Name of the restaurant:
In Japan, the name of a noodle restaurant generally takes over the same name where the owner was working until he becomes independent, like Sarashina, Yabu, etc, so the customer can recognize what type of Soba is served. Soba-ya is an original restaurant in New York and we are seeking our own style of Soba based on Japanese traditional recipes, and so we named our restaurant simply Soba-ya (ya means restaurant).
What is Soba?
Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, but it is most commonly used to refer to a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. Soba is often served in a hot broth with traditional ingredients such as green onions, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu, and tempura. It can also be served cold, popular in summer, with a side dish of cold broth for dipping.
It is said that in the early 15th century, a Chinese priest brought a new type of wheat called “buckwheat” to Japan. During the Nara period, buckwheat began to be used to make noodles. Soba noodles became popular in the Edo period, yet the Edo elite regarded it as a lower class food. In the Tokugawa era, every neighborhood had one or two soba restaurants, a perfect spot for a casual meal with sake. In the late 1800s, many soba restaurants redecorated to accommodate the traditional tastes of the aristocracy and were successful in enticing the noble class to eat the healthy buckwheat noodles.
The popularity of soba today has resulted in factory-made soba and imitation soba to plague grocery shelves and restaurants. At Sobaya, our soba is proudly handmade from scratch every day by chefs who have mastered the craft of soba-making.
We only use natural materials, no artificial additives. We import sobako, buckwheat flour from Azumino, Nagano which is best known for sobako in Japan and also, buying first grade sobako milled by Kurashina Mill. Our expert chef is mixing sobako (80%) and wheat flour (20%)with small amounts of water, then thinly expands using noodle stick and cut by soba knife. Every process is made by hand and so much power is required with skillful experience. Soba soup is made from Dashi and Kaeshi, dashi is the most important factor of Japanese cuisine and good dashi is the key for all dishes. We are spending much of hi-quality bonito and kelp, putting them into boiling water (charcoal filter) which makes good broth. Kaeshi is ripened soy sauce mixed with Mirin (sweetened sake) and sugar.
This soy sauce is special blend for soba, called Soba-zen, the best brand brewed by Higeta, three times more expensive than regular soy sauce. (Soba-ya is the only restaurant in the U.S. using this brand.) The recipe is a secret, but the smooth, ripen flavor depends on weather conditions, and we stored them for 4 to 6 days in a cool, dark room. Depending on soba dishes, mainly hot or cold the chef blends certain ratio of Dashi and Kaeshi. We are spending time and money to Dashi, Kaeshi and sobako, Soba dishes are based on those three fundamentals and should be well balanced. If one of them is insufficient, it fails.
Soba is one of the Japanese traditional foods in Japan. It became popular in the Edo period, the 18th century and since then, it has been passed on as of almost same style. The entrance is a typical style of soba restaurants in Japan; Noren (small curtain), Kanban (logo sign) and the interior using lot of wood, and shoji screen, we offer Soba dishes surrounding same as in Japan.
The best served soba requires 3 elements: Hikitate (fresh flour), Uchitate (fresh noodle) Yudetate (quick serve). The timing is the most important factor, we will serve customers the best soba as quick as possible.
Please do not take a time for noodle dishes, never mind of slurp, otherwise cannot eat quick. Soba’s flavor is faint, please catch it fast, you will be Soba gourmet. At dinner, we serve several dishes with good sake, enjoy Chef’s seasoning special, now you take time, we donﾕt rush you. Soba is a kind of fast food, we have a counter seat, just stop by and order it. We try to serve you friendly at home.
Our casual dining always welcomes you; if you feel at home at Soba-ya, it will be our great pleasure.
229 E 9th St (between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Nearest Transit Station:
Astor Pl (4, 6, 6X)
3 Av (L)
8 St – NYU (N, R)
Mon-Fri Sun 12 pm – 3:30 pm
Sat & Sun 12 pm – 3:50 pm
Mon-Thu, Sun 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Fri-Sat 5:30 pm – 11 pm
VISA, Mastercard, American Express
$10 & $20 certificates available. Ask your staff for details
Note: Sorry we don’t take reservations.