Marugame Udon & Tempura, known to be the No. 1 Udon noodle restaurant chain in the world, can be found in Singapore at ION Orchard basement 4.
Those who frequent Japan should have seen this brand around, also known as Marugame Seimen 丸亀製麺.
It is named after Marugame 丸亀, the city in Kagawa Prefecture known to serve the best of these thick wheat flour noodles.
There are more than 1000 stores in the world, and I heard from the grapevine that Singapore’s first outlet is the 1001th shop.
With so many ramen shops locally, it is about time we get more Udon eateries.
The brand is known for its freshly made Sanuki-style Udon at affordable prices, starting at $5.90 for a classic regular Udon. Inexpensive considering ION Orchard is at the heart of town.
Sanuki Udon is probably one of the most commonly found types of Udon noodles, characterised by its square shape and flat edges.
To make these special noodles, the restaurant in Singapore is equipped with a specially-imported machine that stimulates traditional methods to efficiently knead the flour.
Kneaded, cut, boiled, and cooked fresh in the store.
Similar to the Japan restaurants, Marugame Udon & Tempura in Singapore operates in a self-serve style where you first can choose the Udon, then add your preferred tempura.
After paying, there is a toppings seasoning bar to further customise your bowl. Choose from coriander, spring onions, grated ginger, wasabi, and agedama – deep-fried batter bits from cooking tempura.
The Udon can be ordered in regular or large portions; and I think that the former should be filling enough for the average diner with its thick, chewy strands.
Here are some recommendations from Marugame Udon & Tempura in Singapore:
Udon with Seasoned Cod Roe & Half Boiled Egg ($11.90, $12.90)
One of the best sellers and my personal favourite is a dry udon with mentaiko and seaweed strips.
After mixed together, the roe imparted a layer of complex salty-sweetness, while the egg helped to balance the dish.
You still get to appreciate the chewy texture and mild flavour of the Udon noodles.
Clam Udon in Bonito Broth ($11.90, $12.90)
A brothy bowl with slight umami, and natural briny flavour from the shellfish. Comforting when you are in need of something more soupy and savoury.
Pork Udon in Spicy Miso Soup ($11.90, $13.70)
Marugame creates their soups daily with varieties of stock from sardine, mackerel, and bonito, then added with Japanese kelp and soy sauce to further enhance the flavours.
The Pork Udon in Spicy Miso Soup which is another of its best seller, may take some getting used to as it is not quite the same as rich ramen miso that most local diners are used it.
In case you are wondering, the spiciness was not too strong, with that slight level of kick.
Beef Udon in Bonito Broth ($11.90, $13.90)
A Nikutama Udon which features a sweet dashi and bonito beef broth, topped with tender seasoned sliced beef slices.
Beef Curry Udon ($9.90, $11.60)
A combination of two Japanese popular food – Udon and Japanese curry, for something more hearty and rich.
I would suggest adding on some crispy tempura for that dip into the smooth gravy.
Japanese Classic Original Udon with Bonito Soy Sauce ($5.90, $6.90)
This is actually what most of the Japanese would go for, the classic Udon at its simplest, served in a wooden bucket.
For more flavours, the noodles can be dipped into the accompanying bonito soy sauce dip, or added with toppings such as spring onions and battered tempura bits.
Japanese Classic Cold Udon with Bonito Soy Sauce ($5.90, $6.90)
Suitable when you are feeling the heat from Singapore’s weather, as the cold version of the classic is a summertime treat.
The tempura station serves up choices of freshly fried karaage chicken, shrimp, chikuwa (Japanese fish cake), cod fillet, fried dumplings, lotus root, sweet potato, fried mixed squid and vegetables, and a ball of mixed vegetables. My favourite was the Karaage Squid Tentacles.
Prices start from $1.50.
You may just notice a few pieces of the tempura in the tray at another one time, reason being they are all freshly fried. If your choice is not available, you can make an order first and wait for a couple of minutes for it to be ready.
Just in case you want something other than noodles, a selection of Donburi such as Beef Curry Rice ($6.90), Miso Pork Rice ($8.90) and Beef Rice with Half Boiled Egg ($9.90); and Eel or Seasoned Cod Roe Onigiri ($2.20) are available.
For a first timer, I would say get one of their soup-based Udon, then feel free to top up with some of those tempura flakes.
As for Udon lovers, this should be great news that Japan’s most popular Udon is finally here, at comparatively inexpensive prices.
Marugame Udon & Tempura Singapore 丸亀製麺
2 Orchard Turn #B4-67/68 ION Orchard Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6732 0687
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm Daily
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Marugame Udon & Tempura.