Take all of your preconceived notions about udon-ya, or udon noodle shops, and throw them out the window because Taiko Udon is here. [日本語]
Looking more like than upscale cafe with its floor-to-ceiling glass windows, pristine white tiles, and concrete-and-warm-wood interior, Taiko Udon offers a wide variety of te-uchi (handmade) udon from standard favorites like kitsune udon and simmered beef-topped niku udon, to more modern twists like their creamy carbonara udon and keema curry udon, a collaboration with the popular local curry shop, nandi. Seasonal offerings, like the oyster ojiya udon made with local oysters, will keep you coming back for more.
Taiko Udon prides itself on using local ingredients from Hiroshima and her neighboring prefectures, and cites sources for various ingredients on the menu. Vegetarians will also rejoice at the amount of vegetarian options available, and for those who aren’t as confident with their Japanese, Taiko Udon has an English menu, homepage, and frequently posts on Instagram in English.
Today I’m featuring the Chicken and 4-Mushroom Chowder Udon.
Served in an elegant dish and topped with mixed greens and edible flower petals, the colors pop against the pale, creamy chowder. Cuts of Hiroshima-raised chicken and sautéed bacon pair perfectly with the soup, lending their flavors to the simple fresh cream base. The crisp greens add a nice contrast to the texture of the mushrooms, and of course, the udon is everything it should be: chewy without being too soggy. It’s like a big bowl of everything you want when it’s cold outside with the added bonus of expertly-crafted udon.
Oh, and did I mention it’s topped with parmesan? That they grate in front of you? This ain’t your grandma’s udon-ya, folks. And why shouldn’t udon be elevated to the same level of aesthetics as a modern French or Italian restaurant? After all, udon just as much history and craftsmanship. So whether you’re looking for classic udon favorites or a big bowl of something different, Taiko Udon is there for you in style.
Taiko Udon Nakamachi
Address: Naka-machi 6-30, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City
Opening hours: 11:00-15:00, 17:30-10:00
Closed: The last day of the month (excluding the New Year)