Exploring the Less-explored Udon of Fukuoka - Waku Waku

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Exploring the Less-explored Udon of Fukuoka

Lifestyle

Exploring the Less-explored Udon of Fukuoka

Let me bring you along on my journey of eating udon from its birthplace, Fukuoka. You didn't know udon is from Fukuoka? Well now you know!

Cynthia Gumulia

Cynthia Gumulia

Published on 13 Aug, 12:00

Most people associate ramen when speaking of Fukuoka cuisine, but let’s not forget ramen’s cousin: udon. The thick and chewy white noodles are made of wheat flour served in hot dashi broth. Long before ramen was introduced in Kyushu, udon has been the local’s favorite dish.

Having visited Fukuoka for the third time, I was intrigued to try Fukuoka's style Hakata udon, but where to indulge in authentic Fukuoka-style udon? The lively night-life of Fukuoka is surely one way to find delectable udon izakaya, but I'm set in another direction.

Experience Fukuoka's night life while hunting some of Japan's popular street food
Experience Fukuoka's night life while hunting some of Japan's popular street food

Characterized by its soft and tender noodles, the Hakata udon is easily distinguishable from other udon. However, if you get the chance, explore other types of udon across Japan as different parts of Japan offer different signature styles of udon. Differing from the broth, the noodles, to toppings, you can expect maximum deliciousness in each bowl.

It didn’t take long at all to find out how Udon Taira is keeping the traditional Hakata udon alive and people had nothing but good reviews of it!

This small shop can seat 24 customers at once, spacious right?
This small shop can seat 24 customers at once, spacious right?

So on a Saturday afternoon, I decided it was finally time to give this udon shop a try. Udon Taira is a small family-owned shop that often had a queue during lunch all the way towards the evening. I arrived by 2PM, and as predicted, there was a neat queue formed in front of the store. Luckily, there were only 7 people in line.

The shop was surprisingly spacious, I had to wait for about 15 minutes before I was seated. Most likely, once you are seated, the host will bring you a glass of water and ask for your order at that moment, so it's better to know what you'd like to order before entering the shop.

Udon Taira's menu. Remember to pick your order before getting seated.
Udon Taira's menu. Remember to pick your order before getting seated.

There is no English menu, and the host did not speak English at all, but they tried their best being friendly despite the rush of taking orders. There's a variety of udon dishes to choose from, though if you’re in doubt, go for the classic niku gobo udon (beef and Japanese burdock root as toppings). Gobo is a root vegetable with a sweet, mild, and earthy taste said to be similar to an artichoke. Go ahead and try if you're up for it!

Just personal opinion, but the deep-fried gobo is surely the highlight of this dish
Just personal opinion, but the deep-fried gobo is surely the highlight of this dish

That is exactly what I did, not because I was in doubt, but because it is Udon Taira’s favorite dish on the menu. You get a piping hot bowl of thinly sliced beef, crispy deep-fried gobo, handmade udon, flavorful broth, and plenty of green onion. It didn't take long for me to immerse myself in my bowl and devour it.

Can you resist? I know I can't!
Can you resist? I know I can't!

The noodle is thinner than the regular chunky, thick udon noodles. I don't mind at all actually, the thin noodles paired nicely with the subtle sweetness of the broth! Keep an eye on the chef; you might catch the chef making and running the udon through the old-fashioned roller machine while waiting for your order. Don't linger too long once your bowl arrives though, next customers will be waiting for your place at the counter, and else, udon is best eaten when it's hot.

So, are you intrigued to try out Fukuoka's less-explored Hakata Udon? Make sure to try Udon Taira and let me know if you have recommendations of other Hakata udon restaurants!


Udon Taira うどん平

Address: 〒812-0011 福岡県福岡市博多区博多駅前3丁目17−10, 3 Chome-17-10 Hakata Ekimae, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka (find it here)

Operational Hours:

  • Monday - Friday: 11:30 – 16:00
  • Saturday: 11:30 - 15:00
  • Sunday: Closed

Phone: 092-431-9703

Additional Notes:

  • Cash only
  • No smoking are
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Cynthia Gumulia

Cynthia Gumulia

Hello~ Traveling and eating has been a long-term passion of mine, join me as I share my experience exploring and discovering what Japan has to offer! If you have time, say hi, I'd love to be friends with you!

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