I’ve wanted to go to this restaurant ever since I read this review in the New York Times. Sounded very, very intriguing. It’s the first of the chain outside of Japan. I love noodles. What’s not to like? I didn’t really know what to expect.
My brother, visiting NYC a few weeks before I could, said he went here and ordered the regular udon and thought that it was… regular (and overpriced).
Uh oh. After finishing a Monday night 5 rhythms dance, I rushed over to their location, knowing that they’re supposed to close at 10:30pm and I’d arrive at 10pm. Would they let me in? Yup, no problem, and no rush either. This place is beautiful: a big stylish complex with multiple areas to sit. It looks fancier and cooler than any ramen or noodle bar I’ve ever been to, that’s for sure.
Mindful not to order something too regular, I decide to go with the hot and sour soup udon. I’ve always liked this flavour combo from Chinese cooking. The bowl was huge though slightly an optical illusion as the base of the bowl is smaller. Could I tell that the noodles are freshly made with ingredients flown from Japan? I’m not sure. They were delicious though, slightly chewy (in that freshly made sort of texture). But I was too busy concentrating on how delicious the broth was to focus on the noodles: perfect little exotic mushrooms, a few pieces of crisp deep-fried eggplant, various other goodies in a generous egg-drop broth that tasted slightly sour and slightly spicy but without strong flavours.
As you can see, I thought this dish was wonderful, and washed down with a little glass of sake, pretty perfect. As for the cost, $20, everything in NYC seems super-expensive to me, even without considering the current poor exchange rate with the Australian dollar. So, I’m just going to eat my way through the city for now, and not think about the cost…
Normally, I wouldn’t have room for dessert, but how could I resist the water cake? I love this: a perfectly round clear ball of jelly, that tastes of… nothing. But with some sweet brown sugar syrup, and then some mochi powder on top, with a side of matcha ice cream: I love this dessert. Weird-arse Asian desserts appeal to me.