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excellent meal at soba totto


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excellent meal at soba totto

bigjeff | | May 22, 2008 06:18 AM

hit this spot up at opening time, 6pm on the dot, sunday, and in 10 minutes, the place was packed. between the two of us, we ordered the duck salad, their cold tofu app, maybe 10 skewers (chicken skin, chicken wing, chicken thigh, chicken meatball, shiitake, asparagus bacon, etc.). all were delicious, the chicken meatball was actually really really good and when I got back, I'm just going to order 3 or 4 of those plus a soba. that and maybe a skewer of chicken butts.

for soba, my friend had the plain zaru soba (she ate most of the skewers) while I saved myself for the oomori (extra large) cold soba which I cannot remember the name, but it is a cold soba with 13 kinds of vegetables, mushrooms and seafood, and the restaurant serves only 10 of this soba per night. or rather, is limited to 10. so weird but of course I had to get it. what came out eventually was an amazing dish, sort of like hiyashichuka but with soba, and all ingredients compartmentalized over the soba like chirashi so, piles of the following: sauteed shiitake, seasoned tiny silverfish, grated turnip like for tempura, small greens, oh damn I can't even remember but it was so delicious, so many flavors, looking beautiful, you could either mix it or have discrete tastes of each. I'm not sure what the non-oomori serving looks like but this was an enormous bowl that put me over. it was awesome and I'm definitely going back to get this. not sure if this is a common thing or an invention of the chef but, very enjoyable.

oh and funnily, we were served, at the end of the savory portion of the meal, with a cupful of "soba soup" which is the hot plain milky broth that the noodles are cooked in (not our noodles, necessarily) and you can dunk some of the soba seasoning broth into it and drink like a savory tea. this is just like how my family would have a bowl of "jiaozi tong" which is the very light but savory soup that resulted from boiling our dumplings, hopefully greased up a bit from the pork filling of the dumplings, to which we add some of the dipping sauce (soy, sesame, vinegar, etc.) and have a bowl of at the very end. and to think, I thought only my family did that!

all the dishes were served with neat piles of condiments and salts and flavors and we finished with . . . some dessert I think a soba pudding? buckwheat groats suspended in a snow white custard, with some syrup on the side as well as a spoonful of toasted buckwheat powder. really nice as well, very clean finish that somehow made us feel unfull.

the space is beautiful, the bathrooms have buckets of charcoal (perhaps for air filtration use) and, an absolute pleasure to dine here.

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