Yamamoto Menzou | Noodle restaurant | Kyoto | Japan

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Yamamoto Menzou HeartHeartHeart
Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch and dinner Fri - Tue, lunch Wed, but closed fourth Wed of the month

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +81 75 751 0677
Address: 34 Okazaki Minamigosho-cho
Kyoto, 606-8334
Country: Japan

Yamamoto Menzou in Kyoto is one of the most exciting noodle houses we have eaten at. The style of noodles served here is sanuki udon which are the thick, chewy wheat noodles found in the south of Japan.
It is inevitable that when you turn up here you will have to queue for a while outside. However they do look after those in the queue. We were given the menu to peruse while we were waiting (and they do have an English version) and then we were served a mug of tea and provided with an umbrella to shade us from the very hot sun.
Our orders were taken while we were still outside - there is a good reason for this. The sanuki style of udon noodles which are based on wheat flour degrade very quickly after being made (after about an hour, the Japanese say the noodles are "dead"), so the chef is constantly making new batches of noodles to ensure they are fresh for the customers.
Sanuki noodles are best eaten simply. Here you can have them hot in a beautiful miso-based soup or you can have them served cold and dip them into a broth or a cold dip of yam paste. The noodles should be firm and chewy as they are here, the pleasure is in the texture and the ability of the noodles to absorb the flavours they are dipped into.
Yamamoto Menzou certainly delivers in all aspects of the pleasures of sanuki udon!

Yamamoto Menzou view from outside

A view from the queue outside the restaurant. Note the shadows of the people in the queue.

The cold sanuki noodles

The yam dipping sauce for the cold noodles

Hot noodle dish served in soup with miso paste on the side

Note: It is relatively easy to find this noodle restaurant. We simply caught the number 46 bus at the bus stop in Shijo Dori to the stop near Okazaki Park which lies just near the National Museum of Modern Art. The restaurant is just a short walk from the bus stop.

The bus system is very good in Kyoto. You enter via the side door, take a seat and then pay the 230 yen in the machine next to the driver when you reach your destination.


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