Like so many revolutions, the rise of Sanuki udon began with a book.
Shikoku’s special brand of thick wheat noodles had long been revered by udon connoisseurs in western Japan, but the release of Kazutoshi Tao’s four-volume “Osorubeki Sanuki Udon” (“The Astounding Sanuki Udon”) sparked a craze that spread like wildfire across the country.
What makes Sanuki udon special is its chewy and silky texture. Slick, slurpable, and immensely satisfying, Sanuki udon noodles offer the firm bite of al dente pasta combined with the pliant density of mochi rice cakes.
At Tokyo Mentsudan, you can watch the noodle makers at work as they roll, cut and cook the udon in huge vats of boiling water. A bowl of kamatama udon splashed with dashi and a side of tempura or oden will only set you back ¥700 ($7).
Tokyo Mentsudan, 7-9-15 Nishishinjuku 1F Daikan Plaza Business Kiyoda Bldg., Shinjuku 160-0023 Tokyo Prefecture;