Drumroll Please

And Seattle Met's 2018 Restaurant of the Year Is...

...a tiny noodle haunt in Fremont serving big, elegant flavors.

By Rosin Saez October 23, 2018

Chef Mutsuko Soma's torch-wielding game strong.

Image: Lauren Colton

Sometime last fall, oh, about a week or so after we've just wrapped up our Secret Supper for Best Restaurant of the Year 2017, our food team began to speculate, again—who will it be next year? We can't help ourselves.

Our annual Best New Restaurants issue is unlike any other: It packs a year's worth of research, reporting, nitpicking. It's rarely an easy decision, this year being no exception, but somehow, when Allecia Vermillion asked me who I thought—right that very second, listen to your gut, what is making your heart sing—we came to an almost telepathic agreement: Kamonegi.

Something truly magical has been happening, consistently, inside chef Mutsuko Soma's 30-seat spot, as Allecia Vermillion explains in our November issue:

"Kamonegi’s owner is one of just a few chefs in the U.S. who can fashion tenuous soba noodles by hand. For this, she deserves endless respect. But her artistry with buckwheat flour and a soba blade is matched by her keen way with flavors. Which is why Seattle Met’s restaurant of the year is this tiny noodle haunt in Fremont, where chef Mutsuko Soma’s cross-cultural talents reverberate across the entire menu."

Last night, some 60 readers joined us at our now-not-so-secret Secret Supper. They didn't know until yesterday morning that they'd cozy up inside Kamonegi for a five-course meal, each composition evidence of why we love this restaurant from Soma's signature foie gras tofu to the cream matsutake mushroom soba to a savory-sweet duck fat mochi cake.

Few of our readers had ever been to Kamonegi before. Now few left the restaurant without remarking that they'd be back soon.

Read more about Kamonegi in our Best New Restaurants issue.

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