Marukame Udon – Udon Factory

Although the line outside this restaurant always intimidated me every time we pass by, its pure popularity did pique my interest. The longest line I had seen was around 7 pm with it folding on itself three times. Personally, I avoid long queues, which is why I have yet to try this restaurant. Well, it just so happened that our friends went in the morning around 7:30 am and saw that there were no lines. So, off we went for breakfast at Marukame Udon!

This restaurant was the ultimate udon factory. They had so many workers, each with his/her own one allocated task at hand. If I wasn’t mesmerized by how efficient and perfect everybody worked, I would have captured that through pictures as I went down the assembly line.

How to navigate around this restaurant:

  1. Grab a tray at the beginning as if you are in a cafeteria and pick your udon. You better be quick at deciding because the line moves fast. Thank god for picture menus.
  2. One lady will cook your udon and another lady will add your corresponding toppings and soup base.
  3. Take your udon and do a 90 degree turn into the tempura selections – shrimp, mushroom, yam, asparagus, egg, fried chicken, pumpkin, eggplant, squid, and fish cake. So many choices! Try not to take them all.
  4. Pay at the register at the end of the line.
  5. There is a station for dipping sauces or condiments, one is lighter and one is darker and thicker. (sorry for the blurry pictures, I was too eager to dig in rather than check my photos)

Here was what I got, curry udon with asparagus, pumpkin, and mushroom tempura.

My boyfriend’s nikutama udon and fried chicken, croquette, and sweet potato tempura.

The noodles were thick, chewy and not mushy, and the curry broth was savoury. The tempura bits and scallions added an extra layer of texture and flavour. I was truly surprised by the low prices for the noodles. My regular sized udon was more than enough to fill me, and was only $5.25! Although I did think the tempura were a bit pricey, ranging from $1.25 – $1.75 per piece, especially when they all looked so appetizing and so neatly organized that you just want to grab one of each. I guess they have to make up for the cheap noodles somewhere. The tempura was crispy and lightly battered, pretty good. My boyfriend’s udon had a soft boiled egg, which the lady cracked into the bowl directly in front of you. It was amazing because the egg was already partially cooked but still soft and runny that it flowed out when cracked.

I like this place, from ordering to display to how the food tasted.

I liked everything!

And I am so glad I came in the morning so there was no line to dampen my experience.

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