It’s a new year, so it seemed only fitting to check out a new restaurant to kickstart the blog this year! You can’t miss Marukame Udon on Victoria Street in Chatswood, as at any given time there will be people crowded around the glass storefront, checking out the new restaurant and watching the chefs make the noodles right in front of you.
You can also ogle at the menu before you go in, and it’s probably best that you do because once you join the line, the ordering station is not too far inside. There’s lots of different udon options as well as rice bowls. Select your noodles, size and hot or cold, and move down the canteen-style line until a friendly staff member takes your order. Within minutes they will be weigh out your portion of noodles, place them in a bowl, ladle over the sauce or soup and your noodles will be on your tray, ready to go.
But don’t go rushing off yet, because there’s tasty extras to be had! Marukame offers a selection of tempura, including chicken, fish, prawns, vegetables and pork katsu. There’s also some inari sushi (rice stuffed inside a sweet tofu pocket), and iced green tea. Once you get the end of the line, a staff member will calculate the cost of the items on your tray, before you pay and go off to add even more things to your noodles, like chopped shallots and crunchy tempura bits.
The tsuke udon is a cold noodle option which comes with a small bowl of broth on the side for dipping the noodles into. A small dish containing a wasabi paste sits on top of the bowl of broth for some added heat. The tempura white fish is fried well, with a crunchy batter but succulent flesh inside. The tempura vegetables, or kakiage, is a wonderful mess of shredded carrot, onion, corn and other vegies deep fried in a light batter.Kamaage udon is the hot version of the tsuke udon, with the noodles sitting in a large wooden bowl in its on cooking water, and a small bowl of dipping sauce on the side with grated ginger and sesame seeds. I’ve tried quite a few of the noodles dishes here now and this one is definitely one of my favourites. It’s a simple way of enjoying the chewy, springy noodles that are handmade at Marukame.
I also try the tempura sesame chicken which remains surprisingly moist after the deep fry treatment. Sir D has the inari sushi with wasabi which apparently packs quite a punch!
I’ve revisited Marukame udon a few times since for the super springy noodles. It’s great for a quick and cheap feed and though I haven’t brought my camera with me every time, I’ve snapped a few pics with my dodgy phone camera.
The kamatama udon has a more salty broth, and the tempura squid was also tender and not at all chewy.
The kake udon is the soupiest of them all and this one doesn’t come with a slow cooked egg but you can add one for $1. The curry croquette was also a new addition to the tempura lineup with a puck of curry flavoured mashed potato covered in panko crumbs and deep fried.
It doesn’t look like I’ll be getting sick of Marukame Udon anytime soon, with new items to try all the time (I’ve got my eye on a bacon and cheese udon…) and with most meals coming in at under $10, it’s great value too!
332 Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW 2067
Ph: +61 2 9413 9434
Open 7 days, 11am – 9pm