The Weekend That Ended with Soba Noodles Served on an Ice Block

The weekend was a rather busy one, with a whole Saturday spent on moving office (yes Olympus Malaysia has shifted our office out from Mon't Kiara to Ascent in Kelana Jaya), and today (Sunday)  we just had a morning Olympus Photowalk which was led by me, at KL Bird Park. Therefore, I had most of my time sucked out and left me with very little opportunity for shutter therapy. I decided to just take it slow with whatever free time I have left, had plenty of coffee, and checked out an interesting place that serves noodles on ice blocks!

This was shot with 40-150mm F2.8 PRO on Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, at 135mm focal length. 

This was taken with Olympus 300mm F4 IS PRO with MC-14 1.4x tele converter, effectively capturing an equivalent of 840mm focal length, at F5.6. 

There was this friendly man working at the Bird Park which I just could not resist to take a close up portrait of him, and I did with my M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 lens.

Sunday started out at Bird Park where I loaned out Olympus superb telephoto lenses such as M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS PRO, 40-150mm F2.8 PRO and 75-300mm II lenses for our Olympus users to try and use throughout the shooting session. A total of 15 people came and it was always a great pleasure shooting alongside Olympus supporters and be inspired by each other to shoot better photographs. I managed to use the 300mm F4 PRO for the first time on my own E-M10 Mark II, and I captured a super close up shot of a Hornbill which I am quite happy about!

After the event ended, I was already so exhausted and decided to take it easy. I remembered a place that Carmen Hong has just posted about, a cafe that serves Soba in Ice Blocks! I Googled up the place, which was Harytan Tarot Cafe (yes, Hary Tan, the owner of the cafe does Tarot Card readings as well) and found that it was reachable by LRT, so I decided that to be my last destination before heading home and call it a day. 

Harytan Tarot Cafe was quite easy to find, and as I found Hary, I was told that the Soba on Ice has to be booked in advance, and there was no more available for the day. In fact, today was the last day that he served this special dish in his cafe! Not being too surprised since this item does seem to be a popular, I sat down and ordered a hot chocolate. Not too long after that, I was informed that a prior order was cancelled and I can have my Soba on Ice! Sometimes, all we need is a little positivity and the reward will definitely come. Stay optimistic always, and good things will follow. Same rules apply to photography in general. 

While waiting for the Soba on Ice, I decided to take a photo of my camera, phone and a new watch that I just bought. I find shooting stuff like this to be rather enjoyable!

A closer look at the watch: Huawei Honor Band Z1, a rather basic, stripped down, barebone fitness tracker with a tiny bit of smartwatch functions. I got it because it was cheap. And I could not resist gadgets. If you want to find out more about his cool looking little watch, you can visit a review done by DYGadget here (click). 

And, here it is! Soba on Ice. Literally, an ice block! How cool is that. 

I simply love the simplicity of the dish. Cold soba, dipped in raw egg and the soba sauce, yumm!! Probably the healthiest meal I had in weeks. 

Since it was not an every day thing eatiing food served on huge ice blocks, I spent quite some time trying different angles and compositions, and this is the close up shot which I quite like. Yes, I am Asian and I take photos of my food. Deal with it. 

Unfortunately, this was the LAST Soba on Ice served at Harytan Tarot Cafe. Nonetheless, do not stop yourself from visting that awesome location for coffee, drinks, some awesome food (they have pasta, udon, and some other cool stuff in the menu) as well as a Tarot Card reading! More info on their official Facebook Page here (click). 

So yeah! That was my rather short weekend adventure, but I gotta say, that Soba on Ice made my day!


  1. Beautiful images as always! What lens were you using for the food shots? incredibly sharp and great focus through most of the food itself :)

    1. It was 45mm F1.8, my favourite lens, and I stopped down the aperture to about F6.3 if I am not mistaken.

  2. Are you shooting RAW or just JPG ? If so, which colour profile (Picture mode) are you using and how have you set it up?
    I have the same camera and lens, they are a great combination.

    1. I shot RAW and processed my images in Olympus Viewer 3 (a very sluggish, non user friendly software). I use the "Natural" picture mode, and in processing I adjusted the contrast and tone curves to create more depth in the images.

    2. Thanks.
      I agree, OV3 is not pleasant to use. RT is faster [and prettier] but a little more complex.

  3. I enjoyed your beautiful photographs Robin. The soba in the block of ice is a beautiful presentation. Also, I always look forward to the portraits that you make with the 45mm. You have a special ability to make insightful portraits.

  4. amazing work! keep sharing such wonderful work


  5. Sometimes portraits can be just way too sharp, but it does show off what the lens can do.

  6. I'm an American 'foodie" i.e. 'snob'! So I know what soba noodles are, but what is that shaved thin sliced stuff used as a garnish?

    Regarding OV3, do you find the slider controls kind of 'jumpy'? I did a comparison between OV3 and ACDSee for my own blog, and I had a very hard time with fine tuning the image with OV3. The big changes were good and easy with OV3, but I found those those small incremental changes rather difficult to do with OV3.

    I realize Olympus isn't a software company, but just a few changes to OV3 could convert it from an 'OK' software to very good and competitive software. OK my rant is over!

    1. Hey Glen,
      Honestly I had no idea what that shaved thing was. I think it was dried squid or something similar, perhaps fish.
      Regarding Olynpus Viewer 3, I understand your pain. It is sluggish and definitely tests your patience to its limits. I also wish the software is improved and I do not see why this is not achieveable. One of my constant feedbacks to my colleagues in Japan.

    2. This is Katsuo Bushi which is petrified Bonito and then very finely shaved. David Chang does a breakdown of it in his mind of a chef series. It's an extremely popular topping for Japanese Okonomiyaki.

    3. Ahhh! Thanks guys! I thought it might be something aquatic.