Table Setting #140
Welcome the Summer Season with Chilled Somen Noodles

During the sweltering summer months, a popular way to cool down is by enjoying Japan's flavorful summer cuisine. "Somen" noodles, made of wheat and served cold, are a summer staple that provides cool pleasantry even on the hottest of days. Its white and soothing appearance, and refreshing taste enhanced with a flavorsome dipping sauce makes somen one of the most popular menus for a relaxing lunch at home, especially during the hot seasons of July and August. 

Our table setting will show you how to enjoy an authentic somen lunch complete with somen and chilled sake on a hot summer day. Learn how to create a cool ambience on the table with an array of tableware in white and blue hues.  

Contents

  • Beat the Heat with a Somen Lunch
  • Serving Somen 
  • Functional and Elegant Sauce Plates
  • Cold Sake in the Summer
  • Featured Items

Key points of this table setting

1. Beat the Heat with a Somen Lunch

The humid air of summer sometimes makes it difficult to find something to eat when you don't have much of an appetite. That's why somen noodles are an ideal choice - they are served cold with a delicately flavored dipping sauce. 

To set the stage for a somen lunch, we began with a dark table adorned with white porcelain decorated with blue lines and designs. The dark background gives depth and tranquility, while the blue patterns, reminiscent of summer skies and seas, infuse a sense of calm and serenity to the tablescape.

If you are in search for a summer table look, go for the subtle elegance of "Sometsuke" tableware. This style of decoration only using an indigo pigment to adorn surfaces, brings a serenity into any atmosphere with its simple yet exquisite beauty.

To further bring out the vibrancy of summer vegetables, try Tobe ware with graceful blue arabesque motifs on a thick and sturdy stoneware surface. 

The Kutani Choemon Kiln is renowned for their stunning blue modern designs on white Kutani ware. Their tableware items are shining examples of how traditional craftsmanship can be successfully blended with contemporary aesthetics.

2.  Serving Somen

Once the table is ready, present your somen in the best way at the table. Use a bamboo tray to display the chilled noodles - lay the thin noodles evenly on the neatly woven fibers of bamboo. Place a small bowl with the dipping sauce next to it, and garnishes such as grated ginger, sliced green onions and slices of "sudachi, " a green summer citrus that adds a refined tanginess to the dipping sauce.

Hold a small batch of noodles with your chopsticks and dip them into the sauce. The dipping sauce for somen is full of umami flavors and a delightful enhancement to the subtle taste of the noodles. Trying different condiments with somen is also part of the fun. For example, adding ginger or green onions to your dipping sauce will give it an entirely new flavor that you may have never tried before.

3. Functional and Elegant Sauce Plates 

Sauce plates are essential to a Japanese table setting. These small, often intricately designed items are used to serve condiments, small appetizers or pickled vegetables, each intended to complement and balance the flavors on the table. As such, several sauce plates may be placed on the table for guests during a meal as seen in our table design. 

Sauce plates also provide aesthetic value. With various shapes, sizes and designs available, they add a sense of visual interest and charm. Sauce plates may appear simple at first glance, but they are truly an intrinsic component of Japanese cuisine and its presentation.

4. Cold Sake in the Summer

Enjoy cold sake with the chilled somen. We love using the Green Bamboo 3-Piece Edo Glass Sake Set from Hirota for serving cold sake. Styled after fresh green bamboo, the serene green glass is overlaid with sheer glass in an exact sequence to achieve a subtle pale green hue, perfectly conveying the beauty of bamboo.

On a hot summer day, give your body a rest and opt for something new for lunch. Somen is the perfect choice for a classic Japanese meal that is both healthy and tasty. This traditional Japanese option provides the perfect balance of refreshment and flavor for a light summertime meal.

Featured Items

Sometsuke

The aesthetic charm of Sometsuke tableware is in its subtle beauty. Diverse shades of blue on white porcelain make a Sometuske item the perfect match for Japanese cuisine. The two colors of blue and white create an eye-catching contrast that is both mesmerizing and harmonious.

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