Authentic Soba

Authentic Soba

Discover Soba Koh, a small spot in New York's East Village where Chef Hiromitsu Takahashi handcrafts fresh, dense, and toothsome soba noodles. Learn about the Tsukiji Soba Academy in Tokyo, run by Master Chef Akila Inouye, who offers intensive soba-making classes and traditional Japanese broth. Explore the art of making handmade soba noodles and enjoy classic dishes such as soba served in hot broth with tempura shrimp.

I've only recently discovered Soba Koh, a tiny spot in New York's East Village where you can watch Chef Hiromitsu Takahashi roll and cut soba by hand as you walk into the place. I don't know what took me so long. Chef Takahashi's soba is the real-deal -- fresh, dense, toothsome and delicious. If you're curious about soba, you have to check this place out.

I had heard the chef's teacher was in town from Japan and "guest rolling" soba, so I visited the restaurant again, where this time, Master Chef Akila Inouye, who runs the Tsukiji Soba Academy in Tokyo, was working a sheet of soba dough. Check out the pictures below of the master at work. During a break in the action, Chef Inouye told me that he teaches intensive soba-making classes for professional chefs as well as classes in English (idea for my next Tokyo trip!). I got to try Chef Inouye's handmade soba served in a hot broth with tempura shrimp, a classic dish. The soba was amazing, perfect. The broth was fantastic, too, so intensely savory and flavorful. As I was enjoying my meal, Chef Takahashi stopped by my table and explained that the broth was made from kombu, katsuobushi (dried, shaved bonito) and sabazushi -- dried, shaved mackerel -- in the traditional, potent Tokyo style. Perfect for a blustery autumn day in New York.