Best Japanese Udon Stores

Park, Jeonghun

         For me, noodles are one of my favorite choice, when I am looking for a quick bite. Noodles do not make your hands sticky like a hamburger does, nor does it require “Spoon action”, using your spoon rigorously to scoop up rice. In the world there are many delicacies that are based on noodles, like udon. Udon is made from wheat and usually served in hot broth. To make udon palatable, noodles should be prepared well, so not using factory-made off the shelf products is the key. In this article I introduce best udon stores I have been to under the typical budget of a university student.

The first place is called “우동가조쿠” (Udon family in English). The place is in front of the school near McDonalds. They serve warm and cold noodles. The notable trait about this place is that the cost is relatively cheaper to other places that I have been to. The average price, here for udon, is about 6000 won, which is appropriate considering the quality of the food. I have been there numerous times, and I was proud that the place was selected by “Wednesday Food Talk”, a renowned TV show that finds best restaurants that serve great food under a given topic every week. The best thing about this place is they make their own broth using natural ingredients, which is a tedious task to do. My favorite menu there is an udon that is served without a broth; cannot recall the name unfortunately. You start the dish by pouring soy sauce on the noodle and on the raw egg. Due to osmosis, which is a process that equalizes the concentrations on each side of the membrane, water from the noodle and the egg forms the “Broth”. For me, the experience of having an udon without a broth was very exotic after having the plate. In short, “Udon Family” is a renowned place if you want to try udon served without a broth under your budget constraint.

그림2.pngFigure 1: The udon served without a broth

The next place is located near the Seoul City Hall. The place is called Inaniwa Yosuke, which is a directly owned franchise by the Japanese restaurant operating in the same brand. The restaurant was selected by the Michelin Guide Seoul and Wednesday Food Talk as a udon place. Their noodles are different from traditional udon. Conventionally the noodles are not dry; they are molded and cooked. However, their noodles are dried noodles. They cook dried noodles and serve them with soy sauce. The visitor eats the dish by dipping the noodle into the soy sauce. The store destroyed my stereotype that udon must be a “Wet” noodle. Moreover, before I knew the fact that the noodles were dry, I thought that they were molded right inside the kitchen! The noodles are thin unlike conventional udon that have thick noodles. Because it is thin, ironically you can feel the texture of the dish; the “Sophisticated thinness”. Enough said, if you are around Seoul City Hall, visit this place. The only drawback is that the portion of the food is smaller compared to previous restaurant and it is much more expensive (6000 vs 13000 won) if you miss the lunch hour.

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