Idaten Udon: where you are your own boss.

If you're looking for a quick place around town for lunch,  then Idaten would fit the bill perfectly. Both in light of the time aspect as well as where monetary finances are concerned. RE&S branches out their power chain of Japanese establishments with yet again another winning concept - Idaten Udon, adding to the enterprise's successful portfolio of quintessentially Japanese restaurants. 

Here at the casual diner located at the sharp bend of the citylink mall leading up from the escalator, you can be the ultimate decision maker for your own Udon meal. Bent on providing a no-frills self-serve concept that specializes in udon, diners don't have to worry about meddlesome service staff hanging around tables or footing the extra service tax. 

I gave the ordering system a quick run through and found it to be relatively painless as suggested. Here's how it's done.

First, proceed to the front of the shop (counter 1), mull over your choices of udon. I'm going to be honest here and admit that it's a tough choice tossing up between udon noodle selections such as Original, matcha, yuzu, pumpkin or tomato, followed by a choice of chilled dipping sauce or hot soup - kake soup udon, zaru cold udon or beef soup udon. As a result of endless permutations and combinations, you can have this everyday and essentially not eat the same meal for a good one month. And as if the dilemma isn't big enough to handle, Idaten adds variety to the existing menu with curry rice as well as Asari (clam) udon and Kimchi Beef udon, a rotational menu of items on promotion and only available for a limited period of time. However, you're going to have to be decisive at this juncture as it wouldn't be a pretty picture holding up a queue...

After placing your order, scoot on down to counter two to pick up your bowls of piping hot udon.

Counter 3 is where the magic happens. 'Zeng' your meal with an assortment of freshly fried treats such as Jumbo Tempura Prawn, Fried Crabmeat, Jumbo mixed vegetable tempura and more... Word of advice, as much as it is tempting to fill up those trays, do take note that the bill adds up, and a seemingly simple and affordable meal of udon can surmount to something truly exorbitant if you've got an itchy hand.

Proceed to make your payment at the end of the line and traverse the floor to the condiments area to add some color to your soup or ladle a bowl of dashi with radish to dip your tempura into.

Yes, it's that simple. Now plop your tush down on the comfortable seatings spanning the establishment and slurp to your hearts content.

So, what about the food? The Kitsune Udon ($6.80, +$1.00 pumpkin udon) makes for a hearty meal, the pumpkin udon carries nuances of vegetable imprints to boost the health qualities of the meal. Substance over style, the Kamatama Udon ($6.80, +$1.00 yuzu udon) don't look like much, but its winsome combination of broken yolk, dashi broth, slight tang from the yuzu udon comes together in a smackdown that was 'pinch me, I'm dreaming' type fabulous. It's minimal listing of ingredients all in a bowl, verifying the basic fact that, yes, the udon is exceptional. Last but not least, the Beef Udon ($8.80, +$1.00  Matcha Udon) serves up as a light but deeply satisfying lunch; the use of matcha udon providing much flair to the humble dish, as the earthly flavors compliments the mild sweetness of the broth like a wild child. 

Fried things aren't particularly its strengths here at Idaten, or should I rephrase that HOLDING fried things aren't its forte. Our Enoki Mushrooms Tempura ($1.50) and Jumbo Mixed Vegetable Tempura ($2.00) left in the red light district of the hot-hold had limp and cold innards amongst many other shortcomings when extracted. However, the Jumbo Prawn Tempura ($3.50) clearly made redemptions as it made its way from fryer to table upon order. Be sure to look out for the freshest loot to guarantee gastronomical satisfactions in this case.

All in all, Idaten Udon may not be the revolutionary food experience, however its quick to order system and practical mechanisms do contribute to the deeply satisfying experience of tucking into an affordable bowl of udon in the middle of town.

Idaten Udon
City Link Mall

Operating Hours: 
Daily: 11am - 10pm

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