Trying out Nakantanidou Mochi 奈良中谷堂麻糬 is a must when in Nara Japan, but you might not aware that right next to this award-winning mocha with traditional hand-pounding process, there is a humble udon shop prides for their udon in a bag – Mentouan Udon Restaurant 麵鬪庵. How it is look like? Read on.
After all the long walking in Nara city, getting surrounded by deer and took a glance of world heritage shrines, the only things that came into our mind was food, food, and more food. Truly “I can eat an elephant” moments. Haha. There’s actually nothing much to eat along the major tourist attractions centered around Nara Park, Todaiji Shrine and Kasuga-taisha. And the only few eateries around could hardly raise our attention.
Walked back to Kintetsu Nara station and headed straight to Sanjo Dori with tired feet, growling stomach. Glad that there was only one customer in Mentouan Udon! We read from reviews that queue can be long sometimes especially during lunch hours. Thanks that it was 4PM that time.
Mentouan Udon Restaurant 麵鬪庵 is famous for udon. Menu is kept small and focused with 90% of them noodles, plus a few rice dishes. Judging from their “wall of fame” fully pasted with happy visitors to Mentouan, we guess udon here won’t get too far from being delicious.
巾着きつね Kichaku Udon 850Yen
No English menu was provided so we just ordered by looking at the pictures. Staff wasn’t look friendly hence we didn’t dare to ask more questions on food details though. Ordered No.1 Kinchaku Udon and No.3 Homemade Curry Udon.
Kichaku Udon arrived in a jiffy! Awww so cute! Look at this giant tofu bag floating in soup. The reason why this dish is named so, because it looks like Kichaku! Aburaage fried tofu skin resembles the purse, filled with udons as content, tied with green onion that resembles draw string, finally immersed in katsuo – dashi soup.
Break the “packet slowly” and revealed a huge portion of smooth, chewy udons.
Simple. comfort food makes up from only udon, tofu and soup, but so delicious. Just right for the chilly weather too.
特選カレーうどん Curry Udon 850 Yen
Summerkid had the third best seller curry udon. Noodles dressed in thick, flavourful Japanese curry sauce with very mild spiciness. Nice but it was rather rich, hence we couldn’t finish all. Nonetheless it is still recommended.
If you still have room in your stomach after the savoury, do check out their sweet udon too! Some said that the dessert noodles with soy bean powder and black sugar is real good stuff!
p/s: Mentouan is a shop that respect the privacy of customers, staffs and chef. There’s a sign stated no picture to the [stuff] and [kitchen, chef]. Wasn’t sure the [stuff] actually is typo of [staff] or referring to food (*food = stuff?), but we were quite intimidating when taking pictures of our own udon. Made it real quick so this were the only not-so-nice photos we can share in this blog post. Staffs didn’t mention anything so we guess it is alright to take pictures of your food.
Mentouan Udon Restaurant 麵鬪庵
(*turn into the alley beside Nakantanidou Mochi)
30-1. Nara Prefecture, Nara Japan.
Opening Hours: 11AM – 5PM [Closed on Tuesdays]