This noodle shop by MotoTanaka station does some very nice homemade udon noodles. The owner (pictured a short ways below), is known to all his friends as Yama-chan, or by his customers simply as “Master”. I can’t remember what his real name is. He’s a very nice chap. I first met him in music bar Hawkwind one night, and when he told me he owned the nearby noodle shop I said “Oh! That place! I’ve eaten there.”
“How were the noodles?” he asked me. “Well,” I said, “The thing is, I really like nishin soba… And I’m quite strict about it because I like it so much. So, to be honest, the nishin soba at your place was good, but it wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.” I can be horribly honest sometimes. Yamachan however, remained unfazed.
“Next time you come to my shop,” he said, “You have to try the udon. Not the soba. My shop’s specialty is udon, afterall.”
Fair enough, I thought. So I went back to Mentei one night and ordered nishin with udon noodles to see what they were like. Below right you can see the dish that was set before me.
I proceeded to slurp noodles, soup and herring into myself as Yama-chan walked gingerly over. After a while I looked up with a big smile on my face. “Well,” says Yama-chan, “How are they?”
He wasn’t kidding about the udon. They were really great. And when I told him so, he was really happy – mostly with relief I expect.
As well as owning a fine noodle establishment Yama-chan also happens to be a pretty well known local folk singer, his stage name being: Udonya Mentei. I tell you, you meet some pretty interesting characters in Hawkwind. I’ll post more about him and his music at a later date.
To find Mentei, go north on Higashioji Dori, past Hyakumanben, past Mikage Dori, until you get to the railway intersection at MotoTanaka. Mentei is on your right, below the cafe and live music venue Zanpano. Here is a map.
Open 11:30 – 23:00 or earlier if they sell out. Closed on Sundays.
Next post: Zac Baran and some very nice shakuhachi playing.