>> Cocoron Soba | Eat the World New York City

05 February 2011

Cocoron Soba

JAPAN


There are quite a few successful Japanese restaurants in New York City that make you feel like you have stepped into Japan when you walk through the doors, but none more so than newcomer Cocoron in the Lower East Side. The treatment is so spot on, so friendly and welcoming, and the food so good that I cannot imagine why this place is not more crowded when I visit. Fine for me, but I want this place around a long time.

Could soba be the trend of 2011? Surely it is worthy of such enthusiasm like ramen has acquired the past few years, but hopefully the quality remains high if new soba specialists open.


There are many small plates to choose from to begin your meal, and we had a go at a few, the tastiest of which in my opinion was the Japanese coleslaw ($2.50, above), which used purple radish and a sesame dressing that you find in pre-meal salads. For a fried fix, try either the chicken ($3.50, below) or croquettes ($3.50, below), both tried and true methods of getting the taste buds on the path to happiness.



But the most serious part of Cocoron is the soba itself, noodles which will warm your heart if they have done what they desire here. The shop's top soba and most expensive is the yuba soba ($13.00, below). "Yuba" is the tofu skins that you see to the left, and the dish is served with a hot dipping sauce.


You can also use the same cold noodle to hot dipping sauce technique with the popular stamina soba ($8.80, not shown), or have a hot bowl with the oroshi ($8.50, below). This is fairly light and the title refers to the gooey grated daikon radish you see plopped on top.


Be ready to get warned about the natto soba ($8.50, below) if you do not look like someone that has eaten it before. Natto is a fermented soybean and has a strong taste, but is really not something most people would object to. On cold soba and mixed with egg, soy, onions, and crushed sesame seeds, this dish is an amazing taste experience, sour and sweet and salty at the same time.


Our group kept feeling curious despite our full bellies so we went ahead and ordered the black sesame cheesecake ($5) and yomogi mochi ($4), below. Neither was sweet at all and might disappoint the casual dessert eater, but the cheesecake was especially unique and enjoyable.


One small point of advice though: make sure you sit at the counter. On a second visit I sat at a table and felt much less a part of the workings of the place, and even a little forgotten about. If there is a wait for seats at the counter, do yourself a favor and wait for them!

Cocoron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato