The first time I learned that there was a referral only delicious restaurant in Cebu was in 2015.
Every time I would see pictures with the caption “Went to eat Kamakura’s soba” show up on my Facebook timeline, I would hope that one day I would too… It was perfect timing that they were in a remodeling period.
They had slightly increased the number of seats and started to open during lunch hours! Furthermore, it was now possible to visit without any referrals.
It is located in Mandaue City, Cebu.
“Kamakura” was on a street I entered a little away from the main road.
Its modest appearance with a base color of gray is oozing with class.
It’s not in a busy area, so it gives off a “hole-in-the-wall” type of impression.
When you enter, there are counter seats on the right side where you can enjoy a conversation
with the master (Mr. Sakata).
The high chairs that are not too high with just the right amount of cushioning feels very comfortable
and you can’t help but stay for a while.
It’s very nice to be able to see the master while he hand makes the soba or what Mr. Sakata is up to in front of you.
Above all, it feels as though you can catch a glimpse of “the master’s personality” and his “attitude towards food” through how orderly and clean the kitchen is.
The master is very concentrated when hand making the noodles, so please find the timing other than that to enjoy a conversation with him.
The table seat is over here.
It’s simple appearance and interior decorations are very comfortable and calming.
Abaca rope familiar in the Philippines are used on the walls and it perfectly matches the chic and modern Japanese space.
In the background, there is jazz playing in a volume that doesn’t disturb conversations.
“Moist hand towels” are given as part of the service in many restaurants in Japan.
It is one of the services that you cannot readily expect in Cebu. However, in Kamakura, you are served a nice cold moist hand towel.
They don’t seem to put any scents on it, but it felt as though it faintly smelt good.
Furthermore, the preference of using Imabari towels. It feels good on the skin and is a wonderful service.
You get refreshed right when you enter the store, and surely not only Japanese, but many local Filipinos will also feel like “this is the Japanese hospitality”.
Quench your thirst with soba tea with a strong aroma along with edamame arranged like art.
With each and every carefully offered service, my expectations for the food rise.
This time, we entrusted them with the choice of course.
First is, “itawasa” served with soy sauce seasoned with grated wasabi.
With each bite, the flavor of kamaboko spreads in the mouth and you are immediately drawn into the world of gourmet food.
Next is “Cold tofu”. On top is “tonburi”, also known as caviar of the field.
I was amazed to learn that I would be able to enjoy the bubbly texture of the tonburi.
My happiness was doubled because I was able to enjoy delicious tofu that I had given up on in Cebu.
「Kobujime Tai Sashimi」
I enjoyed it two ways: with soy sauce seasoned with grated wasabi and with salted seaweed.
The faint aroma of the seaweed nicely pulled out the sea bream’s flavor and I was able to have both deliciously.
Next is the 「Unagi zaku」
The unagi’s surface is crispy while the inside in fluffy and is really fatty, but with the vinegar balancing it out, it was very refreshing.
This has been the lineup leading up to the soba. It makes me want to have it again paired with some delicious liquor at the counter.
By the way, this photo was on Kamakura’s facebook!
Next is the 「Mini Unaju」
There is no need for words!!!!!!
I have completely fallen in love before the soba.
The fluffy unagi. Unagi that harmonizes with the sweet and spicy sauce. Unagi that you have together with the glossy rice.
I have had delicious Hitsumabushi and Unaju in Japan, but I really did not except to have something this delicious in Cebu (I wonder how many times I have used this phrase within this post!?)
I cannot hide my surprise because I can only imagine how difficult it is to obtain these delicious ingredients in Cebu.
But of course, I think that the preparation and the method of grilling in addition to the quality of the ingredients are splendid.
Next is the 「Unagi Soba」
Usually it is shiroyaki, so I had it when I came over after this.
I see! Just like the master said, the balance with the soba sauce is exquisite when its shiroyaki!
However, as a sauce enthusiast it is hard to say which of the two is better…!!
The fragrance and the texture of the freshly made soba that uses soba flour from Hokkaido.
It harmonizes with the fluffy unagi that captivates you.
I never knew unagi and soba match so much. I was very sad to finish eating it so I enjoyed it as slowly as I can.
Next is the 「Beef Soba」
What! Beef x Soba!? This is also a very unique combination.
This soba which you have with a little spicy sauce is also an addicting delicious taste!
Seaweed that is high in fragrance and the tenkasu that gives a deeper flavor pushes this up to become a dish of great satisfaction.
Many well off Filipinos seem to come, and this seems to be the popular amongst them.
The unagi soba and the beef soba…. We were very overwhelmed by the delicious taste that exceeded well above our expectations.
I was so in love with the soba and their other menus that it made me want to invite a friend to come over to Cebu to eat some soba!
Truthfully, I immediately referred Kamakura’s soba to a friend of mine who was in Cebu for a 3 week ESL program.
My friend’s choice was Ebiten Soba.
This soba that is served with warm soba sauce looked very appetizing as well.
Lastly, the dessert was 「Yokan from Toraya」
Its refined sweetness had me in a dreamy state of mind…
I felt the politeness and the master’s feelings in each and every one of the dishes I had, and I was able to thoroughly enjoy it.
The master, Mr. Sakata has been in Cebu for a long time and is able to speak Bisaya fluently!
Some bisaya words are mixed in when he gives instructions to his staff.
He spent 7 years in Caohagan “a rich island with nothing on it” as the first manager, then later on worked 13 years at Mepza where many Japanese affiliated companies were striving (economic industry area).
With a history like that, anyone would want to talk to him and know more!
Even though he’s been in Cebu for 20 years, I was surprised to see that instead of becoming much like the locals, he had treasured the “Japanese hospitality” and the “heart of the Japanese”.
It was like that not only with each and every one of his dishes, but also the toilet was very clean! Full automatic! Japanese style!
I felt the ultimate thoughtfulness towards the guest through the design where one does not have to touch the doors, faucet, covers, or anywhere completely.
Things that may be normal in Japan may not go as smoothly or it may be difficult in the Philippines.
However, I give my hats off to the food, and the complete making of the space that illusions you into thinking “I’m in Japan”.
Why not try “very delicious soba in Cebu” and visit Kamakura during your stay here?
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There is handling of delicious pork in Kamakura.
If you make a reservation in advance in the site, you can pay and pick up when you go to there so smooth!
Pork belly can be choose the thickness of the cut, it is easy to use it is wrapped carefully one by one,
Of cause, it is great meat and delicious!
As a local resident, it is a very nice service so it seems to be a souvenir!
Kamakura pork : http://soba-kamakura.com/pork/en
Kamakura ：SOBA Kamakura
Kamakura Facebook： https://www.facebook.com/SOBA-鎌倉-Kamakura-979683675421928/
The eel will be taken time a little to prepare and grill.