Niwakaya Chosuke, which opened in Yakuin nine years ago and now has branches and sister shops in Fukuoka and Tokyo, was amongst the pioneers of the udon bar phenomenon. The noodles, made from 100% Itoshima flour, are bouncy with an airy mouthfeel—a quality typical of Hakata udon—but they also boast a firm texture much like the renowned Sanuki style from Kagawa Prefecture. To bring out the wheaty aroma of the noodles, a rich, clear broth is carefully crafted from Rausu kelp from Hokkaido, sardines, and mackerel flakes. A popular dish in summer is the sudachi kake udon, cold noodles in cold soup topped with thinly sliced sudachi citrus. The tangy, aromatic citrus piques the appetite while striking a balance with the light, flavorful broth. Being an udon bar, you can also choose to snack and imbibe local sake before finishing off the evening with a bowl of noodles.
Menu: Sudachi kake udon ¥600 (Dec. ~ Apr. +¥150), kake udon ¥450, udon with burdock root tempura ¥600, udon with high grade beef ¥1,000, kamatama udon ¥550, kamatama udon with truffles ¥800, bukkake udon with soft boiled egg ¥650, tripe and soy sauce kake udon ¥900, curry udon ¥750, hot chicken soup udon ¥950, clam udon ¥900, Unzen ham cutlet ¥600, yuzu citrus and daikon radish ¥450, draft beer (medium) ¥550, extra carbonated Suntory Kaku highball ¥500, special lemon sour ¥500, shochu ¥400~, sake (180 ml) ¥800~, wine/glass ¥550
*Prices to change from Oct. 1, 2019 following tax increase
*Foreign language menu: None / Credit cards accepted / Reservations possible / No smoking
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn247, Jul. 2019)