Onyanma Gotanda HontenOniyamma Gotanda Honten is an udon restaurant in Gotanda, Tokyo. The hot tempura is fried right in front of you and served on a bowl of freshly boiled and chilled udon.
To get to Onyanma Gotanda Honten, go out of the west exit of JR Gotanda Station and turn left, and you will see a sign on the other side of the road. As you cross the crosswalk to get closer, you will see a sign outside the restaurant with a list of menu items you can order. I recommend the "Toriten & Chikuwa Ten Bukkake".
Tori-ten & Chikuwa-ten BukkakeTori-ten & Chikuwa-ten Bukkake" is a regular-sized bowl of cold udon priced at 530 yen (tax included). After buying a ticket from the ticket vending machine outside the restaurant, line up in front of the sign. After waiting for a while, you will be called to enter through one of the two doors on either side of the store.
Inside the restaurant, the counter is arranged in a "U" shape, and you are placed in an empty space to wait for your udon to be ready. The steam of the udon boiling in front of you and the aroma of the oil and the sound of the tempura being fried are quite impressive.
The finished udon is served in a bowl, topped with tempura, and quickly delivered to the counter. There is no wasted time in the store staff's movements.
First, I tried the toriten. It's made of chicken thighs like karaage, and comes in two pieces. When you bite into it, the batter is crispy and the meat inside is juicy and full of flavor. The batter is crispy, and the meat inside is juicy and flavorful. It is not very salty, so I recommend soaking it in udon soup.
Next, the chikuwa tempura. The size is large and filling. The flavor is thicker than that of tori-ten, but you can enjoy it more if you let the batter absorb the udon soup. The taste of the fish paste is strong and contrasts perfectly with the tori-ten. It is very long, so you can cut it in the middle with chopsticks and nibble on it alternately with toriten.
The udon is firm, smooth, and cool to the touch. It will pleasantly cool your tongue and mouth after it has been set on fire by the hot tempura. The regular portion may not look like a lot, but you will notice that there is a decent amount of food as it comes out of the bottom of the wide and deep bowl. It also goes perfectly with the green-colored condiment green onions.
If you finish eating the tempura first, you can also spoon on some of the fried balls provided at the counter. It has the same crunchy texture as the tempura batter and a light oil aroma, which adds a nice touch to the smooth texture of the udon.
The restaurant is crowded at lunch time, but the price, taste, and quantity of udon are all satisfying, so even if the line is long, try to stand in line. You may not have to wait as long as you might think, since it is a stand-alone restaurant and the turnover of customers is fast.