaka) some months ago, Sakurai is assembling a noodle house called Tei Am in One Arts Plaza to open next October. It's not just any noodle house. Tei Am is a soba noodle house, whereby buckwheat is whittled into precise 1.5 millimeter strands via intensive hand-rolling and cutting, a process Sakurai perfected during a rigorous five-week soba sabbatical in Japan last winter. "It's a very sophisticated way to make it," Sakurai says. "There's only six people that can do it in this country right now, including us." The labor is such that Tei Am will serve just 50 meals per day with bou sushi—or sushi composed into long bar-like shapes.


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