Opened in April 2018, Ensei brings a new style of udon to the table. After running a branch of the popular udon shop Josui in Saitama for over eight years, shop manager Iwasaka moved to Fukuoka because he wanted to challenge himself in a city with a different udon culture. Ensei takes an innovative twist by using a broth made from dried baby sardines instead of the standard kelp and fish flakes. Dried baby sardines offer a unique aroma and flavor profile, but if they are not prepared right, they can turn a soup pungent. But Iwasaka knows his stuff: he used to work at a ramen shop that used copious amounts of these sardines. He also trained in the udon mecca of Kagawa, where he learned to create wheaty yet supple handmade noodles. His unique menu includes beef broth udon, a favorite from the Saitama shop, seared pork udon, which is topped with roast pork, and a curry udon made with no broth and 16 varieties of fresh fruits and veggies.
Menu: Ensei curry udon (w/ half bowl of rice) ¥900, asari clam udon in anchovy broth ¥720, seared pork udon (only after 13:00) ¥820, crunchy veggie udon (only after 13:00 on weekdays) ¥800, kamaage udon ¥550, beef broth kamaage udon ¥700, cold udon ¥550, cold udon w/ beef broth ¥700, bottled beer ¥550
*Foreign language menu: None / Cash only / Reservations not required / No smoking
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn240, Dec. 2018)