Sobaya ~ Orderinny

Monday, August 13, 2007


Soba-ya is one of my East Village standbys, and for very good reason. Comfortable seating, good prices, polite service and most importantly pitch perfect buckwheat noodles, made-in-house and begging to be dipped in sauce and slurped aloud. However, while the place is not exactly a hole-in-the-wall, its not big either and waits, especially on weekend nights can border on egregious. One way to game the system is to come in for lunch, where I found myself some weekends back with a group of friends.

Most of my companions were taken with the price-buster of a bento set. For a ridiculously low price of $15, you get, not only an expertly made serving of nutty, chewy soba, you are also served a lacquer-box filled with 4 food types: salad, nimono (stewed root vegetables) , agemono (tempura) and yakimono (for that day, a slice of teriyaki salmon), on top of pickles and dessert. I found myself lusting over the tempura, the shrimp and vegetables showing through a crisp and light coat of batter.
Besides the bento set and bowls of soba and udon (also made in house), diners can choose from a multitude of noodles + rice combos as well as a daily special (Chirashi soba, with the ingredients artistically fanned out on of a mound of noodles in a large ceramic bowl). A fan of fish roe, I had to get the salmon + roe ricebowl + soba combo. For a non-sushi place, Soba-ya serves really fresh fish, and I absolutely adore the burst of brininess with each bite of the glistening salmon roe pearls. The salty rice, and the austere zaru soba make for a contrasting but good meal.
We washed down our lunches with leftover sauce and the soba water, left over from the cooking process and dug into the complimentary desserts, precious little pots of eggy custard. With noodles this good, who needs eggs for brunch?


229 E 9th St (Bet 2nd & 3rd Aves)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ruoxi jie, where are you bringing me to eat when i visit? Can't wait!!!! :)