WHY ISN'T THIS PLACE IN 'MERICA?
We had our first taste at a self-service chain called Marugame Seimen which makes a variety of slurptastic and fresh udon noodles at a very affordable price. They even have a window where a guy makes noodles so you can see that the noodles are made fresh every day, instead of those shipped in from China.
|Steamy noodles and broth ready for slurping|
The udon was fantastic; the noodles were perfectly al dente and in a richly seasoned broth. Even better was the amazing tempura which remained crunchy and warm despite having sat under some heating lamps. I had prawn, kabocha squash, fish stick tempura and this giant onion and vegetable tempura basket which is dare-I-say tastier and crisper than Outback Steakhouse's unhealthy blooming onion.
|Heaps of tempura and a bowl of udon. Heavenly.|
|Torotama udon with scallions and ginger|
|Tempura options - as awesome as it looks.|
Our second udon foray was at a spot right outside of the historic ponto-cho: Omen Nippon. Nick and I opted for different set menus which ended with a bowl of dipping udon. The meal was in a comfortable setting but the food reflected a sophisticated kaiseki sensibility. We enjoyed delicate and exactingly arranged courses including crudo, delicate fried tempura, tofu in a soy milk broth, a daikon and crab soup and other dishes.
Our meal was completed with a bowl of the most delicious udon noodles sprinkled with sesame seeds, served with a dark shoyu broth to its side with little veggies and accoutrement. You only added as many noodles to the broth or dip the noodles as you go, rather than sink the noodles in the broth. This was definitely all about the noodle and the meal was memorable and delicious. Enjoy a photographic journey of some Japanese food porn!
|A delicate crudo|
|Crispy fish topped with roe in a dashi|
|Vegetables in a creamy tofu dressing|
|Tofu and soymilk soup|
|Daikon and crab soup|
|Fried vegetables and mushrooms|
|Vegetables, pickles and udon toppings|
|Broth and noodles|
|This makes me want to slurp my laptop screen|
|The front door - go look for it!|