ISO: Nabeyaki Udon and Katsu Curry
My latest food obsession! I've had the nebayaki udon at Ginza (the one Beacon St.), and Fugakyu (also on Beacon) I think the one at Fugakyu had more veg in the broth. Also, there was less broth. They were both good. I've only had the katsu curry at Ginza, and I thought it was dry. I thought there would be a sauce.
So, where else should I go for these dishes? Is there something more to them? I wouldn't want to be missing out!
The nabeyaki udon at Sakura Bana in downtown Boston is quite good - in fact, their whole array of udon/soba dishes are better than most Japanese restaurants in the area. I'd definitely recommend you try it there.
I don't eat katsu as much in Boston (calories!) but if you enjoy katsu kare, I'd recommend making a pit stop at Cafe Mami in the Porter Square eatery by Lesley College. With Kotobukiya closed, there's less incentive for me to hop over, but a lot of the eateries in the food court are decent. Cafe Mami has some pretty good, hard to find in the US (let alone Boston) yoshoku. Their hamburg plates are also really good.
Agree 100% with Mami for katsu.
For nabeyaki, I'm surprised to find myself saying that the best one I've had in a restaurant in Boston was actually at a place I otherwise dislike: Gari, in Coolidge Corner. I only had it there once, so I don't know if it was a fluke, but the broth was tasty, they weren't stingy with oden, the noodles weren't overcooked, and it was just generally very pleasant.
Agreed - not a big fan of Gari's despite its closeness, but the nabeyaki udon there is good - great broth, resilient noodles, pretty balanced in a bowl about the size as the one you'd get at fugakyu. We've eaten Gari's nabeyaki udon three times, so I think the results should be reliable.
We tried the nabeyaki udon at Shiki earlier this month - it's on the small side. The broth was good, but the broth:solid ratio was too small and the noodles a little soft.
Just remembered in the context of another post that Shiki on Harvard has nabeyaki udon. I've somehow never tried it, which is weird, since I love nabeyaki and trust Shiki-- usually just more tempted by other things there, I guess. I'd say it's definitely worth a shot, since they are generally very good and quite authentic in their preparations.
(They also have tonkatsu, and I think they at least sometimes have curry, I'm not sure if they have the combination. You could ask, though!)
I had cold udon at Shiki a couple of times over the summer and it was great. I know they have nabeyaki too, I'd bet it's good.
Mr. Sushi in Brookline also has Nabeyaki udon, I had it once long ago but don't recall what I thought of it (not bad for sure).
Ken's noodle has curry, but no katsu I guess. I haven't tried it but it smells good. Men Tei in Back Bay also has katsu curry.