Sunday, 13 May 2012

Time For Sanuki Udon

Need something filling, served quickly and somewhat cheap? Why look for burgers and the like when one vacations in Japan. Eat udon instead!

Well, if you are in Takamatsu and you are hungry, what would you look for? Something yummy, chewy and absolutely delicious. You must absolutely not miss trying Sanuki udon.

Legend has it that a monk named Kukai learned the art of making udon at the temple in China where he studied and brought back the knowledge to his home in Sanuki way back in the ninth century.

Three centuries later, another monk named Enni returned from China with drawings of a hydraulic flour mill and with that knowledge, made by kneading flour (noodles, dumplings, etc) flourished.

Sanuki udon, the pride of Kagawa prefecture (which was called Sanuki in ancient times) has a soft and silky texture with an al-dente firmness.The texture of the udon can't be matched elsewhere. Really.

When we got to Takamatsu, we were pretty stoked at the chance to be able to enjoy sanuki udon. More than once, hopefully. Anyways after passing through a few udon shops in Takamatsu, we decided to try a chain outlet first and if time permits, be more adventurous and head to a more traditional, mom&pop style sanuki udon shop later.

So, off we went to Hanamaru for our first sanuki udon experience. Remember, this was our first experience at eating sanuki udon though we have been advised by bloggers, Su and Lrong on how to order them.
Shop's entrance. Not as intimidating as the other shops along the shopping area for clueless foreigners like us to enter. The cook showed us a picture menu, to choose from. So it was, take a tray, pick a glass of water, order your choice of udon (type and size), proceed to pick anything else you want to add to the meal and pay at the cashier.
All three of us had the same. Raimie had the single portion and both Zaini and I had double portion (or was it S size and L size). Can't remember.
I should say we did justice to the food! Not a single drop left!

A few other udon shops just a few metres from Hanamaru. I had hoped we can try them out, but as it turned out we cut short our Shikoku trip in favour of making our way to Hakodate. You aren't seeing the last of me yet, Shikoku! I'll come back!
This place looks pretty interesting to me.Wanted to eat here, but chicken out at the last minute and decided to go to Hanamaru instead. The reason was, the place was busy with people. We were looking for a quiet, non-crowded place as we probably would make a nuisance of ourselves with our cluelessness at busy shops. He~

Mind you, we had our lunch at 4pm!

20 comments:

  1. Looks good. I love sanuki udon. I need to go back to Takamatsu for some, even though I can get some here in Tokyo. Hanamaru is also in Tokyo, but would like to try it again and see if it really is different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read there's one in Shibuya.

      I would love to return to Takamatsu some day too, and hopefully spend more time there.

      Delete
  2. Udon is my favourite Japanese noodle! I've never been to Shikoku, but I've had sanuki udon in Tokyo. Yummy.

    Did you do this properly and slurp with gusto? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't slurp properly. It'll splash all over my face.

      Raimie however, is like an old hand at noodle slurping. ;)

      Delete
  3. That day was onigiri rice and now udon. Yes I have to say udon in Japan is the most economic eats - came with set and large portion too. During my previous trips to Japan, at night we always went to small stalls and enjoy hot udon and ramen for supper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely economical.

      Those who complain about things being too expensive in Japan most probably never venture out to find these food by themselves anyway.

      :)

      Delete
  4. You certainly find all the best eateries in Japan. You should write a foodie's guide book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha.. I wish I had found all the best (and affordable) eateries in Japan.

      That ability is somewhat restricted by the lack of Japanese language.;p

      And the fact that we do have food restrictions. ^^

      Delete
  5. Love my udon and look forward to trying sanuki udon when I'm in Takamatsu :)

    Japan Australia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy!

      I'm missing the chewy sanuki udon a lot.

      Delete
  6. Looks like you are pretty well informed about sanuki udon... the shop that you 'chickened out', Udon Ichiba, is a very popular place although not really my kind of shop... The following shop is Sanuki Mengyo, also very popular... the ground floor is self-service, and the second floor, full service... and the last shot is Kanamaru-ya, equally popular... Hanamaru is so-so in that it is a chain... it was rather unknown locally until they opened a shop in Tokyo, which started a sanuki udon boom there...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not a lot, but it is definitely much more fun to learn about something and its origin. Right? :)

      Thank you so much for the info on the shops.

      Now I'm more prepared to "attack" those shops when we visit Takamatsu again! ^^

      Delete
  7. Hanamaru Udon is one of my favorite. It's not expensive but the soup is nice. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice for us too. Though if like Lrong mentioned, it's so-so (it's a chain food, after all), I can't wait to try it at specialised, more down-to-earth places. ^^

      Delete
    2. I'm often surprised that there is a huge line at the front of the Udon shop.Many salaried workers love such Udon. :)

      Delete
    3. Maybe because it's fast (fast turnover of customers too, so minimal wait), cheap and delicious. Right? ^^

      Delete
  8. Happy Happy Mother's Day, Lina! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks.

      Did you celebrate it grandly with your parents? :)

      Delete
  9. I did not know there are different styles of udon. I definitely like my noodles al-dente.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The simplest and most outstanding feature of sanuki udon for me : the chewiness.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...