These gorgeous wheat flour noodles are one of the essential members in the noodle family
You will often see them here and there in Japanese restaurants in Toronto. We normally see them as one of the items along with other dishes on the menu. Moreover, there don’t have any specialized udon places in Toronto until early 2010s. Bushi Udon Kappo & Menami are one of the first specialized Udon establishments back in 2013 & 2016. Now in 2019, there is a new udon wave coming to Toronto with new udon establishments. Let’s check these places out.
Originated from New York, Raku is a Japanese style udon brand with stylish wooden interior décor. With 2 locations in East Village and Soho, they had chosen Queen West, Toronto as their 1st location in Canada. Udon menu was developed by executive chef Norihiro Ishizuka. Moreover, Raku’s menu consists of a variety of cold and hot udon selections. Here’s what we have at Raku.
- Hiyashi (冷やしうどん) – Udon with chilled water & Dipping Sauce ($11)
- Yamakake (山かけうどん) – Grated mountain yam, bonito flakes ($14)
- Jaja (ジャージャーうどん) – Spicy miso pork, cucumber, tomato, poached egg ($15)
- Kitsune (きつねうどん) – Seasoned fried bean curd ($12)
- Tan tan (坦々うどん) – Tantan spicy miso pork, peanuts, egg ($ 15)
- Niku – (肉うどん) – Beef short-ribs, honeycomb tripe ($20)
- Curry Udon + Shrimp tempura – (カレーうどん) – thick curry soup with a choice of chicken ($16) and Canadian
- Prime Beef ($17). Side of Shrimp Tempura ($6)
- Yasai Kakiage (野菜かきあげうどん) – Vegetable tempura (onion, burdock root, carrot, green pepper) ($14)
Under their cold udon section, they use Inaniwa style Udon for all their selection. Inaniwa style udon are thinner style udon with a smooth texture.
Hiyashi – 冷やしうどん ($11)
– Udon with chilled water & Dipping Sauce
Zaru & Hiyashi are the entry selections on their cold udon menu. These were chilled udon with a dipping sauce on the side. Zaru consisted of udon on a plate with dipping sauce. Moreover, Hiyashi consists of udon in chilled water with dipping sauce on the side. If you like addition toppings, you can always add extra toppings to customize your udon.
Yamakake – 山かけうどん ($14)
– Grated mountain yam, bonito flakes
Other than customizing your own, you can always try their chef creations. Yamakake would one of my favourite cold udon on the list. Yamakake consists of Inaniwa style udon with grated mountain yam, quail egg, and bonito flakes. Grated mountain yam had introduced a gooey texture that builds up the texture of udon. If you like this texture, I would suggest to give this a try. Be sure to mix everything together before you enjoy this udon.
Jaja – ジャージャーうどん ($15)
– Spicy miso pork, cucumber, tomato, poached egg
Jaja refers to Jajangmyeong style udon that consists of spicy miso pork, tomato, and poached egg. They had decent amount of spicy miso pork in there. However, the spiciness was light in my opinion. Their poach egg were slightly over cook. Other than that, this is pretty decent.
Other than cold udon, they had a longer selection for hot udon on the menu. Other than Inaniwa style thin udon, they also utilized thick udon for some of their hot udon creation, which had more chewy texture than other thick udon selections in the market. Some of their bowls looks huge which makes you feel like you are really getting a decent portion.
Kitsune – きつねうどん ($12)
– Seasoned fried bean curd
Talking about udon, would you think about fried bean curd?
Of course I would. Raku offer’s classic Kitsune udon with seasoned fried bean curd, spinach, & thick udon noodles in a cleared broth. It might feel like that they don’t have any toppings, but they do have a decent amount tofu bean curd on it (one big piece). If would like more toppings, you can always add extra toppings on the side.
Tan tan – 坦々うどん ($ 15)
– Tantan spicy miso pork, peanuts, egg
One of my favourite hot udon on the menu, Tan tan udon consists of thin Inaniwa style Udon with tan tan spicy miso pork and peanuts. I really like their flavourful broth base, and it had tiny bit of pepper corn in it.
Niku – 肉うどん ($20)
– Beef short-ribs, honeycomb tripe
Niku (Meat) are always a classic topping with udon dishes. Raku had its own take with their niku udon. Raku’s Niku udon consists of cleared broth & thick chewy udon with chunks of beef short ribs & honeycomb tripe. Indeed, this is an interesting combination. However, if you like the classic niku udon with slices of beef on top, I would suggest to order Raku’s Gyunan Udon instead, which is similar with other Niku udon out there.
Curry Udon – カレーうどん ($16)
– Thick curry soup with a choice of Chicken or Canadian Prime Beef (+$1).
– Side of Shrimp Tempura (+$6)
Talking about udon, curry thick broth is another classic for udon creations. Their curry udon can go with a choice of chicken or Canadian Prime Beef. In my opinion, the quality of chicken was not bad, but this really didn’t surprise me. I would suggest adding beef instead or customizing it with other toppings instead (i.e. Shrimp tempura).
Yasai Kakiage – 野菜かきあげうどん ($14)
– Vegetable tempura (onion, burdock root, carrot, green pepper)
Tempura seems to be popular toppings for udon dishes. Here’s one Raku’s creation with vegetable tempura. Yasai kakiage consists of cleaned broth with thick udon, spinach & a side of assorted vegetable tempura. I like how they place tempura on a separate plate. The taste of tempura was not bad, but their batter can be better.
If you like something different than udon, don’t worry.
They have donburi rice bowl as well. All their donburi goes with soup and pickle vegetable.
Their side soup is pretty good. Here’s their Unatama Don ($17) with unagi (Eel) & tamago (Egg).
Here’s my udon collection for Raku.
Come by check them out. If you had tried Raku, tell us what you think.
Raku NYC. Thank you for choosing Toronto for your new restaurant establishment.
Looking forward to my next visit at Raku
Anthoni’s Noodle Adventure Continues…..