Soba AND Ramen
- Yaqo Homo May 8, 2008 04:10 PM
My friend wants me to try soba (never had it), and I want him to try ramen. I was hoping we could do so at one stop.
Is it normal for a noodle shops to serve ramen AND soba? (for instance, my favorite ramen shop, Minca, only has ramen)
Excuse my ignorance concerning noodles.
It's not normal at all. Two very different foods and traditions. Proper soba shops make their own soba and proper ramen shops make their own broth. Non-specialty places don't do either- well at least...Try one of the catch-all places like the East chain. Probably not the best place to make a first impression for either dish though.
I've had both in the food court of Mitsuwa in NJ. The ramen is from Santoka, and the cold soba was from the place next to Santoka. I love the way they display very life-like plastic models of what you can order. Can't think of a better way to not only try both Ramen and Soba, but the various combinations possible for each kind.
Soba-ya and Soba Koh are very close to Ippudo (Soba-ya is closer but posts on CH tend to favor Soba Koh), which IMO is by far the best ramen in Manhattan, provided intense tonkotsu broth is your thing. So you can noodle-hop pretty easily. Otherwise go to Setagaya, which is still close to the other two, and which has a more subtle, less out and out porky flavor. I think for ramen it's all downhill from there until you get to Santoka in New Jersey. And with the demise of Honmura An, I think those two are pretty much it for soba (unless you want to go to 15 East and shell out for the daily soba special prepared by the former chef from Honmura... I really miss it!).
As SIlverjay said, "Happy slurping!"
I have never been to Minca. I should check it out one day.
Yeah I think places that serve better-quality ramen usually don't have soba and vice versa. It's like trying to find good pizzas at a burger joint. You might have to try two different restaurants to get the best of both types of noodles.
I don't like soba noodles that much so I don't have a good recommendation for you (I have been to Sobaya a few times but not Soba Ko so I can't compare for you).
For Ramen, if you have't already visited, I think a lot of Asians like going to Ramen Setagaya (141 1st Ave near St. Mark), which opened last year. I was there once and thought their noodle and toppings were pretty good. The broth was a little salty for me but I heard that's the way a lot of authentic "salt flavored (shio)" ramens are.