Hello. My name is Timothy and I’m SobaKoh-dependent.
It all started out so innocently. A little nibble of tempura here, a sip of sake there and before I knew it I was loudly and forcefully slurping soba broth and gulping sake with wild abandon. Let this be your warning – if you read further – you may end up like me.
SobaKoh (309 East 5th St. NYC. 212-254-2244) is one of those restaurants that you can tell is welcoming even from the outside. It’s clean, well designed, spacious. I felt even more at home when i took a gander at the large Sake menu!
A word about this sake menu – often I get the sense that some restaurants don’t make their sake selection a top priority. SobaKoh on the other hand, has a very solid grouping and their list is beautifully edited and put together in an attractive menu of its own. Bravo! Other drinks are offered, but sake is clearly the star. These folks get it! Here is a sampling of what they currently offer:
Tedorigawa “Yamahai Junmai”
Masumi “Okuden Kantsukuri”
Koshi no Kanbai “Muku”
Nanbu Bijin “Tokubetsu Junmai”
Dewazakur “Izumi Judan”
Masumi “Yamahai Ginjo”
Kikusui Junmai Ginjo
Hakkaisan Junmai Ginjo
Tedorigawa “Yamahai Daiginjo”
To whet my whistle, I fell like a ton of bricks for their special summer “nama” offering. I ended up ordering the Umenishiki Daiginjo Nama (â€œGorgeous Plumâ€, SMV +3.5, Acidity: 1.5, Ehime Prefecture).
This sake is an interesting brew to say the least. It’s a rare Daiginjo nama. The overall impression is fresh and summery without being overly sweet and fruity. There is a bit of fruit essence that hits you first but surprisingly also a touch of dryness that works perfectly. As an unpasteurized nama, this treat is only available seasonally – so enjoy if you can get your hands on it.
After the yummy Daiginjo Nama, the food arrived. In short, perfect Soba, perfect tempura… just terrific. I needed a sake to go with all this food and found my attention drawn to one word on the sake menu… “honjozo”.
Honjozo sometimes feels like the forgotten younger sibling of the sake family. SobaKoh offered one honjozo on their menu which I ordered a carafe of, namely Kubota Senju Honjozo (“1000 Long Lives”, SMV +6, Acidity 1.2, Niigata Prefecture). Kubota is a brand that never disappoints and their Honjozo Senju does them proud. The nose and my first tastes hinted at light orange peel – just a twinge of citrus. The overall palate is dry and clean. I found this brew works well with food and is less of a stand alone sipping sake. It went great with our soba.
A final word about the amazing service at SobaKoh. The staff there works hard and makes you feel so welcome. With this terrific combo of great soba, first rate sake selection and wonderful hospitality, no wonder I became immediately addicted. If this is sobaKoh dependency, I don’t want no cure.