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Feb 14, 2010 06:04 AM

Soy Sauce & Butter Spaghetti at Japonaise Bakery in Tustin with PHOTOS


There are some ingredients that just work naturally together. Olive oil and balsamic. Milk and eggs. Peanut butter and jelly.

But soy sauce and butter? On pasta? Believe or not, it's a pairing short of heaven sent. And who might have attempted this? Some world-renowned molecular gastronomic alchemist?


The Japanese.

In this case, the second coming of Tustin's Japonaise Bakery & Cafe, which has recently been transformed into a donburi/pasta/curry joint.

It should be no surprise however. It was, after all, Japanese experimentalists dabbling in east-meets-west fusion that has given us such dishes like uni spaghetti and mentaiko pasta (which is also on the menu, by the way).

But until this dish, I never heard of soy sauce and butter being uttered in the same breath, much less occupying the same plate. Together they amount to a pasta sauce that has a surplus of umami, the fifth flavor -- a word also coined by the Japanese, which loosely translates to "savory delicious."

The butter rounds out the soy sauce's saltiness; and the soy keeps the butter from becoming too rich. And then there are the sauteed mushrooms, which soak up and marry the two flavors in an even more concentrated form inside themselves.

Slices of breast meat chicken were also in the dish. But the fact that they were slightly overcooked can be easily forgiven because of the goodness that surrounded them -- soy sauce plus butter equals culinary kismet.

Japonaise Bakery & Cafe
600 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 665-8239


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  1. that sounds good, I make a soy butter sauce for fish sometimes

    1. Sounds delicious! I'll have to make my way there on a weekend.

      BTW, Yosuke in Anaheim Hills makes a butter, soy sauce and sake w/mushrooms dish that's also quite good. Never heard of the butter/soy sauce combo on noodles until now, so thank you for the heads up.

      1. plz tell me the transformation was merely an addition and that the bakery part still remains (i rather like the strawberry croissants). ;d

        1 Reply
        1. re: namstermonster

          Cream Pan is still there, as a separate entity two doors down in the same building! And yes, the strawberry croissants are very much still there as well.

          I had some last week!

        2. That sounds really delicious. I used to go to sushi restaurant that made the most wonderful sushi out of enoki mushrooms sauteed in soy sauce and butter, so I can see how this would be good. I can't wait to try it.

          1. Yes, this was quite a surprising dish to discover. Not just because it's new to Japonaise (I think), but it's new to me. They also have a new roster of donburi's which look very good.

            One thing to note though: They are closed on Mondays!