2016/06/04 What's On
Feeling hungry after your party? Having a grumbly night? Can’t fall asleep because your stomach is still “awake”? Don’t know where to have a sumptuous and filling supper? Thank God – problem solved! Opening from 11:00 until the 08:00 (the next morning), Tsurotontan – a popular Japanese restaurant that specializes in udon, may be the ideal supper destination for all the nocturnal!
…” Tsurutontan has 38 years of history (since 1978). It has 6 branches each in Osaka and Tokyo. Just recently, they have opened their first international branch in Union Square, New York, USA …”
One of the favorite options of Japanese noodle is Udon. It is usually made from wheat flour. Unlike other noodles such as ramen and soba, udon appears as a white and thick noodle. The texture is chewy and soft with a neutral flavor. Hence, it goes along well with either rich and strongly flavored broth or lightly flavored clear soup. In this case, udon is important as it acts like a supporting character to bring out the soup’s essence.
Tsurutontan at Soemoncho
Tsurutontan has a 38-year of history (since 1978). It has 6 branches each in Osaka and Tokyo. Just recently, they have opened their first international branch in Union Square, New York, USA. Every branch is different in terms of concept and their interior design. But, I’m sure they have the common “secret recipes” that have kept them going for almost 40 years. Let’s find out what the secret recipes are!
One of the branches that I’m going to introduce to you today is the one located at the most popular nightlife district that sits in between Namba and Nipponbashi – Tsurutontan at Soemoncho. It can be conveniently reached by taking a train to Nipponbashi station. Alternatively, follow the Dontobori River towards Nihonbashi Bridge, and look to the first shop on the left (where you can see a lot of tourists waiting for their coach).
…” The interior décor utilizes Japanese traditional designs such as shoji, sudare and old wooden dinning tables …”
You can recognize the shop at your first sight due to its unique architecture. The restaurant is mainly built from wooden materials. Once you get into the restaurant, take a sit at the sitting area while waiting for your call (because they are so popular and so many people are there!). Be patient and enjoy the artistic surroundings that have been meticulously designed by the owner. The interior décor utilizes Japanese traditional designs such as shoji (a blocking panel that is made of translucent paper and wooden frame), sudare (a traditional window curtain that is made up of horizontal strings of bamboo or wood for shading) and old wooden dinning tables. The mood is further accentuated with the Japanese traditional music.
Tsurutontan at Soemoncho
Interior design: The dinning area is separated from the waiting area by Shoji
Dinning table made up from wooden materials
…” Most of the waitresses can speak basic English and their customer service is professional and outstanding! …”
When your name is called, a waitress who will be wearing a kimono (a traditional garment) will lead you to your dinning table. The menu is presented in Japanese but feel free to ask for an English menu. First, she will give you a hot tower to clean your hands and serve you a cup of cold or hot mugicha – roasted barley tea. I’m a big fan of mugicha. (Health tip: mugicha is believed to have anti-bacterial properties and can also prevent cholesterol and diabetes.) They will also ask you for your preferred type of udon – either a thin one, like soba noodles, or the classic thick udon. Most of the waitresses can speak basic English and their customer service is professional and outstanding!
…” There are more than 40 types of udon flavors that you can choose to suit your taste! …”
There are more than 40 types of udon flavors that you can choose to suit your taste! If you like strong and rich flavors, you should consider curry and mentaiko (marinated fish roe) udon. Otherwise, you can also choose a clear soup base udon (made from kombu and mackerel fish) or even chilled udon on ice. The one that I chose was the signature udon of Tsurutontan – Tsurutontan Zanmai, a clear soup base udon served with seafood tempura. This is my favorite udon ever! First of all, the udon is fresh!! How do I know? Well, usually only fresh udon will remain moist, bouncy and soft, otherwise, the texture will be very dense and dry!
Tsurutontan’s signature udon – Tsurutontan Zanmai
Combo 3-in-1: you can order this in order to try 3 different tastes of udon
Pork fillet curry udon
…” The udon is cooked to its perfect temperature that’s why it remains chewy! …”
Secondly, the udon is cooked to its perfect temperature, which is why it remains chewy! (Overcooked udon usually becomes gluey and texture will be like mashed potatoes). I particularly like the way they present and serve their udon. The udon is presented in a big ceramic bowl with a diameter of 30cm!!
Look at the gigantic ceramic bowl!
Most importantly, do not worry that the serving is not enough to satisfy your hunger because you are allowed to refill your udon for 3 times without any extra charge!! Listen carefully! It is 3 times!!! How can you not to have a food baby after this?!! (Bearing in mind that they don’t refill your soup, so please save it for your next refill.)
All in all, for those who like a luxurious and traditional Japanese dinning option, you should definitely check out Tsurutontan. Dinning at Tsurutontan is not only an enjoyment for taste buds but it is also an artistic satisfaction that you can get through their unique Japanese architecture and the way they present their cuisines!
Professionalism, dedication and consistency in their food and customer service are the “secret recipes” which has kept them going for almost 40 years!
Address: 3-17 Souemoncho, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0084
Operating hours: Daily: 11:00 – 08:00; Last order: Next morning 07:30
Dress code: Casual
Bonus point: Credit card accepted