Onya Noodle Shop: Fresh made udon is the difference

Dear Food Diary:
I never was a fan of udon noodle, I’ve tried to avoid this doughy and many times mushy bowl of bla for the longest time, but one slurp of Onya Noodle Shop’s udon soup, and I couldn’t fight it any longer, this stuff is great, I’m betting because it’s freshly made on the spot.
Here’s the Udon Sensei working his magic, totally concentrated, not a smirk to be seen, he meant business. Almost like he was having a moment with the evenly cut noodles, I didn’t dare disturb his great work with my questions, just kept walking and gave him a mental japanese style half body bow, he deserved it.
The plain walls are decorated nicely with these noodle making illustrations. Another one of those times I wish I read japanese.
The flow is very organized, order your tempura and udon, pay, get food and find a place to sit, very assembly line style. I love how the back room looks on a sunny afternoon, the glass sunroof and the trees/leaves motif makes it very romantic and so japanese.
The Vegetable Tempura is excellent, my favorite is the Mix Vegetable, and Sweet Potato. You can skip the shrimp and fish ones. It’s golden brown, and super duper crunchy, love the thick non mushy batter, one of the best tempuras I’ve had. I didn’t see who was frying them, but he deserves a japanese bow as well.

Now to bowl of yummyness, I love how you can order small, medium or large, often I only need a little bit of carbs to be satisfied. This Niku (beef) Udon has some sweetness and soy sauce written all over it, but the best part is the udon itself, it’s cooked al dente and has the perfect balance between bounce and chew. The beef is tender, and soft. Overall its a little salty for my taste, but the udon itself makes it worth while.
The Bukkake Udon, topped with grated radish, seaweed, sesame and scallion can be ordered hot or cold, I like it hot, very clean and simple. No fuzz here, the udon is the star and the broth is less salty than the Niku Udon, which was great, but I had to go back and ask for extra broth, love drinking my soup. And what’s a noodle soup without any actual soup right?
My only complaint is that it all comes luke warm and I like my hot noodle soup to come in a burn your tongue level, specially on a cold day. But once again, I overlooked it because of the greatness of the freshly made udon itself.
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NOTE:I went back again, and the noodle actually came hot, so I guess it depends on the day, but the tempura wasn’t as good as my previous 2 visits, so it can be a hit or miss.

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UPDATE 2/6/12: There are a lot more choices, both udon and rice bowls.
143 East 47st (between Lex & 3rd Av)
212.715.0460
P.S. Chubby’s RATING: chubby rating 3.5
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