Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cocoron 01-15-2011

Location: 61 Delancey St.
Time: 1pm
People: RB, CK and myself

Feelings: After CK's 2.5 hour Japanese play group in East Village on Saturday mornings, we usually need a hearty lunch. When I heard that the former Soba Totto chef opened his own restaurant near my beloved hair salon, Fringe, we decided to keep the Japanese theme for the day and took a nice walk down to Delancey.

There have not been many Japanese owned restaurants in Lower East Side since Soy, so this new "heartwarming" (cocoron in Japanese) soba establishment is indeed a nice addition. Ramen took Manhattan by a storm within the last few years, but soba is still under the radar despite its healthiness. Soba is predominantly a Tokyo based dish, and an Osakan such as myself will usually prefer udon above all other noodles. But due to its health benefits, I have been slowly converting to soba since 2003.

Cocoron creates their menu around soba's healthy nutrients and promotes a well-balanced meal. The menu interestingly indicates all the health benefits of each dish as well as a nice surprise that most of the dishes were under $10. Healthy and reasonable do not come together often, so this was a welcoming surprise.

We started our hearty meal with miso coleslaw ($2.50), in which red cabbage was delicately mixed with miso. It was crunchy and flavorful and reminded me of my mother's dish. I also highly recommend ordering their delicious soba tea with the appetizer and have your stomach ready for the main soba dish.

Despite the chilling temperature outside, I ordered Cold Tororo Wakame Soba ($9) since I firmly believe that the best way to enjoy the soba noodle is by cold. On the menu, they called this dish, "anti-aging soba," and they were right; I instantly felt rejuvenated from how fresh tororo (Japanese yam) and wakame were. The soba was nicely chewy and al dente, and overall this was one of the best soba dishes I have had in years.

For hungry carnivores, RB's Hot Stamina Soba ($9.50) created the ultimate soba heaven. The dish came with tsukune (Japanese chicken meatball) and pork with Tokyo style dark broth. RB said it was absolutely delicious but made him feel calm and peaceful rather than full of stamina.

The space is limited here, and we could barely fit a stroller. However, the overall experience outweighs the cozy space issue. Who could turn down the amazing Japanese hospitality, reasonable price, and deliciously healthy soba? Thank you for warming my heart, Cocoron!


Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! We got EXACTLY the same thing! I loooove tororo and yes, it was so refreshing. I coaxed my mother into getting the stamina soba, but she thought the broth was a bit salty (as the waitress had informed us). I really wanted to try the housemade tofu set, but a bit pricey for me. We also ordered the dessert special (cheesecake), but wished we had kept our original plan of the matcha roll instead. Small space, but a great Japanese additional for the area, if not NYC. :)

Stay warm!

Yosh. O said...

I didnt write about it, but we got their hojicha pudding, which was delicious!
Stay warm & have a lovely weekend :)

Kath (Eating for Living) said...

Ecxiting! I love Japanese foods and currently enjoy a lot of miso soups (because (1) they're so tasty and (2) it's so could ouside). I want to cook more Asian-style in general, and Japanese especially.