SobaTotto two days in a row! A meeting got cancelled so I booked it over to make it in time for their Bara Chirashi. They only serve twenty per day. Chock loaded with pieces of sashimi, including uni sea urchin! This lunch set also came with a generous bowl of hot soba, pickled ginger and an appetizer of simmered daikon.
Finally visit here for Biz lunch. (They have a kind of private room.)
Overall I felt so Japan here! The food was awesome and they have a lot of kind of menu so you won't get tired of it even if you come more than once a week;)
Lunch set comes with a soba and you can choose cold or hot. I ordered Nebatoro Don with Hot Soba. Here will be my new favorite haunt.
I am noodle lover, especially, I really love Japanese Soba.
I was expecting here but honestly I was disappointed.
1st, dashi (soup stock) is very thin.
2nd, kaeshi (sauce) has no depth.
3rd, noodles don't have flavor of wheat.
As the table doesn't have soy source, you can't add extra taste.
Often go here because it's close from my work. They open at 11:45am for lunch. There is always a line from around 11:30am to get Bara Chirashi lunch set. They are limited for 20 and only $10. The other soba set menu is around $20 so it's great deal and taste so good! The pic is sanshoku don (means three colors). Has salmon roe, uni, and crab over rice. It comes with cold or hot soba.
Skip the Soba - otsumami is where it's at
The Totto franchise is without a doubt a heavyweight among Japanese chain restaurants in NYC. With the long-line ramen shops on the east and west side, a Tokyo-style 2nd floor yakitori restaurant in Hell's Kitchen, and Soba Totto, the largest soba-ya in NYC, they have plenty of pull with Japanese and New Yorkers alike. And those are just the restaurants that bear the Totto brand.
When I was first diving into the NYC Japanese food scene, I remember being at Sakagura (basement sake temple), but needing stop next door at Soba Totto to drop off something for a sake expert who had taken me under her wing as I began my shochu blog. She told me she was in a private room in the restaurant. I was super intimidated, because I didn't even know Japanese restaurants had private rooms. I was so intimidated, in fact, that I didn't return to Soba Totto to eat for more than year. It turns out there are several private rooms depending on the size of the party and there is nothing intimidating about Soba Totto other than their extensive menu. I'm now a regular, but I rarely sit in the dining room. I much prefer the intimate bar to the left as you pass through the 2nd glass door.
First a word about soba. I'm not sure why, but people who eat soba are really serious about which soba is the best in NYC, and yet nobody is passionate about soba. It's not like ramen where people argue, sometimes loudly, about Totto v. Hide Chan v. Mu v. Ippudo v. Ramenya v. Yuji v. Cup. With soba it's more like, "I prefer SobaKoh, because Sobaya's bar area smells musty" or "Darumaya's soba is great, but their drinks are too expensive." And the overwhelming response is usually something like, "Oh really? Have you been to Yuji Ramen for their omakase?" Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy a good bowl of soba, but for my money I'll go to Cocoron.
I ate at Soba Totto semi-regularly for more than a year before I actually tried their soba. They have an extensive yakitori list, an even more extensive otsumami (drinking snack) list, and a seasonal special menu that really drives my ordering habits. I often show up expecting to get a beer and a soba and call it a night, but after ordering a few otsumami and ordering a glass of shochu after my beer is empty, I end up staying for several hours snacking and drinking and talking to my favorite bartender, Sayaka, who used to be the bartender at Shochu Bar Hatchan before it closed. Like many of the best restaurants or bars, it's not just the food or the decor, but the staff who makes the difference. Service in the main dining room can be sterile, but I always manage to feel welcome in the front bar.
Food wise, if you really want to know what to eat, check out my photos. I'm not going to dig through each dish I like here individually mainly because I refuse to type that much. Definite favorites for me are the cheese wontons (don't photograph well since they're just fried wonton skin wrapped cheese sticks), the yuba to uni (sea urchin sashimi and raw tofu skin), and tataki kyuri (spicy cucumber and squid). Those are all on the otsumami menu.
They also have some relatively rare dishes including same nankotsu (plum pickled shark cartilage), karasumi (dried mullet roe between slices of daikon), pickled chicken breast, and several other classic drinking snacks involving fermentation/pickling and seafood: takowasa (chopped octopus sashimi with wasabi), shutto (fermented fish guts), and shiokara (fermented squid). Many of these are acquired tastes, but fortunately they are not particularly expensive and come in small portions so if you can't finish, it's not a total waste. At least you tried.
Drinks wise, I usually stick to the draft Aasahi and extensive shochu menu. They often have shochu that's off-menu so it's always good to ask. They also carry a wide selection of nihonshu (sake) and Japanese whiskys, which Sayaka is always happy to talk about since she's more a whisky drinker than a shochu drinker. They also have seasonal cocktails as well as a regular rotation. I'm not much of a cocktail guy so you'll have to explore those for yourself.
Essentially, Soba Totto represents Japanese izakaya food made by experience chefs and high quality ingredients in a well designed environment by Japanese staff. I'm only sorry it took me so long to visit for the first time, but to give some perspective on how much I like it, I've never returned to Sakagura since trying Soba Totto.
Eating with a group of food lovers always means talking about food while eating really good food. And lots of picture taking. Soba Totto with lordoftheforks restaurantfairy tabelogus joycehuang1126 bonviveurnyc
For the love of the sea (urchin). Uni, Ikura and crab over rice at Soba Totto. One of my favorite lunch combos with a side of cold soba. cutiepatroller this one's for you! We missed ya at lunch today. chubbyeats nyceats midtownlunch tabelogus uniporn
First time at SobaTotto. So many lunch sets to choose from, but I went for the cold Stamina Soba. Berkshire porkbelly, grated mountain yam, poached egg, fresh grated wasabi and scallions. I did have some order remorse after seeing my neighbors' dishes, but after housing this delicious bowl of noodles, NoRegrets.
I came by here with some friends when we couldn't get into Sakagura upstairs.
I had been to Yakitori Totto and Totto Ramen, so I wasn't expecting it to be so business casual, but luckily we were given the best seats in the house.. large booth closed off to the rest of the restaurant.
Not expecting such an elaborate menu, I left the ordering to Hayato, who had been there before. The standouts were actually the grilled meats, which I didn't even expect to see on the menu. We had some excellent lamb chops and pork spare ribs.
We had some other nice appetizers: dashimaki tamago, mackerel, karikari jaco salad with seaweed and egg, rice balls.
What I did not love and may be an acquired taste was the enoki bacon yakitori. The enoki mushrooms are just too squeaky for me. We were also recommended the duck soba. I will say the broth was very tasty, but the sliced duck itself did not really do it for me. I think it would have been better if it were a bit moister, but it could just be that its not my thing.
Overall this was a nice dinner. It was fun to try a variety of things that were all done pretty well. However, there was nothing so unique that I would go back for.
This is the soba restaurant for the "Totto family" of restaurants which also includes Totto Ramen and Yakitori Totto. This group of restaurants is known for serving up authentic and tasty Japanese fare.
Been here for dinner and lunch. At lunch they have an infamous Bara Chirashi Set (Dice cut sashimi (Tuna, Salmon, Mackerel, Shrimp, Eel, Sea urchin & Flying fish roe) over sushi rice bowl and soba. But unfortunately they only do 20 orders per day so you'll have to get there 10-15 minutes before opening to ensure that you get it. They also have an assortment of limited soba that is made daily. The soba here is some of the best in NYC, so if you're in the mood for traditional Japanese soba visit this joint.
Enjoying some traditional Japanese New Years food! First dish, Hijiki #LivingWithAlohaBlog #LivingWithAloha #Blog #Travel #TravelWithTwiggy #Coffee #CoffeeTime #Starbucks #NYC #NewYork #NewYorkCity #Manhattan #MidtownEast #TwiggyEats #Japan #JapaneseFood #Hijiki
Enjoying some traditional Japanese New Years food! Next up, Unagi Don and Soba! #LivingWithAlohaBlog #LivingWithAloha #Blog #Travel #TravelWithTwiggy #Coffee #CoffeeTime #Starbucks #NYC #NewYork #NewYorkCity #Manhattan #MidtownEast #TwiggyEats #Japan #JapaneseFood #Soba #Unagi #Eel
"Soba Totto" Soba Gastropub in Midtown
I'm always looking for a good soba place in Manhattan and decided to visit Soba Totto, one of the Totto group establishments in Midtown. Once you enter the restaurant, you will find a wooden themed modern Japanese decor which I like.
We sat down at the huge bar counter and ordered a couple of appetizers and soba for our entrees. None of the appetizer dishes were very memorable or impressive, just okay. Some of the dishes were salty and I was not fond of them. For my entree, I ordered the Shio soba which I have never seen in Japan. Unfortunately, this was a mistake on my part. I could not enjoy the taste of the soba, since the shio broth is similar to that of ramen and it erased the soba flavor completely. I will try their normal soba next time. My soba exploration continues...
Food: I liked some of the dishes but basically they were a little salty for me. Just not my taste. The shio soba is not true soba, so I would not recommend it for soba lovers. I will come back again in the near future to see what their normal soba tastes like.
Service: The waitstaff was not particularly friendly, but they were attentive. My feelings are neutral regarding their service.
Decor: I like the simple, modern decor. Good for a date, with friends or for business.
Lunch at ”Soba Totto” in Midtown East
Cuisine: Soba, Japanese
Neighborhood: Midtown East
Occasions: I was here for lunch. Good for lunch with friends
Special: Lunch set- Any Donburi served with cold or hot Soba noodle, small appetizer, salad, pickles.
Recommend Dish: Uni Ikura Don combo with cold soba $19
Spicy Tuna Combo $19
Soy marinated tuna, grated yam & porched egg over rice served with cold Soba noodle small appetizer, salad, pickles
Uni Ikura Don combo with cold soba $19
Sea urchin & salmon roe over rice served with cold Soba noodle small appetizer, salad, pickles
蕎麦湯 Soba Yu
We call the cooking liquid “soba-yu“, which literally means soba water. When you order a cold soba dish at soba restaurant it is a custom that as the staff notices you finishing your noodles they will bring you a pot of soba-yu when you are ready for it :)
Shiratama Dumpling with brown sugar syrup & vanilla ice cream $6
211E 43rd St
New York, NY 10017
Located in the Midtown East area of New York, Soba Totto dishes up Japanese comfort food to hungry customers. Here, one can enjoy yakitori dishes, which feature meats grilled on a stick, to rice bowls with uni and salmon roe, to soba noodles served in soup, or as zaru soba, a cold preparation. A few diners were displeased with the temperature of their meals, as they felt they were served food lukewarm instead of hot.
Soba Totto is exceptionally large compared to the average Japanese restaurant. The lighting is soft and subdued, and the restaurant features dark wood furniture and quiet ambience, which many have said is authentic. There is a bar at the front in case there is a wait.
Reviewers have remarked the service is quick, and efficient, and that your tea cup will never go empty. You'll receive a warm welcome when you walk in, followed by a hot towel to cleanse your hands before the meal. You may want to point and speak slowly for the service staff to understand you fully, as most do not have English as a first language.