After slurping some Tempura Udon at "Hoteiya" for dinner two days ago, downing a large size of Tom Yam Kung Ramen at "Tinun" for lunch and a bowl of Tonkotsu-Shoyu Ramen at "Tsukumo Ramen" in Ebisu yesterday after clubbing hard, I ate my fourth noodle dish in 36 hours at "Sanuki Udon Sawa" yesterday.
For your information, UDONs are wheat flour noodles usually eaten in a hot broth, or served cold and dipped in a Tsuyu sauce before slurped.
Sanuki is the old name for what is the actual Kagawa prefecture in the southern island of Shikoku, and the Sanuki Udon designates a particular way of serving the Udon in Kagawa. I still don't know exactly what a Sanuki Udon is, except that when served in a broth, it is a clear one (whereas the Kanto, northern-central region of the main Honshu Island, one is darker and saltier), and it is considered good manner to swallow the whole broth.
"Sanuki Udon Sawa" seems to take this Udon business quite seriously and manufacture its own Udons in the shop. A wooden placard in the shop says "一日一麺" (Ichinichi Ichichimen, meaning Eat a bowl of noodles everyday) which is an obvious pun on the famous expression "一日一善" (Ichinichi Ichizen, signifying Do a good deed everyday), so it still manages to do that with humor.
When we got in, we were welcomed by a smily tall chef in his 50s who seated us at the counter. After being told that the items with a red dot on the menu were the recommendations, I went for the Curry Udon which was one of them. A Curry Udon is boiled Udon served in a bowl of thick and hot curry soup. I'm not an adept of that dish as I usually find the curry taste to be a little boring at the end, but I got curious.
The curry, a typical Japanese sweet-flavored one, was thick and rather spicy. Some people might even find it too hot, but I quite liked it as the spice allowed to fight off the sweetness and give a kick to the whole. As in a lot of Sanuki Udon recipe, the chef uses some Iriko-Dashi (dry little sardines broth) in its bouillon which adds that typical southern Japan Udon flavor to the sauce.
It is a little difficult for me give you a review on how the noodles tasted because of the strong curry aroma, but they had what I would assume is low to medium firmness. They were easy to swallow, though maybe a little too tender. Despite the menu saying it may take up to 15 to 20mn to serve the Udon which they boil from order, I think they got to us in less time, so maybe the chef just heated some pre-boiled Udon? Which would explain the tenderness, but these are just assumptions...
The bowl was topped with very good Atsuage (deep-fried Tofu), chopped leek, sesame and a raw egg. I recommend that you mix the yolk as soon as you get the noodles as it will smoothen the spicy broth. I ended up drinking the whole soup, so I guess I liked it.
At ¥800, it's neither cheap nor expensive. By the way, supersizing the bowl is free so definitely do it as it's not that big anyway.
Last but not the least, if you're not into an Indian remix of the Udon, they do have more traditional Udon dishes as well.
And at dinner time, you can also order some food from the Okinawa restaurant on the 2nd floor.
Sanuki Udon Sawa is open everyday from 11:30am to 23:00pm, but close for an hour from 16:00pm.
Setagaya-ku, Daizawa 5-32-7
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