Today we show you what we ate at Inaniwa Yosuke, a restaurant specialising in the smooth and slippery Inaniwa udon, as we continue our eating tour of the new restaurants in Singapore’s Japan Food Town in Wisma Atria (Isetan Orchard). We understand that Inaniwa Yosuke’s Inaniwa udon had been made since 1860 and is “an unchanging 150-year old handmade tradition of Akita craftmanship and skill.”
As you can expect, the new restaurant cluster at Wisma Atria had drawn a big crowd. We were there early, around 11.30 am and queues had already started forming. We were happy to try any of the restaurants except Tsukiji Takewaka Sushi which we had already tried (see our review here). We picked Inaniwa Yosuke because there was only a short queue of around seven people in front of us. Whether it was because of unfamiliarity of new systems or being meticulous in quality control, the wait was longer than we expected. Our wait in the queue was 25 minutes and 10 more at the table.
The Inaniwa Yosuke restaurant is a small one – the open concept kitchen, counter-seating and a cluster of cubicle seats. Here is a picture of the billboard menu. The star here is the Inaniwa noodles. Basically the main decisions we had to make were whether we wanted the noodles hot or cold and whether to have them on their own or as a set. We decided on a hot udon and tempura ($26) and a Tempura and Ajikurabe Set with shoyu sauce ($30). The Ajikurabe set serves two half portions of cold and hot noodles. There is one more variation ($32) that is similar but comes with two sauces – an additional sesame sauce.
This is the hot Inaniwa udon with tempura. The udon was served in a large bowl which was quite adequate for a person with an average appetite. The Inaniwa udon was very good as we expected from a specialist Japanese noodle shop. Very smooth and with a nice chewy texture. The accompanying tempura side dish was a small serving of a large prawn and two pieces of vegetables. Taste-wise the tempura was average.
Here is the Tempura and Ajikurabe Set with shoyu sauce. Essentially the same as the hot udon one but with a small salad, a serving of cold udon (with sauce and condiments) and a smaller hot udon serving.
The cold Inaniwa udon was the highlight of the meal. For some reason, the coolness and the sauce (with added wasabi and scallions) combine well to give a better taste. Or perhaps the cold noodle allows us to slurp it more heartily.
Overall, are glad to see specialist noodle shops like Inaniwa Yosuke opening in Singapore. We really like the cold Inaniwa noodles. We are not sure we will order it as a set again or just have the noodles. The tempura was just average but it would be quite boring to just eat noodle and nothing else. Maybe the best solution is to have noodles here and try the specialist tempura restaurant a few doors away.
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Japan Food Town
435 Orchard Rd, #04-45 Wisma Atria
Details of Inaniwa Yosuke can be found in Japan Food Town’s website.