Keeping warm with Cocoron

There is nothing more satisfying on a cold winter day than a hot bowl of soba noodles.  One of my favorite places to enjoy soba in the city is Cocoron.  They have two locations:

  • 61 Delancey Street (between Allen and Elridge) – original location
  • 37 Kenmare Street (between Mott and Elizabeth) – larger location

I prefer the newer and larger location on Kenmare.  Service is generally iffy, but the food is definitely enough to keep me coming back for more.  Now, on to the food!

Two of their best appetizers…

cocoron_tofu

House made cold tofu with bonito flakes, seaweed, scallions and wasabi.  Creamy, silky tofu so pure tasting that you only need a smidge of soy sauce to enhance.

cocoron_dumplings

Steamed chicken dumplings with sticky rice – this dish is steamed to order and will normally take longer than other appetizers, but it is worth the wait!  There is a strong ginger flavor within the chicken meatball, but not overwhelming and the sticky rice coating provides a great textural sensation.

Cocoron categorizes their soba into three buckets:

  • Cold – cold soba noodles with cold dipping sauce on the side
  • Warm – soba noodles in warm soup
  • Dip – cold soba noodles with warm dipping sauce on the side

The cold soba is deliciously refreshing during the warmer months, but you want to stick with the warm or dip soba on a day like today.

cocoron_soba_dip

Our mains: Warm Kashiwa soba in the background, this soba has chicken thigh meat, chicken meatball, shitake mushroom and scallions.  In the foreground, is the Chicken Burdock Dip soba, here you get the cold soba noodles and a warm dipping sauce with chicken thigh meat, chicken meatball, shitake mushrooms and burdock.  The Chicken Burduck Dip soba is one of my FAVORITE things to eat in the winter.  Having the soba chilled preserves the al dente texture that buckwheat noodles should have, and the warm dipping sauce is seriously tasty and warms your body on a cold day.

Of course, it is not a complete meal until I’ve had dessert!  While Cocoron’s dessert menu is not large but they have two really great options:

cocoron_mochi cocoron_icedcoco

House made mochi ice cream served with kinako powder.  It is EXTREMELY rare to find house made mochi ice cream, most restaurants serve packaged mochi ice cream – you can clearly taste the difference in the mochi wrapping.  This is pleasingly chewy and serves as the perfect foil to the vanilla ice cream that it covers.  This comes sprinkled with kinako which is a classic topping for mochi – this gives the dish a nice toasty, nutty flavor.

The second dessert is frozen fruit served with coconut milk and tapioca.  There are frozen mixed berries, bananas and peaches swimming in coconut milk and tapioca.  A very refreshing and light dessert – a perfect ending to a healthy meal =)

So, run, don’t walk to Cocoron!  Just remember to bring cash, they do not accept credit/debit cards.