This modern udon shop at Guoco Midtown at Bugis has been attracting long lines since its opening.

Thankfully, I made a reservation some time back. Otherwise, diners do start queueing before opening hours.

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Umai Artisanal Udon Bar is probably the first of its kind in Singapore, focusing on different styles of udon, making it a special place for anyone looking to taste a variety of Udon noodle dishes.

“Umai” (美味い) in Japanese means “delicious” or “tasty.”

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By the same team behind Omoté, its atmosphere is lively and casual, drawing a generally youngish-crowd.

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The location’s proximity to Bugis and office buildings means it can get busy, so reservations or timing your visit can enhance the experience.

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The concept blends traditional Japanese elements with global influences, offering a dining experience that might not align with purists’ expectations for classic udon fare.

There is an extensive variety of udon dishes, but generally narrowed to four distinct styles of noodles – the Hoto, Sanuki, Himokawa and Hippari.

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Top recommendations are the Miso Carbonara ($19), Smokey Kurobta ($16), Yakibuta Tonkotsu ($18), Spicy Prawn Hibachi ($19), to Himokawa Udon with Niku Shabu & Tempura ($23).

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The server mentioned that the Miso Carbonara ($19) was its most popular, featuring Sanuki udon and a blend of cheeses topped with a slow-cooked Black Pork slab.

Think of this as something like pasta, but incorporated with udon.

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Most would be familiar with Sanuki Udon (as it is probably the most common type in Singapore), renowned for its smooth surface, chewy and firm texture.

The 72-hour slow-cooked Black Pork added a layer of depth and smokiness, though it could still be more melt-in-the-mouth.

Do note that this is rich and get a tad heavy after a few bites. Sharing may be an option for those with a lighter appetite.

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On the other end of the spectrum, the Spicy Prawn Hibachi ($19) introduces the thinner and more delicate Hippari udon.

The element that stood out for me was its gao gao soup (may remind some of hae mee), more than the slender strands of Hippari udon noodles.

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It was robust, sweet, and mildly spicy, teeming with sweet crustacean notes.

Servings of prawns and sakura ebi, along with substantial chunks of minced kurobuta pork, ensure a satisfying mouthful in each spoonful.

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To complete the meal, there are small plates for sharing such as Mentaiyaki Gyoza ($11), Truffle Tako ($16), Crispy Squid Frits ($16), Barbecue Tontoro ($15) and Pari Pari Chicken ($12).

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Umai Artisanal Udon Bar does offer something different in the game, and a promising destination for noodle enthusiasts.

I probably don’t think I will queue so long, but its creative offerings and vibrant setting present a compelling reason to visit some time down the road.

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Umai Artisanal Udon Bar
Guoco Midtown #01-05, 128 Beach Road, Singapore 189771
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 8:30pm (Mon – Sun)

Other Related Entries
Tempura Udon by Mizuya (Tanjong Pagar)
Tamoya Udon (Plaza Singapura)
Fu Men Japanese Udon (Hong Leong Building)
Tenjin (Raffles City)
Kohaku Sabo 琥珀茶房 (Chinatown Point)

* Follow @DanielFoodDiary on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube for more food news, food videos and travel highlights. DFD paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.

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