#3203

Masakiya - Spice up the Udon

Out of the Way

Masakiya is an udon shop. It is located not only off the beaten path, but well off the oft-travelled roads in an offbeat area, Nishi-Ogikubo. Nishiogi is well known for its antique shops, used books, quaint eateries, and, mostly, for being located near the ever popular Kichijoji, Asagaya, Koenji, and Nakano.

Located around a 1k walk away from Nishiogi Station on the Chuo/Sobu Lines is the busy intersection on old Ome Kaido called "Momoi 4-chome." With a koban on the corner and a big public building behind the koban, the intersection is a very busy one in a rather quiet residential area.

A small hop, skip, and no jump from the intersection is the newly opened Masakiya. You won't find it in any Tokyo guidebook, not only because it is too new, but because it is a very sleepy neighborhood.

Tsukemen

It starts out looking rather tame, like, well, pretty much any other bowl of udon, albeit tsukemen style. The pork meat in the dipping sauce may have been unusual 15 years ago, but there are many pork/noodle shops now boasting their "buta-men," literally pork noodles.

The noodles are handmade, a good start - but not in the shop. They hail from somewhere in the Tama area, a part of Tokyo famous for its udon. The slightly gray-brown color of the noodles makes it look a bit like soba, but it's just unbleached flour. That's a second plus.

Then, after a taste, there are the condiments.

Condiments

The best thing about Masakiya is the toppings. There are instructions on the wall about how to best eat the noodles. After the first sip and slurp, add red peppers to the noodles. I like mine red hot!

There is the famous Shichimi (7 spices), too, but with the tsukemen I prefer the simple red pepper. Then, you add fresh grated ginger, roasted garlic, sesame seeds (white), and chopped scallions to your heart's content. The garlic is strong - surprisingly - despite the dry roasting. If you thought that udon is mostly tame fare, be prepared to have your perspective altered.

After eating the hearty bowl of udon, you can add seafood broth (dashi-yu) to your dipping sauce. I love to drink the warm soup to wash down those strong flavors. Tsukemen is heavenly!

mikekato image

mikekato

United States

mikekato's other advice

A Really Close Shave... images

A Really Close Shave...

I've been shaving my head for the past 15 years. It is a chore, but I've gotten used to it. It sometimes grows a bit, during camps and sometimes during long holidays like Golden Week. But basically, …

An Eye-con of Shinjuku images

An Eye-con of Shinjuku

Subaru is a fairly well known brand globally, particularly for those who are familiar with off-road racing. It's definitely not as much a household brand name as Toyota or Honda, or even companies kn…

Send Out the Towels images

Send Out the Towels

Ikeuchi Organic is a Japanese company that makes towels like no other. Towels are not its only products, but towels are the company's core products. And what wonderful towels they are!The company…

Lights, Camera, Attraction! images

Lights, Camera, Attraction!

There's no shortage of holiday blessings in Japan. Not being a Christian nation has never stopped Japan from adopting this holiday as its own. And while Christmas caroling has not yet become a holi…

I'm Punched images

I'm Punched

At a recent bonenkai (year-end party), one of the entertainers was Neko Punch. Neko Punch is a band, led by singer/songwriter Leanne and producer/bass player Macc. Later, the duo was joined by dancer…

Celestial Geisha: A Perfect Performance images

Celestial Geisha: A Perfect Performance

Yes, you may not realize it, but not only is there a history of geisha in Tokyo, but there are quite a few places where there are active geisha communities, including Kagurazaka, Asakusa, Shinbashi/G…

You might also like

How to Maintain the Perfect Balance Between Noodles and Sauce in Japan images

How to Maintain the Perfect Balance Between Noodles and Sauce in Japan

A key when eating zaru-udon (udon on a bamboo net that you dip into sauce) is to avoid dipping the udon too much. This does require some chopstick skills but what you want to aim for is dipping your …

GenS image

GenS

Hungry? Eat Cup Noodle Ramen in Japan images

Hungry? Eat Cup Noodle Ramen in Japan

I warn you first that this post is not really for you if your are a very health conscious person. One of the most popular quick meal options at the combini, especially among salarymen and male st…

GenS image

GenS

Fast and Convenient Food in Japan images

Fast and Convenient Food in Japan

The "stand and eat" style tachigui soba restaurants are designed for the thousands of Japanese businessmen who do not even have time to sit and eat their meals. Everything is fast at a tachigui soba …

GenS image

GenS

Chilled with tempura toppings images

Chilled with tempura toppings

Hanamarudon is a franchise chain of Sanuki udon (originated from Kagawa prefecture in Shikoku) which is my favorite spot to go to . This might sound strange but I like my udon chilled topped with tem…

Andrew Soh Chih Jen image

Andrew Soh Chih Jen

Non-seafood Dishes at Sushi Restaurants images

Non-seafood Dishes at Sushi Restaurants

My family loves "kaiten-zushi" (the sushi on the conveyor belts) and we go somewhat frequently. When I first arrived in Japan, the choices on offer at most restaurants was almost exclusively seafood…

Andrea Miyata image

Andrea Miyata

Fun for Kids & Families to enjoy all over Japan images

Fun for Kids & Families to enjoy all over Japan

Of course there are amusement parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios in Japan; fun playgrounds and adventure parks too. But I think even the day to day can offer fun experiences for kids. …

jjwalsh image

jjwalsh