The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 20 April 2007

Noodles at Hinode Udon, Nanzenji

My parents and Rob's mum were in Tokyo for a couple of days before coming to the Noto to visit us. On their last night in Tokyo, they visited a noodle place (one of those 'standing' ones that Japanese businessmen go to for a quick meal, slurp down the noodles whilst standing, and then go about their business. They found it a good experience - it was the first time my dad tried udon (and he loved it), and my mum and Rob's mum were so tickled at being the only females in the place.

Anyway, after our visit to Nanzenji (one of the temples in Kyoto), we realised that it was already almost 3pm and had not had lunch yet. So I flipped open the pages of the Japan Lonely Planet Guide for recommendations in the area, and saw that Hinode does good udon. This place is quite gaijin-friendly - there's an English menu and the owner has a good grasp of English.

There are various ways to have your noodles at Hinode: kare (Japanese curry) or broth; chicken, beef or seafood; in nabe (claypot) or bowl. There are three types of noodles to choose from: udon, soba, and ramen. They even provide disposable bibs for you to wear because they understand that it's a messy job to eat udon in a thick sauce like kare:

My dad, Rob and his mum ordered kare udon with their choice of meat. I had nishin soba - soba noodles in broth with herring that has been specially dried and prepared. My mum ordered nabe ramen with pork (claypot noodles). The Japanese curry, which is not really a curry in my definition, was quite tasty - the thick sauce complemented the thick noodles quite well. My nishin soba was also quite nice, although the broth was a bit too salty. I liked the herring which was very umami in a salty-sweet manner. Everything was pretty good and did very well to fill our empty stomachs up. Best of all, it was quite affordable with each of our dishes cost around 700 to 800 yen (AU$7-$8)

Kare Udon (with beef); Nishin Soba:

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