Udon Shin is a restaurant specializing in Udon, a kind of thick wheat-flour noodle of Japanese cuisine. They have been consistently ranked amongst the best udon restaurants in Tokyo since their opening in April 2011. It is located in an alleyway a stone's throw from Shinjuku station, about 5 minutes walk to its location, which is in a hidden alleyway of South West Shinjuku area. There are only 6 counter seats and 2 tables in there, only a total of 10 customers are to be served at the same time. This is a local's favorite and there is always a long queue, the waiting time can be quite long but it is worth the while. While waiting outside, the service staff was handing out the menu and started to take the orders.
They specialize in handmade udon that is made fresh in-house with a strong emphasis on the quality as well as the freshness and so, the noodles are never made in advance. The handmade noodles are cut and boiled fresh only upon the order is made. They even adjusted the boiling time of the noodles by taking into the consideration of the temperature and humidity of the weather.
Their menu has simple descriptions in English so it is easy to order. The price range is in between ¥1,000 to ¥1300 per dish on their menu. The prices are quite reasonable.
There is a selection of Zaru Udon, Kake Udon, and Bukkake Udon. Zaru Udon is boiled and served cold on the plate by itself and the dipping sauce that has a richer flavor is served separately from it, its texture is springier. This is supposedly the best way to enjoy the delightful texture of the noodle. Next is Kake Udon, it is boiled and served in a lighter taste hot broth with, its texture is smoother as compared to the Kake Udon. The Bukkake Udon is boiled then served with a little broth, it is the middle of Zaru Udon and Kake Udon. After the selection of Udon, you could also choose your choice of toppings like tempura, beef or grated radish.
I ordered Kake Udon with tempura set (¥1300) that consists of an assortment of shrimp with vegetable tempura. Even though the orders were placed while waiting in line but the preparation work would only start until we were seated then the kitchen started to roll out the dough for the noodles and cooking it. It took about 10 minutes before the tempura assortment was served. It consists of 2 pieces of shrimp and assorted vegetables. They were lightly battered then freshly deep-fried to ensure its freshness as well as the crispiness and not too greasy as well.
The warm udon noodles were served in a dried bonito-based broth that was quite appetizing and I ended up slurping every drop of it. The texture of the udon is firm and soft with its tensile strength still intact.
I also ordered Bukkake Udon serving with a special soft-boiled tempura egg and cooked pork fillet (¥1200). The noodles were springy and cooked perfectly. I started by breaking the tempura egg gently and letting the egg yolk flow out before mixing it with the noodles. The balance of the flavors was superb. Those slices of pork fille were quite tender.
I have had many good meals during this trip but these stood out. It is just so amazing that how something so simple can actually taste so good. Highly recommended.
151-0053, Tokyo-to, Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi, 2-20-16, JAPAN
Operating Hours: 11.00 am to 10.00 pm (Mon to Thu & Sun) / 11.00 am to 11.00 pm (Fri & Sat)