We headed down to new udon house Tamoya on Sunday to find it full of tiny patrons, little Japanese children—all sporting bowl-haircuts—some just chatting and others slurping individual servings of thick noodles. They looked so comfortable and self sufficient…like miniature adults. The scene made us feel like giants in Lilliput, till we noticed their parents waiting to order at the self service counter, in a long snaking line extending outside the eatery.
We quickly joined the queue and thankfully, thought the noodles were worth the wait. The first Singapore outlet by the Kagawa prefecture-based udon chain has been packed since it opened on March 1: On weekdays, with professionals who work around the Liang Court-location and on weekends, with Japanese families. The place offers affordable noodle bowls such as curry udon ($8.80), beef kake udon ($10.80) and kamatama udon ($5.80). You can bulk the meal up with tempura, including prawn ($2.50), shitake mushroom ($1) and eggplant ($1). The range of food sounds pretty limited. But we’d take a concise high quality menu over a poorly-conceived wide-ranging one any day. What matters is that they do their specialty well. The udon’s appropriately chewy, there’s real bite to it. And while the clear dashi broth might look boring and bland, it packs plenty of sweet-salty flavor.
Hungry for more Japanese eats? Check out our blog on recent Nippon-style food and beverage openings.