229 E 9th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Soba-Ya is, of course, known for its soba. They market themselves as a Japanese noodle restaurant and proudly display this anonymous quote on their homepage: Sobaya’s handmade noodle … sheer joy! Soba is a gluten-free buckwheat noodle that when made correctly, is supple, slightly chewy, and retains an earthy flavor. Gluten is a crucial ingredient because it is what holds the dough together and gives it its springiness. Without gluten, the dough can easily become very dense… ever had a bad gluten-free loaf? Yeah, you know what I’m talking about then. It is very difficult to make great soba, which is probably why it is so expensive to have good soba in New York. The noodles are usually served on a bed of ice with a chilled, light dipping sauce on the side, or in a warm noodle broth. The photograph above is of the Kamo Seiro, soba with duck dipping sauce. This is a combination of the two aforementioned serving methods as the noodles are not cold, but are room temperature, and the dipping sauce is piping hot.
Yes, yes, the soba is great but the real reason I come to Soba-Ya all the time is for this: