Rating: 3 out of 5
Macquarie Centre, Herring & Waterloo Roads, North Ryde 2113
I’m normally not a huge udon noodle soup fan, if only because I usually prefer a fuller flavoured soup such as a tonkotsu or a laksa to the udon’s typically lighter flavoured kakejiru. However, I was about to head to the gym for a work out and was looking for a light meal, so settled on the karaage udon at Asakaze.
The restaurant is within the Macquarie Centre shopping complex, and attempts to woo passerbys with their display of interesting and creative sushi offers. Being a noodle fanatic, I was obviously going to go for either a ramen or a udon dish. The service was polite, and the food arrived after only a short wait.
The bowl of steaming noodle soup was served with the karaage pieces bobbing on the top, getting soggier with each passing moment. There were also thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, a piece of fried tofu, kombu, shaved carrot, a slice of pink and white kamaboko, and finely chopped spring onions. The thick white udon noodles were a little bit too soft, being noticeably chewier on the inside after biting through, but the light coloured kakejiru was not too salty with a tasty umami flavour. The karaage was quite good, despite the soggy exterior, with the marinated chicken being tender and not too dry.
Overall, the karaage udon is satisfactory, filling a hole before you embark on a shopping expedition, or head to the movies or the gym. It’s not particularly good value, with the modest portion size and a price tag of $12.90, however it’s hard to pick too many faults with it.