Noodle, noodles, noodles—the past couple of years have definitely been all about ramen. With this trend looking like it’s not slowing down, Keiko Ono Aoki, widow of the Founder of Benihana Restaurant chains, and her partner Iron Chef Yuji Wakiya, are bringing their version of the tasty dish to NYC.
KOA restaurant, located in the Flatiron District, offers a new kind of specially-crafted Sorba noodle that combines the best of Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Joining chef Wakiya in the creations of the dishes is also prominent restaurateur Toranosuke “Tora” Matsuoka who will create a gastronomic marriage between the two cultures.
When paired with KOA’s new creation soymilk broth and creative toppings, the bowl is meant to lean toward the healthier side to keep with a balanced wellness regimen. The new broth is imported from Japan and has about 70 percent less calories than other creams used in ramen.
"We are thrilled to offer the public the opportunity to experience our unique and flavorful Sorba noodles," said Toranosuke “Tora” Matsuoka, veteran restaurateur, and President of KOA 21. "We are in the era of the noodles and strive to provide our guests with the highest quality ingredients with a stylish twist in broth flavor and presentation. Chef Wakiya created a menu with classic recipes and iconic Chinese elements.”
Guests can also expect other playful dishes such as a Shrimp Basil appetizer, crispy shrimp tossed in sweet and sour chili sauce topped with a basil aioli sprinkled with radish shavings; and Hehe-a-He Chicken served in a tajine, wok-fried, marinated chicken thigh meat and mixed with choten and takanotsume peppers. And for those with gluten allergies, there are also gluten-free noodles and vegan or vegetarian options are available as well.
Koa Restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and happy hour with evening dining starting at 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Sundays).