Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Yamamoto Menzo (手打ちうどん 山元麺蔵)

I am not exaggerating if I tell you this is one of my favorite restaurants in Kyoto - one that I am willing to stand in line for 2 hours on a hot and sunny day.  If you love udon, you must give this place a shot.  (Note:  My review could be biased since I love udon.)  I still recall how much dedication the udon chef put into rinsing the udon in ice water!

This place is busy from the moment it opens till it closes, that's 11:00 to 19:45 every day, 6 days a week.  Imagine how many pounds of udon (and ice water) this place goes through in a day...  they have my respect.  /Salute!


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Believe it or not, I discovered this place from Google maps
(I was looking at the street view when trying to locate a different place)

I saw the line on that photo and that sparked my interest.
During my last visit to Kyoto, I passed by it 3 times during different time of the day.
There was always a line.
I decided to stand in the queue and find out for myself what's so special about this place.
Food was delicious and I have been wanting to come back ever since.

At my last visit I spent 40 minutes in line.  This time, it took me 120 minutes!!!  The only thing I regret about my experience this time - I left my umbrella at the hostel and got tanned :'(

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The line formed a U-shaped this time :S

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I am so glad I wasn't the only one who decided sit by the curb.

Ever since my last visit, I already know what I wanted.  Gobo tempura with cold udon, and a side tori tempura!  XD


I wish I could eat them all~~~
I have been taking pictures of the menu and sending them to my friend
to ensure I am pointing at the right stuff - just in case my limited Japanese fails me.
"Udon only, please do not ask for soba"
"Udon only, please don't ask for soba."

By the time it was my turn, I was super hungry.  I was determined to stuff myself to make up for the time I spent waiting.


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It's still the same guys from my last visit.
I wonder if they remembered me too :)
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Tempura Chicken

Crispy and juicy.  I am usually not a big fan of white meat but this is so tender.
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Gobo tempura with cold udon

LOVE the udon!!!  so chewy and delicious.
The "normal" portion is super generous.

The sauce is not too salty, it's just right with the udon.

The gobo tempura did not disappoint either!
The curry powder accentuates the flavor to a whole new level.
Now I understand why this dish is so popular.  

I was so full but satisfied after my meal!  I wish I had a bigger stomach so I can eat more!  Next time I want to get the mixed tempura, fried chicken (唐揚げ), and grated mountain yam with cold udon!

Yamamoto Menzo (手打ちうどん 山元麺蔵)
34 Okazaki Minamigoshocho, Sakyo-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 606-8334, Japan  
(5 minutes from Heian Shrine and 2 minutes from Okazaki Zoo)
京都市左京区岡崎南御所町34 (平安神宮より徒歩5分、岡崎動物園より徒歩2分)
Tel:
    +81 075-751-0677Hours:  Mon - Tue: 11:00 am - 7:45 pm; 

             Wed: 11:00 am - 2:30 pm; 
             Fri - Sun:11:00 am - 7:45 pm
             (Closed every Thursday and the fourth Wednesday)

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