Compared to ramen, udon does not get as wide-spread popularity in Singapore, and I thought it is about time someone does a listicle specifically on UDON.
Udon うどん is a type of thick wheat flour noodle used frequently in Japanese cuisine, served in both hot and cold versions depending on the season.
Interestingly, even though Singapore is summer all year round, we find more hot soupy versions such as the Kake Udon – the simplest form of noodles in hot soup. This is usually topped with ingredients such as tempura, tofu-pockets, or meat slices.
Sanuki Udon is probably one of the most commonly found types of Udon noodles found here, characterised by its square shape and flat edges.
Tamoya Udon – Plaza Singapura
Plaza Singapura, 68 Orchard Road #06-11/12, Singapore 238839
Opening Hours: 11.30am – 9.30pm (Mon – Sun)
Founded in 1996 in Kagawa prefecture, Tamoya’s udon propelled to fame after it won the “Best Udon Maker of Kagawa Prefecture” in a television champion show in Japan.
Good to know (and see) that its udon dishes are handmade on site with ingredients imported from Japan, from flour to shoyu to bonito.
The noodles blend 3 types of different flour, and will change their combination ration by the seasons depending on the temperature and humidity.
Therefore, you would find it having more bite and chewiness unlike some others who can be soggy or just plain rubbery.
Tamoya Udon, has opened a brand-new outlet at Plaza Singapura Level 6, offering an exclusive Truffle Tonkotsu Udon ($11.80). The soup base is prepared by cooking pork bones for a number of hours, resulting in a creamy-white and flavourful broth.
This bowl is then drizzled with fragrant white truffle oil, with topping of black truffle paste for that characteristic flavour and intensity, immediately giving the noodles a ‘lift’ and addictive slurp.
For those of you who miss Tamoya’s Beef Sukiyaki Udon ($12.80) and Pork Sukiyaki Udon ($11.80), both are making a hot comeback on the mainstay menu. Tamoya Udon (Plaza Singapura)
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
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.
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.
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.
Get the 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. Marugame Udon & Tempura 丸亀製麺 (ION Orchard)
Eat At Seven, 3 Temasek Boulevard #03-315, Sky Garden Suntec City, Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6266 5338
Opening Hours: 11:30pm – 3:00pm, 5pm – 10pm (Mon – Fri), 11:30am – 10pm (Sat – Sun)
Udon Kamon, an udon specialty house just opened at Eat At Seven – the food cluster consisting of 7 top Japanese food specialist concepts.
All noodles are homemade and made fresh daily.
Another key selling point is that this Japanese concept offers different types of udon broths, the widest range available in Singapore.
These include Kyoto-style dashi soup broths, tonkotsu soup broths, a spicy Tom Yam soup broth, and an equally intense spicy Magma broth.
The Prawn Tonkotsu Udon ($14.80++) is topped with tiger prawns and Sakura-ebi, half an aji tamago, chopped green onions, bamboo shoots, and wood ear mushrooms.
Prawn paste and homemade prawn oil are added to the hearty bowl of creamy broth made with white miso and pork collar, creating a dish imbued with mildly-rich prawn flavour.
The flat-edged udon noodles are perfect in picking up this type of broth.
What’s special is also the addition of Sakura ebi, which gives that bit of crunch and more layered taste to the broth. Udon Kamon (Suntec City)
Fu-Men Japanese Udon
16 Raffles Quay, #B1-17/18 Hong Leong Building Singapore 048581
Tel: +65 6224 1134
Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 2:30pm (Sat), Closed Sun
Fu-Men serves up Hakata-style Udon from Fukuoka, characterized by mildly thick, soft and tender noodles.
The noodles are slightly slimmer as compared to the Sanuki style more commonly found in Singapore.
It is officially Halal-certified, and half size portions are available for those watching your carb-level.
Varieties such as Tempura Udon ($15), Big Fish Cake Udon ($12), Bean Curd Sheet ($8), Chicken ($12) and Premium Beef ($15) are available.
I went for the signature Gobo ($12) which came topped with Burdock Tempura, reminding me of the exceptional Zagin Soba from Hong Kong.
As for burdock, I do not think many diners in Singapore are that familiar with it yet, as they are typically used in soups and can have an overly-earthy taste.
Surprisingly, the tempura burdock was deep fried with a light, not-too-greasy batter, with a soft crunch and retained its unique woodiness. Fu Men Japanese Udon (Hong Leong Building)
Changi City Point #B1-12/13 5 Changi Business Park Central 1 Singapore 486038
Tel: +65 6636 1736
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
Other branches at NEX #B1-02, Jurong Point #B1-75, CityLink Mall #B1-21, Tampines 1 #B1-07, IMM #02-52
Idaten is a Udon restaurant where you can mix and match smooth udon, sides and tempura.
Customising your own udon bowl is fun, and I noted they have Original, Matcha and Japanese Pepper Togarashi flavoured Udon.
If you like the more ‘original’ taste, go for their specialty Kamatama Udon which comes with a half-boiled egg. Complete the Udon Meal with a choice of tempura for below $12.
My recommendation would be the Spicy Miso Pork Udon ($9.20) which has a kimchi soybean broth, and Seafood Udon ($10.80) generously added with tiger prawn, scallop, crabstick, and oyster mushroom.
435 Orchard Road Japan Food Town #04-45 Wisma Atria Shopping Centre, Singapore 238877
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
This eatery found within Japan Food Town at Wisma Atria Shopping Centre specialises in Inaniwa Udon.
This style of noodles is thinner than the conventional udon and are slightly chewy in texture. The making technique is said to be passed down the Sato Yosuke family line for hundreds of years, known as one of Japan’s best udon noodles.
The menu revolves around the Inaniwa Udon, with both chilled and hot versions.
Hot udon includes Kake Udon ($18.30), Hot Udon with Tempura ($29.80), Beef Udon ($24.80), Japanese Curry Udon ($22.80), Carbonara Udon ($24.80); while the cold versions are Bara-Kakiage Udon ($21.80), Onsen Egg Udon ($16.80), and Zaru Udon ($49.80 for 400g, meant for 3-4 pax).
My favourite was the Tempura & Ajikurabe ($34.60) – comprising of both hot & cold noodles, served with 2 types of Tare: Soy sauce with wasabi and Sesame based with ginger.
The former tasted similar to our usual style of eating soba whereas the latter was richer and more flavourful Oishii!