Our first day in Tokyo was a rainy, rainy one. We started off the morning by heading off to Gotokuji Temple and that was a bit of a trek. We decided we need to warm up and we stopped by an udon place in Shibuya that Howie likes. I love my ramen but Howie loves udon more!
When we got there, I was getting pretty hangry and was not happy to see the lines. I thought it would take forever to get in. However, the restaurant is set up cafeteria style: you go line up, order and then you get your food when you pay. We waited five minutes in line before we were able to order.
Along the line, you can choose to pick up some tempura yourself. There was a ton to choose from and there was a lot of variety. These looked very tempting and we were wondering why no one else was picking up any. We sat down with our food a few minutes later and we eagerly started on the tempura only to find that it was cold. No wonder no one else took any of it! We wouldn’t recommend getting any tempura unless you know they just brought it out from the fryer.
I ordered the beef sukiyaki kamatama udon and added an ebi tempura. This took a few minutes more to make since they cooked the beef separately. I maybe waited two minutes after paying but it’s still fairly fast.
Note that you don’t get soup with this bowl of udon. Rather it’s the sweet/savory sauce from the beef that drips down to the noodles creating a bit of liquid at the bottom. I found there to be enough sauce for me but major soup lovers might want to skip this bowl.
The beef itself was very tender and it was very flavorful. I loved how the sauce was savory with a hint of sweetness. The egg color was beautiful and I enjoyed mixing it with my noodles to add an extra creamy texture. I got the M size (it’s the smallest they have to offer) and I was very happy.
Howie ordered the Kitsune udon and opted to add green onions and crunchy tempura bits on top. You do this yourself at the end and you can add as much or as little as you’d like. He ordered the next size up (L) and felt this was the right amount for him to feel full but not absolutely stuffed.
He felt that this bowl was a bit salty for his liking. Despite this, he said the noodles had a very nice texture and the broth was good. At 520 yen for his bowl of noodles, this was a fair price for the meal. It wasn’t Michelin star udon but did the job in warming us up and filling our bellies. Judging from the amount of locals that were in the restaurant, we think this must be a popular dining destination for people looking for a fast, cheap lunch.
The staff here know minimal English but it’s enough to order and pay. You might have to wait a minute or two before finding a seat during peak hours but patrons here dine quick and there’s always someone getting up to leave every few minutes.