Thursday, March 06, 2008

Wakashachiya, The Central

I've happened by this kare udon specialist restaurant Wakashachiya (#03-92 The Central, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, S059817, tel : 6534 9984) which hails from Nagoya, the capital of the Aichi Prefecture in Japan on a couple of occasions previously down at Central and haven't really taken much of an interest apart from a cursory glance at the menu outside the restaurant since I'm not an udon person. After having read some reviews and hearing some feedback, I decided to give it a go. It seems that this place has 63 outlets altogether in Japan currently and they're on the way to opening the 64th down in Yokohama. The presence of the restaurant extends to Osaka and Tokyo. What does these information which can be gleaned from looking around in the place all mean for me and you? Probably nothing but marketing fluff.

It turned out that this udon experience was much better than any I have had previously. Which isn't really all that much to speak of actually since I often found them far too chewy for my liking. This one had a consistency which I liked. The springy smooth udon came with enough bite and wasn't too rubbery, lying in the piping hot curry which was had noticeable notch up in terms of spiciness compared to many Japanese curries. The top up option for cheese ($3) came with a rather generous heap of shredded mozzarella which melted nicely above the hot curry creating a sticky but tasty goo which coats the udon. There were some sliced pink fishcake things, some triangular pieces of bean curd andcrunchy leeks which were hidden in the bowl of curry.

Besides the cheese, there was a slew of other add ons like nasu, katsu, ebi fry and tempuras and .....others. I was silently making comparisons of the dense piece of breaded fried pork (Tonkichi!) and prawn tempuras hoping that the portions of the katsu were bigger and more tender, but in the end it was just a $4 piece and the prawn beneath the freshly fried tempura batter was hot and crunchy.

We ordered the umaki just to convince ourselves that it probably wouldn't be what we had expected. The eggs here are a much cruder interpretation of the more exquisite version from Botan which were in my books, superior in many ways at a similar price point. Botan's tamago was definitely far silkier and more smoothly layered. There was also more generous portions of that unagi. This one wasn't bad on the whole, it's just a little expensive for the quality and definitely not what we were looking for.


Anonymous said...

Just chanced upon your blog. Great review, but I think you shouldn't be making unfair comparisons to tenshin and tonkichi...maybe you shouldn't be even mentioning them at all.

just my 2 cents worth.

Camemberu said...

waaa...cheese, curry and katsu! my hubby will like! must tell him about this place! thanks