Udon in Fukuoka is characterized by its soft texture, and is becoming a major gourmet item in the area. Here are five udon shops that are widely recommended in Fukuoka.
1. Udon Taira
This is an udon shop about six minutes on foot from the Hakata exit of Hakata Station that is so popular it fills up as soon as it opens. The noodles are on the thin side and are soft, but are chewy with just the right amount of body. The menu includes burdock (430 JPY), shrimp (450 JPY), meat (500 JPY), and mixed toppings (70 JPY). The soup is slightly sweet, and it is standard to eat the udon with tempura such as goboten (burdock tempura) or ebiten (shrimp tempura) on top. The ebiten sells out quickly so if you want to try it, you'll need to line up before the shop opens. The kashiwa (rice ball made of chicken rice) (170 JPY) is also recommended.
2. Maki no Udon
This is a chain of udon shops around the city of Fukuoka. The noodles here are made using a special technique so that they soak up the soup and become softer and softer. You'll run out of the soup while eating, so there are kettles with extra soup on the table to supplement the soup. You can choose firm, medium firm, or soft noodles, but if you want to enjoy how the noodles' texture changes, the soft noodles are recommended. Popular menu items include Burdock Tempura Udon (480 JPY (incl. tax)) and Meat Udon (620 JPY (incl. tax)). Both are available at the Hakata Bus Terminal branch.
3. Karo no Uron
This is Fukuoka's oldest udon shop, established in 1882 and located seven minutes by foot from Nakasu Kawabata Station on the subway. The name morphed from "kado no udon," which means "udon on the corner". The noodles are soft and chewy, yet is smooth and goes well with the light soup. The menu includes Burdock Tempura Uron (520 JPY (incl. tax)) and Maruten Uron (520 JPY (incl. tax)). The burdock tempura are crisply fried thin slices of burdock that permeate your mouth with their flavors. The Kashiwa onigiri, two per plate (250 JPY (incl. tax)) are rice balls made with carrot and chicken rice and are popular for the home cooking flavors.
4. Daichi no Udon
This is an udon shop with a main shop in the Nishi-ku, Fukuoka. The noodles are thin, translucent noodles with a firm texture. The shop's popular menu item is the Burdock Tempura (480 JPY (incl. tax)). When you place your order, you'll be asked whether you want the burdock fried whole or separately. Get it whole and you'll be amazed by the large chunk of burdock tempura that will be served! The tempura will be freshly fried and crispy. It is recommended to eat it by dipping a little bit at a time in the soup. The Vegetable Tempura Bukkake (630 JPY (incl. tax)) is also popular and comes in a large serving. Both are available at the branch in front of Hakata Station, in the underground shopping arcade.
5. Kiya Shokudo
This is a well-established udon shop that has been handed down over three generations, located a 3-minute walk from Gion Station. Here, you can eat carefully crafted handmade udon. The noodles are thin and smooth. The kneading technique, amount of time kneading, water, and salt are adjusted depending on the season. At lunchtime, they serves set lunches primarily of udon, and at night, there are izakaya-style menu items. Some popular items are the Maruten Udon (420 JPY) and Burdock Tempura Udon (440 JPY). The burdock tempura is easy to eat and comes as a kakiage (a style of tempura where small pieces of ingredients are combined with a flour batter and fried together) with thinly sliced pieces of burdock and goes well with udon. It is also recommended to have udon with Kashiwa-meshi Rice (220 JPY), which is lightly flavored and full of ingredients, as a side.
Burdock tempura goes perfectly with soft udon and is popular at all the local shops. Each shop has its own unique soup flavors, so please find one that suites your tastes.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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