For fans of udon, Tamoya should prove to be familiar. With 17 outlets around the globe, the Japanese brand has established itself as Asia’s most popular udon chain, serving countless bowls of its signature piping hot, chewy noodles to an international fanbase.
Singapore is one of the countries on the list and following last-day stints in Chinatown Point and more recently, Liang Court, the award-winning eatery underwent a temporary week-long hiatus in business, only getting back into the limelight with the opening of their latest outlet at Plaza Singapura.
The launch of the 60-seater dining space sees the return of some popular menu items, as well as a new outlet-exclusive dish. Infused with truffle oil and paste, the Truffle Tonkotsu Udon (S$11.80) comes with a spread of chashu slices, mushrooms, corn, Japanese leek, nori, and a half-ajitama egg in tow – all while dripped in rich, creamy pork bone broth.
All of that makes for a flavourful touch, with its warm base going down smoothly with each bite. The addition of corn brings along a slightly refreshing edge to the dish, and it helps to balance out the strong truffle taste, but those of the lighter palate may still find it to be a little on the saltier side. As expected, the udon is prepared to the usual Tamoya standard, boasting a soft, springy texture. Pretty decent, all in all.
Making a hot comeback are Tamoya’s mainstays Beef Sukiyaki Udon (S$12.80) and Pork Sukiyaki Udon (S$11.80). Along with their respective meat types, the two dishes will boast an assortment of vegetables that includes Chinese cabbage, carrots, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, and enoki mushrooms. The beef option has also a soft-boiled egg on the side, which can be beaten into egg sauce as a dip for the meat.
Compared to the tonkotsu base, the sukiyaki udon duo is lighter in taste. The vegetable mix complements the broth well, especially with its natural sweetness introducing a more layered tang. Both the beef and pork are cooked to great satisfaction, neither undercooked or overdone. The best part of this? The generous serving of meat that oozes of the absorbed broth flavour. Mmm.
Between the two, the Beef Sukiyaki Udon is the more outstanding dish, because of the varied texture combination (lightly-salted base, sweet vegetables, and the silky egg sauce). Its pork counterpart, meanwhile, is too much of the standard fare to really make a strong impression, although there’s no denying its above-par standard.
Now, an example of a memorable menu item would be the Black Garlic Tonkotsu Udon ($10.80). It’s extremely fragrant, and the hint of earthy savouriness lends a refreshing balance to the texture – unlike the heavier-salted Truffle Tonkotsu Udon, this one is more well-attuned to the lighter palate, and is rather delicious to boot.
Across all four dishes, the udon texture is absurdly consistent, able to soak up the flavours of ingredients and bask in broth without turning limp and soggy. For those who wish to switch up their taste buds, there’s also the Black Garlic Ramen up for grabs as an alternative dining option.
One of the best parts of dining at Tamoya is the customisation factor, however. Although there are fixed options on the menu for the udon itself, customers have the freedom to pick out their own tempura sides at the order counter for at least S$1, which can come in handy to balance out certain flavours. The base price of udon options, meanwhile, is placed at S$6.90.
The details of Tamoya’s latest outlet are as follows –
Address: Plaza Singapura (68 Orchard Road), #06-11/12
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 11.30am to 9.30pm
Si Jia is a casual geek at heart – or as casual as someone with Sephiroth’s theme on her Spotify playlist can get. A fan of movies, games, and Japanese culture, Si Jia’s greatest weakness is the Steam Summer Sale. Or any Steam sale, really.