Famed Soba Shop Sarashina Horii to Open First U.S. Outpost in New York
If asked to name a Japanese noodle soup, many Americans would probably respond “ramen” – in no small part because many of us were reared on inexpensive, instant packets of the stuff from childhood through to our broke college days. Considering that strong emotional attachment, it’s also little surprise that high-end ramen restaurants were able to emerge as a massive trend when that same “ramen generation” came into adulthood. But ramen isn’t the only Japanese noodle game in town, and now, one of Tokyo’s oldest soba restaurants is slated to help prove that point by opening its first American location.
Eater reports that the soba shop Sarashina Horii will be launching an outpost in New York City in July at 45 East 20th St. in the Flatiron district. The restaurant, which was founded back in 1789 and once served at the Japanese Imperial Household, currently has three locations in Tokyo, but this will be its first time it’s tried a location outside of Japan.
Bigtime Anthony Bourdain fans may already be familiar with the name because Sarashina Horii made an appearance on the show No Reservation where the late chef called its noodles “perfectly chewy.” Soba noodles have a different texture than ramen noodles because the former uses buckwheat, and as Eater explains, Sarashina Horii apparently only uses the core of buckwheat seeds to make its soba extra awesome. Soba has been having a big moment in the States, with places like Kamonegi, from 2019 Best New Chefs Mutsuko Soma, bringing long-overdue national recognition to the noodle.
Meanwhile, if you’re wondering what sort of takes on soba this American version of Sarashina Horii will offer, that’s apparently still to be determined.
On the restaurant’s official website, Sarashina Horii warns, “Please note that the menu on this page is available at Sarashina Horii Azabu-juban only, which is different with the menu offered at Sarashina Horii New York opening in summer 2019.”