Tuesday, March 18, 2008

From (Kobe) Tongue to Tail...


Crispy Skin...


Juicy. Tongue-y.





Cooking Show...



Kitsune Soba (Hot) with Deep-Fried Tofu...

Grapefruit on a silver juicer with liquor...



(Further New York Stories...)
The “Chicken Limited' section of the Soba Totto menu is so named because they are sometimes out of the 'soft knee bone', the 'soft bone', which is completely different, the neck, the 'chicken oyster', the 'tail', or the heart. Or is it just 'limited' to those adventurous types who prefer the beak to the breast? The heart was in, had some of that, it was soft and spongy, as Morgan Freeman might say- like a Twinkie, like a Twinkie. The 'regular' Chicken Skewers part of the menu (Yakitori Chicken) also contains some gems-the quotidian wing, which is flattened and made to look and taste like a delicacy, not a bar snack; the gizzard, whose usual combination of grisly and fibrous is made to seem a virtue; and the Kawa, or skin, which IS, in fact, made to taste exactly like a bar snack, and pairs nicely with the grapefruit and Shouju cocktails. Okay-they fill your glass with the clear rice liquor, which I'm guessing is about 25% alcohol, and they bring you a half-a-grapefruit, and a little juicer. You juice the grapefruit, and slide the juice into the booze. Lovely. The skewers are $2.50-$3, we ordered two of several for three of us.


This is an elegant setting, adoring service, and a great show watching the chefs cook behind a partial wall of glass in a thick cloud of smoke (get to know them now, they'll probably all be dead from cancer in ten years-just kidding). The highlight for me, other than the Dango, which are “steamed rice dumplings with chicken meatballs inside”, had to be the Kobe Beef Tongue (Gyutan). Now of course I love tongue, in all of its different preparations, but this was an uncured version, that had the gaminess of great beef, and the taste and texture of fucking tongue. I don't know how else to describe it. The skewers were $8 each, and I'm glad we just got two, because my dining companions and I started exchanging bad looks when we finished them, and probably could have ordered them all night. But we went on to the Soba, hot and cold, and on to another Grapefruit Nama. The check for three of us, very full and slightly buzzed, was $145 before tip. I am amazed. Simply amazed.





Soba Totto


211 E. 43rd St


New York, NY


212-557-8200

No comments:

Post a Comment