Handmade Udon Comes to Japantown Mall

There's a newish udon place in town, Udon Mugizo, in the Japantown mall (second floor, across from the Kinokuniya bookstore). They're one of the few places in town to make their own noodles — you can see the machine that creates them behind glass in front of the restaurant — and serve the noodles in a variety of forms, including in soup, shabu shabu, with tempura, and even deep-fried in dessert.

[jump] I'd heard a lot about the uni cream sauce udon and so I decided to try it one rainy night before a movie at Kabuki. The noodles were certainly exceptional: just chewy enough without being rubbery or gummy, with a snap at the end. They put most other udon noodles to shame and made me want to sample my way through the rest of the menu.

I was not as enamored with the Parmesan-saturated uni cream sauce, however. The uni should have lent a faint taste of the sea, but all I could taste was cream. The bits of uni that were slowly dissolving in the sauce were uncomfortably slimy. And the whole thing was so rich I could only manage a few bites.

But I've heard good things about the other, more plain dishes — especially the sesame shabu shabu, with thin strips of Kobe beef and a cold sesame-ponzu dipping sauce. Given that the restaurant is from the folks behind Shabuway, Izakaya Ramen Goku, and Men Oh Tokushima, I'm sure that the menu has a lot of good things in store. I'd just stay away from the cream sauce.

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