After getting into my hotel room and having a nap, I woke up at 8pm still a little groggy but definitely hungry. The great thing about being the last person to visit somewhere is everyone has recommendations on where you should go. Given it was a cold night and I still wasn’t sure what time it was, a big bowl of udon noodles seemed right up my alley.
Tsurutontan is a little bit of a Roppongi institution. There’s always a line and when you walk in, you add your name to the list and wait. It wasn’t long before they called my name for a seat at the bar.
Eating alone in Tokyo isn’t an issue and, in fact, it’s quite normal. Most restaurants have a bar like area set up for people who want to dine alone and there’s nothing odd about it. I’m really enjoying it as it gives me a chance to watch the kitchen.
But first, I need to watch the menu…
There are so many different types of udon noodles with all types of vegetable, meat and tofu. It’s overwhelming! I did get a piece of advice from my friend – go with the beef, tofu and tempura. Considering my delicious set menu was over eight hours earlier, I was really starving and, although it looked like the biggest thing on the menu, I thought why not?
The other great thing about this restaurant is that you can chose the size of your food. Standard size, one and half portions or double portions. I did opt for the standard portion and, oh boy, I was glad I did.
The servings were huge!!! Within a few minutes of ordering, the waiter was back with a tray of food.
As he lifted the lid off the bowl of noodles, I knew I had definitely come to the right place. The broth smelt fragrant – savoury but slightly sweet at the same time and just a giant bowl of comfort right there.
The tofu had obviously been marinated in something sweet and it was also running through the egg. That’s where the sweetness was coming from then. It was beautiful next to just cooked pieces of beef and salty pieces of seaweed. The noodles were delicious. They were perfectly fresh and just cooked al dente.
Digging through the bowl, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
There was also a serving of tempura on the side. One thing I had noticed is vegetables aren’t really big in the Japanese diet so I was really grateful to see some vegies – every though they were deep fried. The tempura was incredibly fresh and crispy. I love deep fried shiitake mushrooms and it was the perfect accompaniment to the bowl of steaming, sweet goodness.
A lot of people talk about ramen but after my visit to Tsurutontan, I tell you udon is where it’s at. I went back to the hotel happily full of noodles and ready to crawl back into bed.
3Chome Building, Minato 106-0032