Some udon chain restaurants in the suburbs area and even in some theme park like Yomiuri Land don’t provide any English or romaji menu for foreign customers who can’t read kanji. If you are new to Japan and want to experience eating udon at the chain restaurant, learn this basic step to order your udon.
- Choose your basic udon!
There are several types of udon that you can choose.
Kake udon かけうどん, warm udon served in a warm broth soup. This is the most simple udon that you can order.
Bukkake udon ぶっかけうどん, udon served in a thicker broth and with less amount of broth soup. You can order it cold or warm.
Zaru udon ざるうどん, cold udon with a dipping sauce.
Kamaage udon 釜揚げうどん, udon that is not never rinsed with cold water. This udon is eaten by dipping the noodles into the sauce.
Kamatama udon 釜玉うどん、kamaage udon topped with raw egg
Niku udon 肉うどん, udon in broth topped with beef.
Kitsune udon きつねうどん, udon topped with sweet fried tofu.
Kare udon カレーうどん, udon with curry sauce
Torotama udon とろ玉うどん、udon topped with sticky white potato and raw egg
If you find these kanji 冷 and 温 next to the udon picture, it means that there are two version of udon broth; cold and warm.
After that, you will need to decide the size of your udon.
Some restaurants offer the following sizes,
小 syou, small portion
中 chuu, medium portion
大 dai, large portion
並 nami, normal portion
大 dai, large portion
The basic language pattern to order your udon is:
Mention the (type of udon) (size) (amount)
For example, かけ小を一つください
kake syou wo hitotsu kudasai
(Kake udon) (Syou) (wo) (Hitotsu) (kudasai)
(Kake udon) (Small) (One) (Please)
Please give me a small kake udon.
If you want to choose the cold or warm broth of udon, the pattern can be like this.
(Cold/Warm Type) (Type of udon)(Size)(Amount)
For example, 暖かいぶっかけ小を二つください
Atatakai bukkake syou wo futatsu kudasai
(Atatakai) (Bukkake) (Syou) (wo) (Futatsu) (kudasai)
(Warm) (Bukkake) (Small) (Two) (Please)
Please give me two warm small bukkake udon.
If you want to order the cold udon, change atatakai word into hiyashi or tsumetai.
2. Get your additional topping and other side dish.
In the self service chain restaurants, you can choose your own tempura.
Just put your favorite tempura in the small tray.
ちくわ天, chikuwa ten, fried fish cake
かぼちゃ天, kabocha ten, fried winter squash
ホウボウ, houbou, fried blue fin robin
野菜かき揚げ, yasai kakiage, fried mixed-vegetable strips
かしわ天, kashiwa ten, fried chicken
えび天, ebi ten, fried shrimp
イカ天, ika ten, fried squid
さつまいも天, satsuma imo ten, fried sweet potato
You can also grab some onigiri.
3. Pay your udon
4. Some restaurants offer additional toppings for free such as cut scallions and tempura flakes. You can also add ginger paste, sesame seeds, and some chilli powder to add the flavor.
Hope this helps!
Enjoy your stay in Japan!