There’s something really nice about a good bowl of udon.
There’s a whole formality and ritual to ramen – and why shouldn’t one? After all, the success of a bowl of ramen depends solely on skill. From the noodles to the broth and meat, it’s a consummation and product of experience and technique studied and honed – there’s no definitive flavor to success per se, but we know great from good…well, at least, for those who have taste. Udon and soba however, don’t get that much reverence, but the thing with udon and soba is, it’s easy to get wrong. There’s no “average” or “passable” – it’s like math: it’s definite.
You know you’re in the right place considering that when Darren and I visited Tamoya, Japanese outnumber locals. If you’ve visited Japan, and snug out of your hotel to grab some late night supper, you’d find yourself in a noodle shop in a similar concept to this, assembly-line: you order, add a little extra (in this case, tempura), collect your order and pay. If you were looking for a soupy snack, you might be a tad disappointed. This Kagawa prefecture-based udon chain specializes in Sanuki udon, which is for the most part, served al dente in a not-so-substantial broth, “Kake” (light flavor broth) or “Bukkake” (heavier flavor broth), all available chilled or warm. If you’re a little more discerning, then you’d recognize the curry udon and of course, the authentic works: kamatama udon, which is udon served with raw egg. Where there’s udon, there has gotta be tempura, and I mean, good tempura. I have to say, this has gotta be the best tempura I’ve ever had considering that I ordered a large Bukkake udon, shitake mushroom tempura, eggplant tempura, fried karaage and ebi tempura for just SGD 13.30. I was beyond impressed that Tamoya managed to also replicate the ultra-affordable prices we see in Tokyo for udon, soba and tempura, while still delivering a very classic experience. The secret to making your udon great is yourself. You’ll receive your noodles straight, and it’s up to you to pile on the kelp, sesame seeds, dashi, negi and all matter on the “seasoning” table to enhance your meal.
I wanna come back and try the other offerings, and with prices this affordable, you’ll see me back sooner than later.