Tamoya Udon at Liang Court makes me crave for udon as much as I would crave for a bowl of ramen. Well known for its chewy and smooth handmade udon noodles, Tamoya Udon is considered one of the most reputable udon establishments amongst Japanese in the Sanuki Province, Shikoku. On the right side of the shop, you get a glimpse of its little home kitchen where fresh udon noodles is being churned out daily using ingredients (flour, shoyu, bonito etc) imported from Japan. With its humble furnishing, decorated with handwritten labels and DIY toppings counter, tables filled with (Japanese-looking) business men slurping their piping hot udon noodles, stepping into Tamoya excites me the way like how a place would in Japan. I couldn't wait to join in the hungry crowd.
Catering to the taste of the locals, Tamoya has created a brand new tossed udon series featuring Oooh-mami Udon, Triple Egg Udon, Fried Onion Udon and Pesto Udon. All the 4 different flavours are each crowned with a jiggly poached egg. Not only it adds to the visual feast, its essential in binding the ingredients together and then coat the noodles with the flavours.
Oooh-mami Udon 3/5
If you are one of those who love everything with XO sauce, Oooh-mami Udon ($10.80) answers your prayers in a 'Japanese' way. Rich with homemade XO sauce, enhanced with beautiful dried sakura ebi and bonito flakes. This bowl spells umami in every sense. It kind of reminds me of our local dry chilli prawn noodles with its chunks of dried shrimps, which gives a counter-texture to the chewy and smooth noodles. I thought it may get too salty but it didn't. Perhaps, the fresh spring onions and chopped onions mellow it a bit.
Triple Egg Udon 2.8/5
Triple Egg Udon ($9.80) is again another creation that speaks to our insatiable appetite for fish roe. The mentaiko is actually served on the udon as it, which is pretty uncommon in Singapore, perhaps more so in Japan. I expected my udon to taste really salty and briny but it turns out to be pretty mild in taste, almost like having Uni. The texture leaves a lot to be desired though. Upon mixing, my udon sort of becomes slimy and gluey. Its smooth and chewy texture somehow works against it in this presentation. The crunchy tobiko didn't help to add in any crunch either.
Fried Onion Udon 3/5
Flavoured with fragrant spring onion oil and topped with fresh spring onions, onions and shallots, Tamoya’s Fried Onion Udon ($8.80) is a predominantly onion-y udon inspired by the famous Shanghainese Chong You (fried spring onion) noodles. I like the fried spring onions which lends a sweetness to this savory noodles, as well as the braised pork meat that makes the noodles a lot more wholesome compared to the rest of the tossed udons.
Pesto Udon 2.5/5
While Pesto Udon ($8.80) is supposed to be a east-meets-west fusion of udon, it resembles more of Thai basil pork dish. I feel the pesto paste is quite well done but it gets lost in a mass of eggy gravy when you mix the udon. The biggest issue I have with is the pork, which smells and tastes porky.
There is no doubt Tamoya's udon is really one of the best in Singapore, given its chewy and smooth texture. Every strand of it is so thick, yet it's light and I won't want to go back to a ready-to-eat version anymore. Although the satisfaction that I got eating from the soup version didn't get translated to eating the tossed udons series, I believe udon lovers may still enjoy a change from their regular routine once in a while.
Words and photos by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food. Note: This is an invited tasting.
177 River Valley Road
Tel: +65 63370301
Nearest MRT: Fort Canning (DT Line), Clarke Quay (NE Line)
Daily: 11am - 930pm
1) Alight at Fort Canning MRT station. Take Exit A. Turn right and walk to destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit C, F or G. Walk along the river toward Riverside Point direction. Cross the bridge to the other end of the river. Turn left and walk towards Liang Court. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]
3) Alight at Clarke Quay MRT station. Take Exit E. Walk to bus stop at Clark Quay Station (Stop ID 04222). Take bus number 54. Alight 2 stops later. Walk to destination. Journey time about 6 minutes. [Map]