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Soba Totto – Japanese – Midtown East
January 10th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

Soba Totto is one of the true gems of Midtown East: it’s delicious, simply but beautifully appointed, and surprisingly not overpriced. My boyfriend and I were pleased to both find ourselves with a day off last week so we could finally enjoy Totto at lunch. We were totally in the mood for chicken meatballs and were sad to find that they don’t serve yakitori at lunch, but it forced us to try something we may have liked even better.

Soba Totto
Chicken Soboro Don: sautéed minced chicken, poached egg, scallions, seaweed, rice

I was worried I might actually be playing it too safe by ordering this. I’m trying to push myself to eat more seafood so I stop thinking of it as fishy-tasting and start thinking of it as normal-tasting, and where better to eat more of it than at a Japanese restaurant? But as soon as I mixed that egg into my rice and took a bite, I knew I’d made the right decision. It had the comfort factor of a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup but with the taste factor of a much more expensive meal. The finely-chopped chicken was so much more enjoyable to eat than your usual chunks, and I liked that the seaweed gave it a hint of ocean flavor.

Soba Totto
Salmon Oyako Don: grilled salmon flake, salmon roe, shredded egg, rice

My boyfriend ordered a dish much more appropriate to the restaurant. It was, you know, kinda fishy, but I was pleasantly surprised at how balanced it tasted. Even the roe blended right in to the salmon meat. Kamran called it “very fresh and eminently salmony”.

Soba Totto
hot soba

A bowl of soba came with each of our meals, adding another degree of hominess. The earthy buckwheat was a great compliment to the meal, as the flavor won’t overpower whatever it accompanies. Mine was hot (and I think topped with a slice of fish cake–eek!), but my boyfriend prefers the cold variety.

Soba Totto

A shot of the meal as a whole shows you just how much I got for $15. Our combination meals were served with salad, pickled vegetables, and even more pickled vegetables on top of the already-too-much chicken with rice and hot soba. We could’ve shared this and still had plenty left over.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne-Half Star

I’m still thinking about this meal a week later and wish I didn’t work aaaaaaaaaaaaaall the way downtown so I could have it every day. I’m only giving it 4.5 donuts instead of 5 because a) I secretly wanted the appetizer that comes with the meal to be the corn tempura of theirs I love so much, and b) I haven’t had enough donburi to know if this was as good as I think it was.

Soba Totto
211 E 43rd Street
New York, NY 10017 (map)


3 Responses  
  • Heesa Phadie writes:
    January 10th, 201111:56 amat

    $15 for aaaaaaaaaaaaaall that food! Count me in.

  • Mrs. Bachelor Girl writes:
    January 10th, 20113:17 pmat

    I’m with Kamran – I like cold soba, but the entire meal looks terrific.

  • donuts4dinner.com» Blog Archive » Obao – Pan-Asian – Midtown East writes:
    July 21st, 20112:02 pmat

    […] and still thought it was the best. I love the texture of egg mixed into dishes like this (soboro don is another favourite), and the sesame provides this deep, rich flavor that makes it seems like the chicken was cooked in […]


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