For fans of soba noodles, texture is key, and noodle shop Matsugen is reputed to have perfected it. Located on the third floor of a Ginza office tower, Matsugen attracts a business lunch crowd with its quiet ambience and low-key decor: dark wood furniture with strong lines. The three Matsushita brothers—who own this and 15 other Tokyo restaurants, as well as Matsugen's Honolulu outpost—achieve noodle perfection by grinding the buckwheat for the noodles in house. They're generally served cold (heat causes them to fall apart) with a dipping sauce and sushi, tofu, and soba-noodle dumpling soup.
From the From the May 2008 Food & Wine Go List
Locals and Japanese tourists alike crowd this Waikiki offshoot of the famed Tokyo soba shrine for the nutty, al dente noodles. The restaurant grinds its own buckwheat flour and produces its soba behind a glass-partitioned bay on one side of the sleek dining room.
We loved: soba (cold noodles with a bowl of duck-studded soup).
Insider tip: The bar in the Matbaren area often has seats when the rest of the restaurant is booked.