Most udon (wheat-based noodle) shops cater to those on the run, looking for fuel for their busy days. The vibe here, however, is much more mellow. The simple, yet carefully produced interior is a blend of modern and traditional Japanese. A few small tables and a simple counter bar overlooking the kitchen is all there is. It might be the appeal of the interior, the cool yet friendly staff, or of course, the food, but Kimura attracts both local residents and a noticeably high percentage of creative and trendy types. In the evenings people sipping sake, shochu, umeshu, or even wine can often be spotted. Side dishes such as maruten-yaki, gyutsugi, or grilled duck go well with a sip of sake and should be finished with a bowl of your favorite udon. The noodles are handmade daily inside the shop. Pictured here is Goma Miso Udon, their most popular dish. Mixed into the dashi (broth) is nira (chives), shoga (ginger), renkon (lotus root), miso, plenty of goma (sesame seed) – and two succulent meatballs made of chicken and pork. The second most popular dish is Curry Udon. The curry sauce is only slightly spicy, and has shitake (mushrooms), shira negi (leeks), nira (chives), along with bits of chicken. Open from lunch until nine-thirty in the evenings. For a sweet finish to your meal, consider visiting the recently opened gealto shop one floor below.
2F Adekattsu Bldg., 2-14-28 Yakuin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Open: 11:30 ~ 21:30
Prices: Goma Miso Udon (sesame and miso soup) ¥800, kamo-yaki (grilled duck) ¥1,260, draft beer ¥580, micro-brewed sake ¥630, shochu ¥420
Originally published in Fukuoka Now magazine (fn115, Jul. 2008)