Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sato Yosuke, Yuzawa (秋田県。本当。)

Sato Yosuke is a fairly good-sized chain of udon shops, with their spiritual home in the Yuzawa region - the town of Inaniwa, source of the eponymous udon (there's also a Ginza branch, making this review genuinely relevant). Pictured at left, I kid you not, is Inaniwa Castle, though you could be forgiven if you mistook it for an oversized country house. I'm told it's bigger if you climb the hill and stand next to it, but tall people can still touch the top if they stretch.

I like Inaniwa udon (even though it's hard to type). They're thinner, smoother, less chewy, and whiter than normal udon, and after eating them at this place I understand why they're famous. Having tried them both ways, I have to say that cold is probably better, but December in Akita meant that we didn't even consider having them that way.

Lunch sets at Sato come with two big 'knots' of noodles plus a pot that cooks up whatever you've ordered - duck or pork, of course, but some vegetable things as well. These are Y1100 - Y1400, or you can pay a bit extra to get double noodles, which I wouldn't recommend based on the volume of the single-serve. The greatest things are the fresh noodles (lots of pictures on the walls of how to make them) and the individual hot pots. Nothing too unusual about that in Japan, but something I still think is terrific.

There are also bags of free 'trimmings' at the exit, so you can recreate a little of the experience at home (or of course buy bags of the real thing in proper lengths!).

The site has all the pictures I took of the food and restaurant and more. Why fight?
0183-72-5720

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