By Nobuo Ishizaki / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WriterSENDAI — Sake Udon Utou opened in September last year in an area of Sendai with many government office buildings.
With its black decor and tranquil atmosphere, it doesn’t feel like a typical udon shop. Its noodles are made from Yukichikara, a variety of wheat grown in Miyagi Prefecture known for its strong dough.
The restaurant serves not only regular white udon, but also a type of black udon that contains bamboo charcoal. The black noodles are mainly served in Western-themed udon dishes made with lots of vegetables.
“Of course it tastes delicious, but I also want people to enjoy eating healthy udon noodles after having a few alcoholic drinks,” said 36-year-old Hidekuni Yamaguchi, Utou’s proprietor.
The noodles are made fresh daily at a facility that provides employment support for people with disabilities. Yamaguchi says the shop serves to draw attention to the social responsibility aspect of providing opportunities for disabled people to earn a living.
Utou’s specialties are a thick chicken broth udon and simple chicken broth udon, both made with Aomori shamo rock chickens raised in Aomori Prefecture.
The thick broth type is ¥750 before tax, while the simple type is ¥600. As the name suggests, the thick type is served with a hearty broth that goes well with flat udon noodles.
A whole shamo rock chicken is used to cook the thick broth, while the simple broth is made with a chicken carcass and vegetables, giving it a light taste. Both are served with a side of chicken tempura.
Utou also offers unique Western- and Japanese-style udon dishes, and at night serves Japanese sake and domestic wines with various side dishes.
Lunch sets start at ¥700 before tax.
The shop is named after the utou, an aquatic bird of the Alcidae family that lives in northern Japan.
“Utou families are said to have a strong affection for each other. We cherish our customers and hope they’ll love our shop and our dishes,” Yamaguchi said with a smile.
Sake Udon Utou
Open: 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5 p.m.-11 p.m. (10 p.m. on holidays).
Address: 1-3-15 Kamisugi, Aoba Ward, Sendai
Tel: (022) 399-7655
No English menu available.
Credit cards accepted.
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