When it comes to Japanese noodles, ramen always gets the top billing. What’s not to love about the dish of springy noodles and savoury, rich broth? Udon, too, can satisfy this craving too. Not only do you also get to enjoy chewy, toothsome wheat noodles, but the broth that accompanies udon is equally umami-packed. There are cold versions of udon that rely on having a flavourful dipping sauce to whet your appetite and beat the heat.
Besides various preparations of udon (soup, curry, stir-fried, served with tempura and more), there are regional differences in the types too. Chiefly among them is Sanuki udon from Kagawa prefecture, which is said to have a softer texture. Sanuki is usually the “default” type you’ll encounter. The other well-known type is Inaniwa udon from Akita prefecture, prized for having a smoother, slurpier mouthfeel.
Here are eight places to dig into udon in Singapore.
1. Tamoya Udon and Tempura
Tamoya Udon and Tempura was founded by Sanuki Udon champion chef Tamotsu Kurokawa. The brand has been serving udon that has been made fresh daily without preservatives since 2013, first in the now-defunct Liang Court and now in Plaza Singapura. The brand also recently unveiled its second branch in SingPost. There are soup and dry versions of udon here, with signature iterations such as Beef Udon, Black Garlic Tonkotsu Udon and Beef Curry Onsen Egg Udon. Tamoya also serves tempura, ramen, bento and don.
Tamoya Udon is at 68 Orchard Rd, #06-11/12 Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839 and 10 Eunos Rd 8, #01-149 SingPost, Singapore 408600. Visit its Instagram for more information.
2. Tempura Udon by Mizuya
Tempura Udon by Mizuya is located in one of the shops on the ground floor of Orchid Hotel in Tanjong Pagar. As the name suggests, udon is served in a set with tempura here. The noodle sits in a hearty broth that’s accompanied by your choice of fried foods ranging from salmon and prawn to chicken and vegetables. And if you’re feeling especially hungry, get some sashimi or sides too.
Tempura Udon by Mizuya is at 1 Tras Link, #01-14 Orchid Hotel, Singapore 078867. Visit its Instagram for more information.
3. Fu-Men Japanese Udon & Donburi Restaurant
Founded by Toshihiro and Sharon together with their business partner chef Teppei Yamashita, Fu-Men Japanese Udon & Donburi Restaurant serves up Hakata-style udon and rice bowls. But what sets them apart from the other entrants on this list is that the brand is certified halal, a certification they decided to pursue after realising that they didn’t use pork at all. There are both soup and dry udon options with toppings such as beef, chicken tempura and smoked duck.
Fu-Men Japanese Udon & Donburi Restaurant is at 16 Raffles Quay, #B1-17/18 Hong Leong Building, Singapore 048581. Visit its Facebook for more information.
4. Idaten Udon
Idaten Udon prides itself as a udon speciality concept restaurant with three outlets in Singapore. There are the classic versions served with soup and toppings such as beef, pork and kitsune as well as less orthodox iterations such as Mentai Carbonara Udon, Garlic Chicken Maze Udon and Kimchi Udon.
Idaten Udon has multiple locations in Singapore. Visit its website for more information.
Tenjin by the Les Amis Group focuses on creating scrumptious bowls of tendon or tempura rice bowls. But its menu also consists of Inaniwa udon, which is much thinner than regular udon made with a recipe that dates back to the 1660s. Udon is likewise served with tempura here, with the option of having it either hot or cold at the Raffles City outlet or cold at the Shaw Centre branch.
Tenjin is at 1 Scotts Road, #03-08 Shaw Centre, Singapore 228208 and 252 North Bridge Road, B1-46 Raffles City, Singapore 179103. Visit its website for more information.
6. Tsuru-Koshi Udon
The basement of Ngee Ann City is a haven for Japanese food and snacks. Amidst the many stores sits Tsuru-Koshi Udon. It is part of a Japanese food group and is known for its “aged hand-stretched udon” served with golden soup stock. Select from offerings such as Tonkotsu Char Siew & Kakiage Udon, Ebi Tempura Udon, Tempura Moriawase Zaru Udon and more.
Tsuru-Koshi Udon is at 391 Orchard Rd, B2-01/02/03 Ngee Ann City, Singapore 238873. Visit its Facebook for more information.
7. Udon Don Bar
Located within the campus of the National University of Singapore, Udon Don Bar offers a range of udon and don at affordable, student-friendly prices. Classic versions of udon here include Beef Udon, Seaweed Udon and Kakiage Udon. Meanwhile, more unique takes range from Spicy Garlic Beef Udon and Beef Curry Udon to Spicy Tomato Yaki Udon and Black Pepper Beef Yaki Udon.
Udon Don Bar is at 1 Create Way, #01-12 Town Plaza, Singapore 138602. Visit its website for more information.
Located within Pan Pacific Singapore is Keyaki. Within the restaurant is a view of a Japanese garden pavilion and koi pond to accompany your meal. There are three udon dishes on its dinner menu – Inaniwa Udon sourced from Akita Prefecture, Tempura Udon as well as Wagyu Niku Udon served with sliced beef. Have the noodles alongside the extensive menu available at Keyaki.
Keyaki is at 7 Raffles Blvd, Level 4 Pan Pacific Singapore, Singapore 039595. Visit its website for more information.