Where can you get the best nabeyaki udon in Seattle? I'm looking for udon noodles cooked in a rich broth with fresh kamaboko, tempura shrimp and veggies cooked in an earthen bowl. It needs to be served hot & bubbly and the udon needs to have taken on a brownish tinge from the broth. Have a huge craving for this dish. Can anyone help?
There is a fantastic Japanese place in the Pike marketplace. I think it is on Pike, but I can't really remember, nor can I recall its name...but! They have what you are looking for! It is on the North side of one of the steep streets leading up to downtown from the market row.
I was at I (Heart) Sushi on Lake Union last night and they appeared to have Udon as well, although I didn't see it on the menu and was disappointed that I had to eat nothing but sushi instead.
re: Hiko Ikeda
I happen to be in the Twin Cities this week so last night I drove up to St. Paul to check out Tanpopo, the subject of th
e review. It's a nice, small place not far from the capitol with maybe a dozen tables and a 5-seat counter. I had suno
mono and nabeyaki udon. The sunomono ($3) was very good with cucumbers, nori, and some shredded surimi. The udon ($8.5
0) was in a light broth, nicely flavored, and included a couple slices of tamagoyaki rather than a raw egg.
It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.
I'm not sure about the desire for the udon to have a "brownish tinge" as the noodles (which are white, made from wheat flour) should be boiled separately before being assembled into the dish. For nabeyaki udon the noodles only simmer in the broth long enough for the egg yolk to set soft, perhaps a few minutes.
Anyway, my first choice would be Sanmi Sushi (Magnolia at Smith Cove/Elliot Bay Marina). Fresh ingredients, prepared well, in a nice place.
Some other places to try:
Chinois (Queen Anne, Madison, ID/Uwajimaya) -- good, if sometimes uneven. QA location is often crowded.
Nikko (Downtown, Westin Hotel) -- good if someone else is picking up the bill.
Shiro's (Belltown) -- skip the udon and get the sushi.
Maneki (International District) -- quiet, dark place, been in Seattle forever.
Saito's (Belltown) -- maybe too hip for me.
Aoki (Capitol Hill) -- decent, inexpensive.
Arita (Greenwood) -- nice neighborhood place.
Japanese Gourmet (Downtown, Pike Place) -- not gourmet and I don't think it's Japanese-run, but the food is OK.
Koji Osakaya (Downtown, Harbor Steps) -- huge menu, lots of Japanese customers, so-so food.
Hisago (Northgate) -- used to be very good, now only adequate.
I'm sure there are lots of other places I'm forgetting.