Restaurant review: Marugame Seimen chain - do-it-yourself udon
A well-known udon chain originally from Marugame city in Kagawa, Japan, Marugame Seimen runs self-service outlets (in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun) that allow diners to move down an assembly line to create their perfect bowl. Order the noodles, which are cooked to order, then pick from racks of tempura, such as shrimp, chicken, squid (all HK$13 each), and vegetables (all HK$7 each).
After paying, there’s a seasoning bar to further customise your bowl. Choose from spring onions, grated ginger, and agedama (deep-fried batter bits from cooking tempura), and get the dipping sauce for the udon.
Udon can be ordered in regular or large portions. The former will be enough for most appetites, as the thick, chewy strands are quite filling.
The chain’s original udon (HK$27 for regular, HK$33 for large) is served in a wooden bucket, and is udon at its simplest.
Our favourite is the udon with half-boiled egg and seasoned cod roe (HK$41/regular; HK$47/large). The seaweed topped dish doesn’t come with any soup and gets its flavour from the briny fish roe, which pops in the mouth. The egg yolk balances the dish.
The chicken cube tempura tastes best, and we also like the pumpkin and aubergine. Beer is served and this goes well with the deep fried treats. For those yearning more starch, they serve rice bowls and rice balls, too.
Marugame Seimen, Shop 609, 6/F iSQUARE, 63 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tel: 3583 0880. Shop 128-130, 1/F Tsuen Wan Plaza, 4-30 Tai Pa Street, Tsuen Wan. Tel: 3109 7440. Shop 2172, 2/F Phase 1, Tuen Mun Town Plaza, 3 Tuen Lung Street, Tuen Mun. Tel: 28111520