Udon is often overshadowed by the more popular ramen, which is a shame considering how versatile this noodle can be. Hot or cold, it’s hard to resist those thick strands with their distinct chewiness.
Udon Shin うどん has emerged as one of the absolute must-try spots for udon which queues of up to two hours forming every day outside its premises near Shinjuku Station.
With no more than ten counter and table seats available, it’s easy to see why Udon Shin gets packed pretty quickly. Patience is certainly a virtue if you are customer number 11, for you’ll be queueing for quite a while. Though, I’ve been told that you’re able to take a queue number and wait it out at a nearby Starbucks.
Be prepared to rub shoulders with other customers in such close quarters. If you’re seated nearest to the door, you can watch Udon Shin’s team preparing the noodles from scratch. There’s a sense of quiet hurriedness among the kitchen staff as the shop prepares for its first “seating”.
While Udon Shin serves both hot and cold udon, the zaru variation seemed the most popular, even in late November. For something “off the beaten track” from your typical kake or bukake udon, go for the Hot Soy Sauce Udon with Butter and Pepper, Tsumande Goran Egg and Pork and Cheese Tempura (¥1,940).
Mixed with the hot soy sauce base, the homemade udon is firm and bouncy, with a heat that warms you from within. Added to it is the pat of butter and taumande goran egg which adds richness and depth to this robust dish. With some added crunch from the chopped spring onions, this makes for a filling and enjoyable noodle dish.
Aside from its noodles, Udon Shin has also made a name for itself with its tempura selection, which includes unusual creations such as cheese and pork. Despite being deep-fried in batter, I found the cheese tempura to be surprisingly light. The pork tempura is superbly tender and melts in your mouth.
If you’re based in Shinjuku, I highly recommend giving Udon Shin a try. It was certainly one of the more memorable food stops for me on my trip!
Address: 〒151-0053 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi, 2−20−16
Nearest Train Station: Shinjuku Station
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm daily
Contact:+81 3 6276 7816