Just like every country has its rival cities, so does the world of Japanese cuisine too. That rivalry is namely between ramen & udon. I myself am a hugeeee fan of udon, ramen I can enjoy, but definitely if there’s a choice I will almost always pick udon any day. I absolutely love the texture of udon and how it can be chewy and slightly on the dense side, but also really enjoy how you can have udon served cold or hot, with a multitude of different sauces & soups too.
Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to spend another week in Takamatsu (for the Setouchi Triennale – more on that later) and during that week, was able to devour all the amazing udon this little city had to offer. Interestingly, udon shops here are kind of separated into “two shifts”, you have a range of restaurants that only do day time (say 7 or 8am until 2 or 3pm), and then another bunch of restaurants that only do night shifts from say 8pm till 2 or 3am.
Tsurumaru (鶴丸 手打ちうどん) fell into the latter category, and is only open from around 8pm to 3am (please check their website for updated times). When I visited it was still Golden Week in Japan so the lines were still extremely long. I arrived around 9pm and still had to wait for around 45 minutes.
Inside it’s a very small place with maybe around seats for 26-30 people. You have around 4 tables that can seat maybe 4-5 people, with a small counter bar seating around 8 people too.
There were English menus available – you just had to let one of the staff know and they’d bring it out for you. Below you have a clear outline of how the noodles are made, and what varieties they have on offer.
What I love about sitting at counter seats is that due to the fact that a lot of these restaurants are open kitchen, you can watch the whole udon-making + serving process. You’d see them bring out the fresh udon, cook it, then eventually combine it with the sauces/soups that had been ordered for.
Mmmmmm… in front (center) is all the curry sauces been freshly stewed (so so yummy and fragrant), then you have to the left a section where they fry beautifully battered tempura (unfortunately I didn’t order any as I was too full)!
I loveeeee love love curry (in general/life) and when it comes to Japanese curry it’s a whole other level. While as you can see the menu presents so many different amazing varieties, I really couldn’t pass up on the curry udon.
Although it looks small, it’s actually quite a decent serving (I got the version without tempura). The broth is really really tasty, not too thick, but not too watery. It has little carrots, and other bits in it but it’s very fragrant and slightly less “curry-like” compared to the types you get in the pre-made boxes you buy at supermarkets. The udon was so amazing too, chewy and bouncy but also very nice and long.
Overall, an amazing meal and great for a quick bite. The waiters are also very friendly and constantly helping refill your water.
Kagawa 760-0045, Japan
Address in local language: 日本 〒760-0045 香川県高松市古馬場町９−34
Check out their listing on TripAdvisor too.