In business for more than 50 years, Emi Udon is run by Satoru Ichinomiya. After graduating high school, he went to train in Kagawa, Japan’s most famous prefecture for udon, so he could take over his aunt’s shop. Always curious, Ichinomiya makes his trademark thin, flat noodles by hand every day. In true Hakata style, he aims to serve his udon quickly. After much experimentation, he found that thin noodles could be boiled quicker, but he had to keep them flat to ensure they kept their integrity. The mellow soup, which uses his aunt’s recipe, is made from Hokkaido kelp, dried red-eye herring and dried mackerel. His menu features the Hakata standard goboten (burdock root tempura) udon as well as a many originals like tori oroshi udon, a dipping udon served with a hot chicken broth. There is also an a la carte menu for evening patrons who’d like to imbibe while relaxing to the sounds of jazz on the shop’s stereo.
Menu: Tori oroshi udon ¥650, yoridori udon (udon w/ three types of vegetable tempura and beef) ¥650, goboten udon ¥550, kake udon ¥500, udon w/ poached egg ¥550, kamaage udon (warm noodles w/ cold dipping sauce) ¥560, kakiage udon (udon w/ veggie fritters) ¥600, beef udon ¥650, clay pot udon ¥750, cold udon ¥600, cold udon w/ grated radish ¥650, cold udon w/ tempura ¥900, hot udon w/ tempura ¥750, pickled plum udon ¥650, Japanese fried chicken set ¥700
*Foreign language menu: None / Cash only / Reservations not required / No smoking
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn238, Oct. 2018)