[SEOUL] When it comes to Udon, there’s Udon and there’s Sanuki Udon.

Kyodaiya 교다이야 (at times spelled Gyodaiya) is recognised for its outstanding Sanuki-style udon that is always freshly cut.

You will spot the chef behind the counter cutting thick noodles against a wooden board every time a customer places an order.

This they do to preserve the innate elasticity and smoothness of the Udon up to the final minute.

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This almost sacred act shows how serious they are with noodle tradition and craftsmanship.

When you dine here, expect to get a true-blue Sanuki Udon known for being smooth, springy, and chewy.

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With Michelin commending it as Bib Gourmand, it has attracted more diners thus wait time is quite discouraging for busy bees.

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Even on rainy weekdays, you may end up waiting up to 40 minutes.

It is best to visit during off-peak hours to veer away from the crowds.

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Offerings range from basic Kake Udon (udon noodles in soup) (9000 Won) to Udon Set meals (14,000 Won – 16,000 Won) complete with udon, fried tofu sushi, assorted tempura, salad, and dessert.

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I ordered the Tempura Udon Set Meal (16,000 Won) and liked it for its interplay of textures amidst a rich broth.

It features the signature Sanuki udon noodles, distinctively smooth and chewy.

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Their broth is said to have been flavoured with dried and smoked sardines and seasoned with light soy sauce.

As for the seafood and veggie tempura, the light batter gives them a good kind of crispiness. I tasted they imparted a subtle sweetness to the hot savoury broth as well.

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But if you prefer chewy seafood balls over crunchy tempura, get the Oden Udon Set (16,000 Won) instead.

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Alternatively, try to enjoy Udon noodles cold, especially on hot summertime days.

The Zaru Udon (chilled udon served with a dipping sauce) and Bukkake Udon (cold dashi-based broth splashed onto chilled Udon noodles) are each available for only 10,000 Won.

Both are equally refreshing takes on traditional Udon.

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Sides are available for sharing, like King Prawns (13,000 Won for 5 pcs), Medium Shrimps (12,000 Won for 10 pcs, 6,000 Won for 6 pcs), or Tempura Moriawase (assorted seafood and veggie tempura, 15,000 Won).

You can get individual pieces of King prawn (3,000 Won) or inari sushi (1,500 Won), which are fried tofu pockets stuffed with sushi rice.

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Kyodaiya earns points when it comes to focused service and painstaking noodle preparation.

Their Udon’s quality is certainly better than the average store out there, yet not everyone agrees they are exceptional.

But if you really appreciate the nuanced flavours and textures of traditional Japanese Udon, Kyodaiya is still a must-visit eatery at Hapjeong 합정.

You can reach it via subway, plus a moderate 6 to 8-minute walk. Just take Green Line 2 to reach Hapjeong Station (합정역) and use Exit 7.

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Kyodaiya 교다이야
370-8 Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul South Korea
서울특별시 마포구 성지길 39, 합정동 370-8, 합정빌딩 1층
Opening Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 8:30pm (Tues – Sun), Closed Mon

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