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Apr 22, 2009 08:30 PM


So... which restaurant has the best Soba and food in general?

I am basically deciding between Soba-ya, Soba Koh, and Soba Totto. Is there anywhere else worthy of consideration? We are trying to keep our budget to 25 pp. Does Soba Totto cost more than sobaya and koh?


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  1. i've never been to Totto

    Soba Koh is far superior to Soba-ya

    (in fact, based on my last visit to Soba-ya a few months ago, it seemed to warrant a Downhill Alert)...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      I went to Soba-Ya tonight and enjoyed it. I like both Soba-Ya and Soba Koh. I've never been to Totto, either.

      1. re: Simon

        i agree with Simon i think Soba Koh is far superior to Soba-Ya (fyi i basically only get the cold uni ikura soba although ive tried the hot tempura soba and hot duck soba as well which are good)...i also like their tamago yaki and when they have pumpkin, i always get it (best version ive had in ny)

        here's an old quick review i did:

        cant compare to soba totto as i havent had a chance to try it...supposedly 15 East (one of my favorite sushi restaurants) has the best soba as it has the chef from the defunct Honmura An (the prior crown holder for best soba in the city)

        1. re: Lau

          the uni soba at 15 east is very good and yes its one of the chefs from Hanamura An. I first heard the chef was from Hanamura An in Japan, not NYC, but not sure of that. I like watching them make the soba noodles in front of you at Soba Ya. I think Soba Ya and Soba Koh are pretty much equal. The sliced duck at Soba Koh is amazing. Matsugen's uni soba was excellent, however, the price was obscene

      2. I had lunch at Soba Totto today and with tax and tip, my lunch set was just about $25pp. My set included grilled eel with shredded egg over white rice, a side salad (radish, fried shallots, greens), a small bowl of soba in broth, and some big chunks of pickled daikon. It does seem quite a bit on the pricey side, although the quality is excellent.

        I'm afraid I can't speak to Sobaya vs. Soba Koh vs. Soba Totto.

        Also, Soba Totto (being run by the Yakitori Toto mini-chain), serves yakitori at dinner time and the yakitori is excellent (but tends to run up the bill, quickly).

        1. If you order just the soba, the soba at Matsugen is very good and within your budget. They also have prix-fixe for lunch and dinner. I do recommend the cold soba over the soba in soup which tends to make the soba too soft

          If you ever find yourself wanting to slurge on soba, then go to 15 East.

          2 Replies
          1. re: kobetobiko

            Yeah, 15 East's soba master is the one from Honmura An. I've met him before, a real nice, humble guy.

            Soba-Ya is where I usually go, tasty and their dishes are generally more affordable than Matsugen.

            1. re: kobetobiko

              My problem with Matsugen is that i really want soba w/ uni, which is way way more expensive at Matsugen (it must have so much uni!!)

            2. soba totto always ends up more expensive for me but I love the food there (like kathryn said, you just want to order all the apps and takitori and it ends up pricey). i enjoy soba koh better than soba-ya for sure but soba totto is better than both. and, marginally more expensive, say, 25% but worth it.

              1. friends...what noodles have you all been noodling? Sobaya is by far the best of the three, superior noodles in texture, composition and made using only the traditional methods. i would not hesitate for a moment

                2 Replies
                1. re: ttzur

                  Strongly disagree. I had one aggressively mediocre meal at Sobaya and never returned. Soba Koh, on the other hand, has provided a consistently lovely experience on my 5 or 6 visits. Soba Koh's noodles are world's better than at Sobaya, where they were mushy and the grated yam tasted gross - off, somehow, fermented, almost. It's possible I was at Sobaya on an "off" day, but I doubt it. Sobaya's menu is more extensive, signifying that they don't specialize the way Soba Koh does, and I think that makes a difference.

                  And if Sobaya uses "only the traditional methods," then what does Soba Koh use? That guy in the window stretching dough looks pretty damn traditional to me. Last but not least, Soba Koh is cheaper.

                  1. re: small h

                    my lunch at Sobaya last fall was just as smallh described his/her meal: aggressively mediocre...the noodles were overcooked, etc...while it's never been one of my fav places, i had had decent meals there in the past, so i was a bit surprised by how lousy the meal was...