When There’s a Need for Udon.

When I was young, my favourite go-to Japanese noodles was udon. I used to order the plain udon noodle bowl before graduating to beef or chicken. I remember when my mum used to lecture me about devouring a whole bowl on my own, that I wouldn’t have room in my stomach for anything else. I also remember ignoring her advice only to find out that she was right.

After years of polishing off bowls of udon on my own, I moved to enjoy ramen instead. Thinner noodles were easier to finish and feel less full, according to my teenaged brain. How true that it made no difference to me. One bowl was always enough to leave me a tad too full for anything else on the ever-expanding Japanese menu.

Then one day, I decided to try soba. Buckwheat soba whom many claim to be healthier than udon or ramen. For a few years, I enjoyed cold soba. It was difficult to eat at first but once I acclimatised my tastebuds to them, it was easier to swallow. It even became the main course when I went out with my family to places like Rakuzen.

But then, I decided to move back to udon because I missed the fat meaty strands that had a more satisfying pop whenever I slurped my noodles.

And you know you have a craving for udon noodles when you keep going back for more. No, I didn’t have all three bowls in one sitting. And no, not concurrent days either. I had them when I could but enough to satisfy the craving and stop having udon for a while.

niku udon
Niku Udon (or Teppanyaki Beef udon noodles) from Sushi Zanmai
smoked duck udon
Kamo Nanban Udon (or Smoked Duck udon noodles) from Xenri Japanese Fine Dining
tempura udon
Tempura Udon (fried battered prawn and vegetables with udon noodles) from Sushi Zanmai

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