Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cocoron Soba - Manhattan

You Better Be Good With the Sticks
One more hour of tweaking powerpoints and I was going to snap.  I hoped a faraway lunch adventure would break up the drudgery.  No planes involved, only a NYC subway ride to Cocoron Soba.  Just what the doctor ordered - pork croquettes and plenty of noodles.  However, there's work to put in - the chopstick variety.  You better be able to maneuver with the wooden sticks - at Cocoron you may have to dip your own soba into boiling broth, one pinch at a time.
I got something called "Stamina Soba" which I later realized referred to the work I had ahead of me.  Here's how it arrives - cold soba on the right, eating bowl in the foreground and a salty fish broth laced with ground pork, boiling on it's own mini-burner.  I needed help but was dumbstruck.  I stared at it like a blackboard full of calculus. Chef took pity and barked in Japanese at one of the servers who handed me a laminated instruction card.  Two ladies seated nearby giggled, then continued their French conversation.  French!?!?  Reminded me of work and I began to think about the stillborn powerpoint.  Dammit!
One chopstick grasp at a time, I lowered a small clump of noodles into the broth and counted to ten, transferred it to the eating bowl then into my mouth.  I played with the cooking time, dropping down to four seconds to get the texture I wanted.  Every now and then I'd fish out some ground pork and scallions.  Aside from the novel delivery, nothing special.  I enjoyed it, just didn't see or hear fireworks.
I sat at the counter and followed chef's every move.  Given the size of the place, you can easily chef-watch from any of the fourteen seats.
After you use up the noodles they bring you hot water to dilute the broth to a less salty soup.  I enjoyed this, I poured the water into the boiling pot then ladeled it with the wooden spoon.  More French giggles.  Double-checked the laminated instructions....  Oh screw it, did it my way.
In the end, it did the trick.  I was so wrapped up in the process and chopsticking nuggets of pork that I forgot all about work.  I was happily engrossed.
61 Delancey St

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  1. I like the look of the pork croquette. Think I can do more than 1. As for soba, not always a fan. Probably will appeal to pirate more.

  2. The pork croquettes come in fours. You could do eight?? Of course you could, piggy. Wahahahahaha.

  3. wow love this. not sure if it is just me but when I click on your posts to read in full the left margin swallows some of the might be just me but wanted to let you know. Love your food adventures. Dayle

  4. @GBF - arggggg... In order to get the new header aligned I started tweaking the html code randomly, lol. I knew that was gonna come back to haunt me. Guess I got more tweaking ahead of me..... Thanks, I will try to figure it out. If you see it working, let me know.

  5. oh yeah i went here! thought it was pretty good!

  6. @Sandy - that's not possible. Cuz otherwise I would've read about it on, right? Ok, ok, sorry - you must be really sick of my prodding, huh?

  7. I MUST find this place.
    I would kill for good Soba...

  8. @Carol - go check out Onya, I like that one better.