When It’s Hot Outside, Zaru Soba At Niko Niko Hits The Spot
It’s easy to forget about Niko Niko on Wall (at Pearl) which has been a mainstay of cheap Japanese comfort food for years in the Financial District and is the closest thing we have to something like a Sunrise Mart. When Yushi opened a couple of blocks up Pearl St. I wondered how the two would compare, but I think Niko Niko has the edge on most things in the price department although I did really like Yushi’s rice bowls that have perhaps more inventive vegetable and protein options. Still, sometimes when the weather is super hot as it has been lately the thought of eating a big hot bowl of rice and meat sounds about as appealing as doing my taxes so that’s when either sushi or zaru soba comes in and I stopped by Niko Niko to check out their version of the latter.
This isn’t a full-service restaurant, so really the standards are pretty low with what to expect from your cold noodles and dipping sauce ($7.25). It’s a good thing I kept my expectations at knee level because this was a pretty spartan dish.
You get a pile of soba noodles (which had just been cooked, and were thus, not cold) along with a cup of dipping sauce, some wasabi and scallions. For $1 more you can get a deluxe version that comes with two tempura shrimp but I didn’t see the sign for that until I’d already ordered and paid.
This wasn’t your highest quality soba but it got the job (filling me up) done. The dipping sauce is essentially soy sauce with a little sweetness, and was helped greatly by the scallions and wasabi paste.
If you want a light summer meal – and this is only served during the summer here – this is a no frills version of that. However, if you have a hunger that just won’t stop, I’d stick with a bento box or one of the rice bowls which offers you more for sometimes less money.
Next up I need to try some of their dirt-cheap sushi rolls. Seriously, you can get sushi for less than $4 there!
Niko Niko, 80 Wall St. (at Pearl), 212-232-0152