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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mmmmm......it's Udon season in Iwakuni

I finally did it! I went to the awesome udon restaurant that everyone has been telling me about for months! And by everyone, I mean my parents and Courtney. My parents alone can count as "everyone." It's not that I didn't know this place existed. I have seen it many times, and everytime I drive by it I say to myself that I am going to go there soon and get some udon. And then life takes over or I forget about it. Now that the weather is getting cooler though, I have udon on the brain ALL of the time. Thank goodness my monthly lunch with Danielle and Courtney was coming up. We all decided to go to the awesome udon restaurant this month. Woohoo! I was so excited! Am I the only person who gets this excited about food? I know. Silly question. Or....is it? I'm not sure if people realize just how excited I get. I get REALLY excited. Like, jump up and down and do a happy dance excited.


We get there and walk into the restaurant. Wow. It's very cool. As soon as you walk in, you see the fresh udon noodles.


They quickly handed us an english menu. I was too busy trying to take pictures so I didn't really look at the menu. Super happy that they have an english menu though. Even happier that it has pictures! It's kind of like a cafeteria style place. You grab a tray and you order your udon. They also have sizes. We all got medium. Once they give you your bowl with noodles, you keep moving. Here comes the best part! You are now entering the tempura zone!


Oh my gosh! The selection of tempura is amazing. Is there a better word than amazing? Because that's what the tempura selection would be. It would be the word that's better than amazing. The only bad thing about this is that I can't decide what to get. I really wanted to get one of each, but I knew that was just crazy. So I stood there and held up the line trying to decide which tempura goodness I was going to have with my udon. I could only pick one because by now I have noticed the rice balls that are next to the tempura. And they look good! Okay. I pick up the shrimp tempura and put it on my plate. It's okay. I'll be coming here often, and I will try all of the tempura. Oh, yes I will. I finally move down to the rice balls. Again, so many choices! I choose the seaweed (konbu) rice ball, and then I move to the register to pay. My total is 530yen. Yes. 530yen. I know. I stood there in shock for a few seconds. I thought I heard wrong. Really? 530yen? Wow. I pay and then go to the next stop. This is where you add your soup and toppings.

That's it. I haven't even sat down and tried any of the food yet, and I'm in love. I am in love with this restaurant. The staff is really nice and they all look so happy. AND they only charged me 530yen for a bowl of udon, a huge shrimp tempura, and a konbu rice ball. 530yen. I'm sorry. I just can't stop talking about the price of my lunch. I think I'm good now. Mentioning the price 5 times is probably enough.
What I got for 530yen.


The restaurant is pretty roomy. They have tables and counters.

I made my way to one of the tables with the tray. If you want some water, they have water stations set up in a couple of places. They also have hot tea. I took pictures of our food while Courtney and Danielle kindly went and got some water for us. I was having a little bit of regret as I looked at Courtney's and Danielle's sweet potato tempura. It looked so good. I think I already know what I'm getting the next time I eat here.
Doesn't the sweet potato tempura look good????

Courtney also got this yummy looking veggie tempura. It looks like onions and carrots, and it looks good!

Alright, now for the real test. Cheap is nice, but if the food doesn't taste good then I don't care how cheap it is. I'll pay more for good food. I put my tempura in my udon (that's how I like to eat my udon....with shrimp tempura in it), and started eating. Mmmmm.......the udon was really good. The shrimp tempura was REALLY good. Then I opened my rice ball and yes, the konbu rice ball was also very good. Well, this foodie was super happy. Good food that's very reasonable is hard to come by sometimes. Especially with this cruddy yen rate. Did I mention that my lunch was only 530yen?

I have to warn you, this place gets very busy. Now I know why.

For those of you who have never tried udon before, please don't expect it to taste like ramen with fat noodles. The noodles are completely different and the broth is different. Definitely worth trying! If nothing else, the tempura alone is worth going to this restaurant for.

To get to this wonderful udon restaurant, please go out Main Gate and go straight through the light until you get to three corners (T intersection). At three corners, take a right. Go straight on this road until you come to the intersection that will put you on Route 2. It almost looks like a T-intersection, but it's not. At this intersection, turn left. You will pass McDonald's on your right and then Fresta on your left. The udon restaurant is on your right and it's just a couple of minutes after you pass Fresta. They have a huge parking lot so there is plenty of parking. P.S. Is it really bad that I went back there again for lunch today? Two days in a row. I'm in udon heaven! I do want to post one picture from today. Jason got the special udon. It was beef with burdock and partially boiled egg.

I should also add that we got there at around 12:20 and the place was pretty packed!

I feel like I may need to join an udon eaters anonymous group or something........

6 comments:

  1. yay! i'm always excited when you share a place that EVERYONE doesn't frequent! I've been wanting to try udon. And you are so right, with the weather cooling these are the type of places i'm going to want to go! thanks for sharing! i'm a foodie too! :)

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  2. Thank you so much, Leah! Please come back and let me know how you liked the udon!! :) Always love meeting new foodies! :)

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  3. Hey Linda. It was good. I liked the layout and atmosphere...but i'm a bigger fan of ramen! :)

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  4. Hi Leah! Yeah...some people don't like udon as much as ramen and I know a few of my friends don't like the udon broth at all. Glad you tried it though. :)

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  5. I miss Japan so much! Thanks for sharing these pictures, keep them coming!! :)
    Jackie

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  6. Tried it today, it was great! Thanks for the tip!

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