A first look at Ozuki in Soba, which serves noodles for $72

Soba on the rise in New York as ramen declines: Comply with ramen’s magical journey from the opening of Ippudo in early 2011 to the current, with ramen eating places receding from the dialog.

In Japan, soba is the nation’s native noodle, made out of buckwheat fairly than wheat, and is claimed to have well being advantages. Actually, most genuine soba noodles are gluten-free.

Now, for soba in New York Metropolis, there’s Ozuki, at 95 Guernsey Avenue close to Norman Avenue, which has simply opened in an industrial-looking space of ​​West Greenpoint, in a stretch that has develop into its personal Little Tokyo. The restaurant is run by soba grasp and marketing consultant Shoichi Kotani, who moved right here from Tokyo in 2008 and equipped contemporary soba noodles to Yakitori Torishin, Momokawa, and the now-closed Kibo, the place he labored alongside Joel Robuchon.

It has been a very long time since we have had a soba place that ranks among the many finest on the town. One should look again to Honmura Ann restaurant in Soho, which had a exceptional run from 1991 to 2007, making noodles on the premises in a small area, and serving dishes that includes tempura-caught shrimp in Tokyo Bay. Costs reached $18 or so in 1993 when Ruth Reichl reviewed them in {a magazine} The New York Instances. Extra just lately, Sarashina Hori, a department of one in every of Tokyo’s oldest soba retailers, was unable to make it to the Flatiron, after solely two years of operation.

A dark storefront with shiny bronze metal trim looks empty inside.

Ozuki was discovered inside 95 Guernsey behind white material curtains.

A man in a blue robe leans over a white bowl, with a tray of sea urchins in front of him.

Shuichi Kotani prepares a bowl of soba.

From behind the soba counter, Kotani assembles soba bowls from a menu of seven a la carte and 7 sorts of soba ranging in worth from $26 to $72, served in signature pottery he designed himself. The costliest order is a $72 bowl of noodles known as deluxe sashimi.

On the underside, he locations a tangle of chilly, inexperienced soba with matcha powder, then pours over a refreshing dashi broth that tastes of the ocean. He slices slabs of sashimi, together with stomach tuna, yellowtail, salmon, uncooked pink shrimp, and native scallops and arranges them on prime, together with orange salmon roe and uni sticks. This sea faculty is garnished with a single shiso leaf, crimson seaweed, and chopped inexperienced onions earlier than being delivered to prospects. In any other case, he’s taken to one of many dozens of tables within the room.

Green noodles on chopsticks with raw fish samples in the background.

Soba Sashimi Deluxe in Ozuki.
Robert Sietsma/Eater New York

You eat the fish first, then dip the specimens within the soy and wasabi supplied. Subsequent, eat pasta that’s agency and fluffy in texture. Because the fish disappears, the salmon roe clings to the noodles. In some methods, the remaining broth is crucial half; It’s equipped in a jug to pour into your bowl. “It is essentially the most nutritious a part of the meal, stuffed with antioxidants,” Kotani tells me, leaning over-the-counter.

Different soba choices embrace these containing duck, salmon, uni, tofu, soba flakes, and a variety of backyard greens together with eggplant and okra. Wash down your meal with sake or gluten-free soba beer.

A triangular bowl of dark goo.

Three sorts of soba with buckwheat groats.

A beige scoop of ice cream in a beige bowl with brown sprinkles on top.

The soba ice cream may be very creamy.

Actually, your complete place is a soba temple, with most entrees made with buckwheat in a single type or one other. Essentially the most scrumptious appetizer I attempted was the soba yakimisu ($14), which options three sorts of house-made miso on a triangular griddle seared with a torch and sprinkled with crunchy buckwheat grains.

I completed my meal with a small scoop of soba ice cream ($9). It was creamy and nutty, and total the most effective meals I’ve had this season – a becoming finish to a scrumptious summer time.

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