City Gem: Ryukusoki Labo

Just a 4 minute walk away from Section L Ginza East, it is easily spotted by the pink and purple shisa statue outside. Shisa are guardian lions and have a different purpose depending on whether their mouth is open or closed. The former wards off evil spirits and the latter keeps good spirits in. You know you’ll be protected from evil while eating here!

Okinawa soba is also known as soki soba since soki (boneless pork ribs) is the most common topping to have on them. A quick look at the menu outside shows 6 dine-in options to choose from. At the top, staring back at you in all its mouth-watering glory is the No. 1 item on the menu—soki soba. From left to right below that, the other topping options are an extra serving of meat, vegetables, dandan (a saucy combination of minced meat, preserved vegetables, and a variety of spices), mozuku (stringy Okinawa seaweed), or Spam.

Want more than one topping because they all sound good? There’s the option to purchase other toppings when you order through the ticket-dispensing machine inside. After handing over your ticket(s) to the chef, here’s an example of what you’ll get.

We got a soki soba with Spam as an additional topping. Though it’s called soba, it doesn’t look like the typical brown buckwheat noodles that you’re thinking of! Its texture is closer to that of udon. Other standard ingredients included are scallions, a slice of kameboko (Japanese fishcake), and pink pickled ginger. Koregusu (sauce made from chilis soaked in awamori rice spirit) is also available to add if you like a little spice and acidity in your soup ⬇️

Do you prefer eating in? Ryukyusoki Labo has pre-packed sets you can buy to make the dish at your accommodation.

All the rooms at Section L Ginza East are equipped with a kitchen, so you can prepare your Okinawa soba there and have a relaxing time in!