Japan

Chilli Minced Udon in Shinjuku (坦々うどん)

Let’s be real, Japan is NOT a country known for spicy food. But like I have mentioned in my previous part, there are little gems in Japan that have eateries and restaurants around with peppery dishes. Koshu Kaido -SAI- formerly known as Udon Izakaya Hasegawa (うどん居酒屋 はせがわ) is a restaurant hidden in a back street and you have to go downstairs to the basement to eat in.

It’s about a 10 minutes walk away from Shinjuku South Exit station and the restaurant specialises in udon dishes. My ex-boss took me and a colleague there as they were an udon lover. But I’m going to concentrate on one dish that I’m sure is overlooked there. The only thing spicy dish I could find to recommend and try was 坦々うどん (Minced udon).

Let me tell you if you have more time, savour every bite of it!

I only got one good picture of it but there’s more than just shichimi and chilli oil in this but I can’t put my finger on what the broth is. You’ll enjoy how it’s not oily when you try it. You can even tell the way the udon mixes with the chilli broth, it’s delicious. I think the only set back with thick noodles like udon is grabbing the mince pork together with them is too hard to do.

It was one of the last good meals I had in summer and I wish I had it more than once. If you ever have the chance, please do and tell me your experience. Now the spiciness is worth it and creeps up on you slowly. Honestly, I had to have several cups of water to combat the peppery taste that it left in my throat. But because of this, I highly recommend it.

The price is decent for a bowl of spicy goodness and is quite filling for ¥800. The restaurant has a decent amount of space inside for a group of 4-6 people if you want to bring more friends to try this so I hope you do!

I craved it so much, I made my own at home but with soba noodles. If you want my recipe, just let me know!