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This review is pretty simple. Don’t even worry about messing around with Soba Nippon if you’re not coming here to eat their soba noodles. Also, don’t bother coming here if your typical Japanese food experiences are limited to either a) Iron Sushi III on Third Avenue and their Super Philadelphia Dynamite Explosion Roll, or b) Nobu 57. This is not a takeout sushi restaurant, and it’s definitely not a place that can make you an apple-yuzu martini.
What Soba Nippon is Perfect For is straight up soba. You will not find better buckwheat noodles in this town, and if you swear you did, you’re wrong. You know how we know you’re wrong? Because Soba Nippon has its own wheat farm in Canada, and they make the noodles fresh every day in the restaurant. Does your spot have a farm? No. You’re spot has a fire escape with some plants on it. At best.
People in Midtown who know whats up have been coming to Soba Nippon for years. It’s packed during lunch every single day, and if we were rating this place on their soba salad alone, it would have a 9.0. There are other things on the menu, including sushi and a few entrees that are pretty good in their own right, but to eat here and concern yourself with any of that other stuff is to miss the point. You want to roll up just before noon (before the place gets insanely busy), order a large soba salad with either fresh tofu or beef, and do your best to be at peace with your lunch despite the frenetic servers and crowds of people around you. We like to sit at the bar from time to time and slurp in solitude.
Also, before you hit send on that angry email you started writing when you saw this review, yes, we know this place is expensive. One salad will set you back $22. But, let’s face it. This is Midtown. If you wanted to eat cheap, you wouldn’t be hanging out near 5th Avenue. Oh and by the way, that “salad” that you usually get for lunch with tortilla chips, ranch, and dried cranberries in it costs $13 anyway. Splurge a little on some real food every once in a while.
As we mentioned, the soba noodles here are nothing short of incredible. But put together with all the sh*t in this salad, and you’re talking next level eats.
Salmon TeriakiThis is actually really good here, but in our opinion, not quite worth the $27 price tag. Stick with noodles.
SushiPeople that leave Soba Nippon unsatisfied tend to be the ones that sat down and ordered a bunch of sushi. That’s not what they do best. I’m pretty sure the sushi is on the menu just to keep this place on the tourist’s radar. Don’t bother.