In Tokyo, Onyanma, a stand-up Sanuki udon restaurant that is open from morning, has gained a great reputation among Sanuki udon fans, but when we looked for it, we found another restaurant specializing in stand-up Sanuki udon in Osaka. The restaurant, Udon Kyutaro, was established in October 2017 in Osaka’s business district of Honmachi, and its owner was trained at famous restaurants such as Udon Baka Ichidai in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, and Pure Handmade Udon Yoshiya in Marugame City.
I visited the restaurant on a weekday morning with high expectations that I would be able to enjoy authentic Sanuki udon here. I arrived in Honmachi, excited to try udon standing up for the first time in Osaka in a long time, but…
The location of the restaurant is very confusing, so be careful… Udon Kyutaro is a restaurant like this
I arrived at Udon Kyutaro around 9:00 a.m. that day. It was hard to find the restaurant…it was during a time when most stores were not yet open, and the entrance was open only a few doors away among the many shutters.
It may be partly because the store is hidden by shutters, but the store itself is very small, so it may be especially difficult for first-timers to find the store. The store is located on the left side of the street, two streets east of Midosuji from Hommachi Station toward Shinsaibashi, going south from the Hommachi Station side on Don-ike-suji, so it is best to keep your eyes on the left side as you walk.
When you pass through the entrance of the restaurant, there is an island-style standing counter for 10 people in the front, and a cash register and kitchen in the back, which looks very similar to the facade of Minato-ya 2, a famous raayu-soba restaurant in Tokyo. However, the seating is even smaller than at Minatoya 2, and it is difficult to walk past customers slurping their udon. The restaurant seems to be completely aimed at the business people in the surrounding area, and is probably not very user-friendly for travelers with large luggage or for families with small children.
Udon Kyutaro’s Sanuki Udon menu has a unique name, and the prices are a bit high, but when you try it…
This is what the Sanuki Udon menu looks like on display at Udon Kyutaro…
When I looked at the menu that was displayed in front of the restaurant, I was a bit taken aback by the unique naming of the items. The most prominent name, ABURI, which is a popular menu item using Miyazaki brand pork, is listed in the upper left corner, but it reminded me of AFURI, a very popular ramen restaurant in Tokyo and Kanagawa. I don’t mind if they named it that way, but it somehow made me think, “Is this what they’re trying to do?” I am tempted to think that they are trying to make a target.
Looking at the rest of the menu, I found that “kake” and “bukkake,” which are standard Sanuki udon dishes, are the lowest priced at 450 yen per bowl. The prices are a bit higher than those of Onyanma, but if you can enjoy delicious Sanuki udon for a single coin, the price is well within the acceptable range. In addition to Sanuki udon, side dishes such as tempura and onigiri (rice balls) are available. At this price, don’t you want to order tempura with your udon and eat it with gusto?
Examples of Udon Kyutaro’s Sanuki Udon menu (prices include tax)
- Asa Kyu (hot) 450 yen
- Kitsune no Kyutaro (hot or cold) 550 yen
- On-tama bukkake (cold) 550 yen
- Sudachi hiya hiya (hot or cold) 700 yen
- Mekabu Tororo (grated yam) 850 yen
- Meat slurry 900 yen
- Bomb’s AB/DC (shrimp soup) 900 yen
Let me introduce the two Sanuki Udon dishes I ordered at Udon Kyutaro. First is Udon Kyutaro’s most popular menu item, ABURI (price 850 yen including tax). After ordering at the cash register and waiting at the counter, the waiter brings a bowl of udon to your seat…
This is what ABURI looked like when it was brought in front of me. The pork topping on the far side of the bowl is quite wild. Yes, you can choose your favorite ABURI from 4 patterns: Kake Udon (lukewarm or hot), Kabukake Udon (cold or hot), and this time I chose Bukkake Udon cold.
First, pull out a piece of udon and put only the udon in your mouth as you would for dipping noodles. The thickness of the noodle is a bit like thin Sanuki udon, and the uneven thickness gives it a handmade feel. When you bite into it, the texture is mainly elastic and glutinous, rather than strong and firm. The surface is smooth and smooth to the touch. However, it is a little unfortunate that the temperature is uneven in some places because some parts are not fully rinsed with cold water…
Next, the dashi soy sauce from Kagawa Prefecture is spooned over the udon noodles, and the whole udon noodles are then served… This dashi soy sauce has a very strong sweet taste. On the other hand, the dashi taste is not so strong…It is just the right amount of seasoning if you pour one and a half rounds of this soy sauce over the udon. Please add chopped green onion, ginger, sesame, etc. from the self-service menu to adjust the taste to your liking and enjoy the mochi mochi Sanuki Udon.
Finally, the pork toppings, as the menu name suggests, were seared pork belly and braised pork thigh. Both the pork belly and the pork thigh had been drained of excess fat, making the dish lighter than expected. The aroma of the seared pork belly and the cool stimulation of the yuzu kosho (Japanese citrus pepper) whetted my appetite. Personally, however, I would have preferred both pieces to be seared pork belly, which would have been more appropriate for the ABURI name….
Since the previous ABURI was not enough to fill my stomach, I ordered an additional order of Tama Butter. Originally priced at 600 yen, the price was reduced by 50 yen to 550 yen since it was my second bowl.
This is what the butter ball looks like. Is it just me, or does it look like pasta carbonara with the egg yolk, butter topping, and black pepper sprinkled on the surface?
First, stir the egg yolk and butter to blend them all together before eating…well, this tastes just as you would expect with egg yolk + butter flavor. Unlike the ABURI, this time it is warm and glutinous. The texture of the udon is very soft and fluffy, and you feel as if you are soaring to heaven with the udon.
However, it clearly lacks saltiness, so it would be a bit tough to eat it all the way through in its current state. If there were just the right amount of saltiness here, it would make a fine “carbonara-style udon”…
So, I ate it again the way it should be eaten, with a dashi soy sauce sprinkled on top… Yes, it still needs saltiness. The amount of soy sauce is a little more than that of the ABURI, about 2 rounds seems to be just right. But this dashi soy sauce is quite sweet, and the soy sauce adds flavor, so the final system is a totally different food from carbonara. The addition of the soy sauce brings the flavor all the way back to Japanese, and it settles down to something like “hot egg bukkake udon with butter flavor.
Now, if you ask the waiter after finishing this ball butter, he will add udon soup stock as “dashiwari” like this. This dashi broth is quite rich in iriko broth. The aroma of iriko is wafting through the air, not to be outdone by the flavor of the butter. In addition, the heat from the broth hardens the egg, which gives the udon an interesting soft and slippery sensation as it passes from the mouth to the throat. If you have enough room in your stomach after finishing your udon, you should definitely try this dashiwari.
While the quality of the udon noodles is excellent, the price is a bit high for a stand-up udon restaurant, and I cannot use it as a stand-up buckwheat noodle shop at a train station. My impression is that it is a place where you can eat well-made Sanuki udon in a stand-up style. I think it is a little rich for breakfast, but for businessmen’s lunch, I think it is a great place along with the nearby Honmachi Noodle Shop.
I hope the culture of eating Sanuki udon standing up will spread to the Kansai region… To get to Udon Kyutaro, it is a 3-minute walk from the nearest station, Hommachi Station on the Osaka Metro (Midosuji, Chuo, and Yotsubashi Lines).
Udon Kyutaro, like this one, is a little more expensive than Oniyanma in Tokyo, but it is definitely one of the precious few restaurants in Kansai that specialize in stand-up Sanuki udon. It would be great if the culture of stand-up Sanuki Udon spread in the Kansai region, centering on this restaurant and Tsukumo Udon in Kyoto…
Besides Udon Kyutaro, are there any other stand-up Sanuki Udon restaurants in Osaka or Kyoto? If you know of any other good ones, we would be very happy if you could introduce them to us in the comments section below.
Here are the details of the restaurant. Check here for store data…
Udon Kyutaro Out of 5.
Address: 102 Minami, 3-1-16 Kyutaromachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 541-0056, Japan
Phone number: 080-2516-2680
Business hours: 7:00-10:00, 11:00-15:00
Parking: No parking lot
Credit card payment: not accepted (cash only)
P.S. If you are looking for good udon in Osaka, please stop by this article…