Ootoya is not your typical Japanese restaurant. There, it is not for sushi or sashimi that you would go, but for their full meals that are beautifully presented and are in fact a pretty good deal, especially considering that prices include taxes and tip.
We went there on a Saturday, at opening time and were surprised to see that there was a line in front of the restaurant. And, sure enough, when we left, the place was packed. This is a nice place, with a zen decor, and you cannot miss the wish tree at the entrance, as well as in the first dining room that is right after the bar area. Yes, this is a big place.
Food wise, one of their specialty is the teishoku that is a traditional home cooking in a set-meal, a menu rarely offered in New York. We decided to try it, but before, we wanted to try their house made tofu: I am more a carnivore than a vegetarian, but I admit that, after trying home made tofu, I was sold. It love the silkiness of it and the texture that is different from what most restaurants serve or what you can buy. It was served with their special sauce, as well as some bonito flakes that I personally did not care about.
For the main dish, We both picked soba noodles that are also house made. Jodi went for the tororo soba, that are warm soba noodles in Ootoya original soup, served with grated yam (really weird taste). It was accompanied by bonito flakes, pickled vegetables and an egg custard.
On my side, I went for the mini-oyako don that is grilled free range chicken and onion simmered in a dashi broth and wrapped in an egg custard on top of rice. It was also accompanied by pickled vegetables and an egg custard, as well as cold soba noodles and a miso soup.
I admit that I preferred my dish that was delicious, especially the chicken and rice dish that was fantastic. The noodles were also very good, but I have to say that it was too much food and I left full for sure. This was really a complete meal and most of the dishes served around us looked very appetizing, making me want to come back again. And for sure, I will come back!
Enjoy (I did)!
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