The whir of the noodle-making machines pours out from the open kitchen as the waitstaff rush back and forth. Meanwhile, your udon seems to last forever. Welcome to Maki no Udon! Originally founded in Itoshima in 1973, Maki no Udon’s latest shop opened inside the Hakata Station Bus Terminal building in March. This is good news for fans of the popular chain who live in the city. (Expansion to date has focused mainly on suburban outlets.) The new shop uses a ticket vending machine, so be sure to buy your ticket before you go in. When you order, tell the staff your preferred noodle hardness: kata (hard), chu (medium) or yawa (soft). Udon is best eaten right away, so load up your bowl with chopped green onions and slurp away. The noodles fatten as they soak up the soup, but you can keep adding splashes of katsuo (bonito) or kombu (kelp) broth as you go. Try the goboten (burdock root tempura) udon, perhaps topped with braised meat and kimchi.
Menu: Goboten udon ¥480, maruten (fishcake tempura) udon ¥480, croquette udon ¥480, veggie tempura udon ¥510, mini udon and mini chicken rice set ¥630, toppings ¥100~
*Prices to change from Oct. 1, 2019 following tax increase
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn209, May 2016)