Guess what Singaporeans spice up their udon with!
While we were in Singapore, besides enjoying the local fare and the limited-time Angry Birds menu at McDonald’s, we decided to drop by Tamoya to see if the Japanese franchise’s sanuki udon tastes just as authentic in sunny Singapore.
Hailing from Kagawa Prefecture, where the widely enjoyed sanuki udon originated, Tamoya has 23 outlets under its belt, including branches in Taiwan, Indonesia, and two outlets in Singapore. We visited the outlet at Chinatown Point.
Just like Tamoya outlets in Japan, the Chinatown Point branch has an open-concept design so diners can peer right into the kitchen where the udon magic happens. The ordering process is also the same as in Japan.
▼ Not sure how to order? There’s a step-by-step guide by the entrance.
We were hoping to see some local flavour sprucing up the menu, but it was utterly loyal to the Japanese original, so we tried our luck with the chef’s recommendation instead, which turned out be Pork Udon.
▼ My order of pork udon, with prawn, chikuwa and shiitake mushroom tempura.
From the layout of the store to the ordering process to the variety of tempura available, everything looked pretty much like the typical udon franchise commonly found on the streets of Japan… until we came to the condiments station.
The condiments station was lined with containers filled with spring onions, grated daikon radish, grated ginger, tenkasu (deep-fried batter bits), wakame (seaweed) and lime slices, which are what you’d commonly find at such self-service udon places. But among them sat a flaming red mass of sliced cili padi (Malay for “bird’s eye chili”), something you’ll probably never find in udon restaurants in Japan.
▼ Seeing red?
At Tamoya, diners can choose to customize their udon to their tastes with the various types of condiments available at no extra charge. Cili padi is a staple condiment in many Southeast Asian countries, so it’s no surprise that spice-loving Singaporeans have no qualms about jazzing up their udon with the familiar heat of cili padi, though it might be quite an odd sight to Japanese diners looking for an authentic taste of home.
▼ Looking extra yummy with the garnishes!
Choice of spice aside, the udon served at Tamoya was genuinely tasty. The noodles, which are freshly made in-store, were soft yet chewy, the broth sweet and savoury, and the pork was tender and juicy. It’s little wonder why their udon is well-received even beyond the borders of Japan!
Do you spice up your udon with any local condiments that aren’t the norm in Japan? Share your favourites in the comments section below!
Tamoya Udon Chinatown Point
Address: 133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point Shopping Center B1 #48-49
Hours: 11:00 – 21:30 (Last order)
Images © RocketNews24
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