I was reading the other day about how worry is essentially self-defeating.  On the other hand, there is a fine line between that and planning for the future. This is a dilemma I often face.  As even while I have one meal still in my mouth, I think about the next one. Some would call this greedy.  I prefer the term forward-looking.

So one day while eating noodles, I thought about more noodles.  In particular, I thought about udon, something that I have come to develop a taste for.  Previously, the only Japanese noodle that I really loved was soba.  Then it broadened to thin ramen noodles and then the thicker udon (also wheat) noodles.  With their ability to soak in broth, they can prove a special delight, you are not only enjoying the fulsome flavour of the noodle but also much of what it was resting in.

So I must applaud the explosion of various Asian noodle joints in London.  By making udon more accessible to the masses, Marugame is seeking to familiarize the English palate with udon.

Udon can be combined with so many different things.  Here is a display of the many different flavours of tempura (battered items) which are the most traditional accompaniment to the dashi soup, glistening in welcome.  These cried out to me but in this new year, I felt stronger than that.

Chicken katsu udon, udon noodles with crispy fried chicken breasts in panko breadcrumbs with a mildly spicy curry sauce.  Instead, on this occasion as I was hungry I went for what I thought would be the most filling item on the menu.  Noodles soaked in curry ought to hit the spot.

The chicken breast was nicely fried but a bit dry inside.  In my layman (but still irritatingly picky) opinion, a more moist version could be had by using deboned chicken thigh.  Turning instead to the curry, it was slightly disappointing as a bit one-dimensional in taste profile.  The limp cubes of carrots floating around didn’t help matters.  It lacked the complexity of good Japanese curry, where was the sugar, spice and depth of umami?  Yet I shouldn’t complain too much as at least the noodles were good.

Much as I like to reminisce about what I ate, should have ate, and in future what I will like to eat.  Perhaps I should listen to the advice for once and be present in the future.  In which case, I probably don’t really want to be at Marugame.


A quiet eating 7/10.

Lunch (a noodle dish) was GBP13 excluding drinks and service.



Upper Floor, The Atrium Kitchen, Cabot Place, Canary Wharf,
London E14 4QT


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