After walking passed this little udon soup restaurant, I finally tried it with a friend. The reason I've walked passed it and not entered is because it is quite expensive for a quick lunch, however I was pleasantly surprised. The portion sizes are generous, the hot broth warms you up to put up with the autumn weather and the flavour are subtle and clean. I'll definitely be going back.
Quite a disappointing experience to be honest. I'd heard a bit of hype around this place so my brother and I thought it was finally time to give it a try. As our mother was in town, we decided to all go for dinner. Perhaps this was our mistake to go in the evening rather than during the day and at their City branch rather than the Soho branch, but who knows? We were all not impressed with a few things.
I opted for the Tenzaru. This comes as cold udon with a dipping sauce and the prawn and vegetable tempura on the side. The udon was perfect - cooked to the right consistency and served cold. It was also a generous amount of udon. However, the dipping sauce tasted pretty diluted. It wasn't flavourful enough and my brother and I had to add the 7 spice mix that's provided on each table to enhance its taste. As for the tempura, it was not bad but the choice of vegetable to tempura was interesting. I'd never come across an onion in tempura before. But the batter was done well, thick in some parts but actually flavourful in itself.
My brother opted for the Zaru, which is just the cold udon with dipping sauce on the side. In addition, he ordered from the daily specials menu and went for the Prawn & Pea Tempura. This was the first thing to come out and again, the tempura batter was really flavourful. We liked how fresh it tasted and the good crunch.
Our mother went for the Tori Hiya-Atsu, which is cold udon with hot broth on the side. Firstly, her order was the last to arrive even though it sounded like a simple order - cold udon on the side and a bowl of hot soup on the side. Secondly, they got her order wrong and brought her one that had the udon already in a big bowl of soup. Lastly, after all that wait, the chicken soup was so ordinary. It felt diluted and had such a mild flavour to it, truly nothing special.