Sherman's Food Adventures: Marukame Udon

Marukame Udon

With a late evening flight looming, my parents did not want to venture far for dinner before I drove them to the airport.  Well, low and behold, the ever-popular Murakame Udon lay only 2 blocks away from our hotel.  Of course there was a lineup to greet us despite the fact we arrived at 5:00pm.  Not to fear as there were many tables available where the lineup was moving along with their orders.  Unfortunately, a bunch of people ignored the sign about saving tables which meant we had to squeeze 6 people into one made for 4.

For the kiddies, we got them the basic Kake Udon with freshly made noodles in their traditional broth. As advertised, it was light with hints of seaweed and bonito found in a classic dashi.  The noodles were slippery and toothsome without the aftertaste of packaged udon. For myself, I went for the Curry Udon with shredded beef and onions. The slightly thick broth was quite mild with only minor hits of curry and spice.  It wasn't overly sweet, which was to my liking.  The thin slices of fatty beef practically melted-in-my-mouth while the onions did add some sweetness (as the curry wasn't too sweet on its own).

My mom decided to try the hot Ontama Bukkake Udon featuring a sweet and savory sauce with a soft-boiled egg on top.  Once again, the slippery and chewy noodles were a nice match for the subtle sauce and the barely cooked egg whites and runny yolk.  My dad went for the Niku Udon with the traditional broth topped by sweet beef and caramelized onions.  This was the same as the kake udon except for the addition of the buttery soft beef and sweet onions.  Hence it ate more hearty and naturally with more sweetness due to the onions.

Due to the inadequate A/C, Viv was smart to go for the Garlic Chicken Udon Salad.  The chewy udon noodles took on the sweet and garlicky dressing well while the veggies made this a refreshing item for a hot day.  The tempura chicken was battered aggressively where it was crunchy while juicy inside.  In addition, we got a selection of side items including Ebi Tempura, yam tempura, chicken karaage and musubi.  Nothing was particularly amiss other than the slightly thick batter found on everything.  As you can probably understand, the food at Marukame is not complex.  In fact, it is as simple as it can get.  It further reinforces the ol' adage - do one thing and do it well (and for a good price too).

The Good:
- Cheap
- Fresh and solid eats

The Bad:
- Not a place to sit and linger, it's eat and go
- Fried items a bit over-battered


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