Soy and Sake Village

Manhattan, New York City

4.3 / 6 votes

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Japanese Vegetarian cafe

Restaurant, Bar

Soy and Sake is a hip cafe and bar in the West Village specializing in Japanese food, but also carrying Chinese, Malaysian, and American soul food. It is owned by the same people as Red Bamboo / VP2, so the menu includes many well-known Red Bamboo items like chicken Parmesan, soy chops, and other soul food dishes utilizing soy meats. Other menu items include: numerous mockmeat sandwiches, curries, salads, noodle dishes, bento boxes and sushi. Also features a full bar and lounge.

The dining room is very large, clean, and trendy and includes a huge fish tank in the center (to the dismay of some animal rights activists).

Lunch specials are about $7-9 and are served between 12-4pm. Lunch specials include both sushi and soul food options.

Added by bigben on Nov 10 08 (last updated Feb 14 10)

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Most Recent Reviews

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

Soy and Sake has a few interesting dishes but is mixed overall in terms of food quality and service.

We started with a roti canai appetizer, which was good and did a wonderful job veganizing a traditional Indo-Malaysian dish. The roti was soft and flaky and the curry stew was savory, though it could have been thicker, and the soy chicken could have been slightly firmer. On a whole, though, it came together.

The avocado salad was bland and forgettable, though. It was basically lettuce with thinly-sliced avocado and cafeteria-grade tomatoes that looked pale and pink.

For main courses, we split a veggie burger, a "Thai grilled chicken" and a "Thai Mango Chilean soy fish." The burger had a great, juicy soy pattie, but the rest of the dish was low-quality, with Heinz ketchup, a white flour bun, and limp lettuce and tomatoes. The Thai grilled chicken came to us sizzling on a hot plate and was subsequently covered in a peanut sauce. I liked the texture of the chicken pieces, but the sauce was bland and the vegetables with the dish were not well-integrated (they seemed like an afterthought).

Lastly, the Thai Mango Chilean soy fish was excellent. This dish pleased everyone, including the two non-vegetarians in the group. It consisted of large pieces of batter-fried soy fish, served with brown rice, strips of raw, green mango, and a delightful citrus sauce. The dish came together well, was filling, and represented a great value in terms of portion size. It's also an unusual offering and stands out from the rest of the menu, which is fairly standard and unremarkable.

The service was below average, which was surprising given that the joint is sort of classy (though not "upscale" by any means). Our waitress was inattentive, borderline curt, and made basic mistakes, like not giving us serving spoons with each dish.

The prices are moderate and this is a good place to take a date. While there's a wall of glass along one side of the restaurant (which makes for great people-watching), it's also quite drafty in the winter, so I'd recommend taking a table away from the windows.

Image for Cass Danger

rating star

I am ecstatic to finally have a place in NYC to get vegan sushi that includes more than just avocado, cucumber and plum. Soy and Sake has such interesting combinations as soy salmon and avocado and vegan tuna and cucumber (note that the fish options taste like tuna salad or salmon salad with vegan mayo, and not chunks of soy fish).

As an appetizer, a friend and I shared the vegan fried shrimp with mayo. The unexpected presentation was chopped up fried shrimp mixed with the vegan mayo, sitting on top of rice noodles inside a margarita glass. What was really odd was the clear plastic cube placed inside the noodles that flashed blue and red lights from inside the glass. Weird. We also shared a sushi platter and my favorite was either the avocado with soy tuna or salmon (can't recall which, as they tasted similar). We had a big plate of 3 kinds of sushi (6 of each), and it was only $11 for the lunch special. What a deal!

I was, however, very turned off by the huge fish tank in the middle of the dining room. I think the restaurant is mostly there for the trendy crowd, and not so much the animal rights community. It's unfortunate tropical fish are stuck living in a glass box for the amusement of restaurant patrons, but I do hope that the larger community dines here instead of the other meaty places in the neighborhood.

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Neighborhood

Greenwich Village

Directions

1 train to Cristopher St. Between Bleecker St. & Morton St.

Non-Smoking

Accepts Reservations

Wheelchair Accessible

Prices

$$ - average

Payment

  • American Express MasterCard Visa

Cuisines

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Thai
  • Malaysian

Features

  • (Mostly) Organic
  • Delivery
  • Happy Hour

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the dining room

the dining room

fried "shrimp" with vegan mayo vegan sushi: tuna with avocado, salmon with cucumber, pickled squash

Hours

noon - 11pm
noon - midnight
noon - 11pm

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