I do not remember when was the last time I had Udon noodles, probably when ordering Japanese food from a small joint, not as impressed at the time by it and preferring the more classic ramen. Until I discovered Tsurutontan, a Japanese chain that is trying to conquer NY diners’ stomach. They started with a bold move in 2016, by invading the space left vacant by Union Square Café and have now a second location Midtown where we had lunch recently. Big space for sure with the open kitchen in the back.
They have a pretty interesting menu that is not just centered on these homemade noodles but include a bunch of appetizers like the scallop millefeuille that is simply a piece of raw scallop topped with daikon for some texture, in shiso and curry essence for some kick. Of course you can go for the scallop sashimi if you want something more classic. If you are vegetarian, be careful: you may think it is vegetarian but it is not: they may use fish sauce so ask to be sure. It is like ordering a French onion soup and not realizing that most restaurants make it with a bone broth.
Of course, a Tsurutontan, the noodles are queen: thick or thin, you pick but make sure you can exhibit a good ability to slurp because they are long, very long! And know that when ordering a soup, they offer extra noodles at no charge but you need a big appetite as the soups are already big. They have quite a large choice there with some that seem quite heavy like the truffle creme, but if you go with the wagyu and mushroom suriyaki, you will understand why they call it a top seller. When they bring it to your table, your nose is filled with the sublime smell of the US wagyu and the first bite is fantastic: the meat is tender while the noodles are soft, and you get the nice sweet and savory taste of the broth. Superb. Jodi got their sizzling suryaki udon that normally comes with beef but that they nicely made vegetarian, replacing the meat with some tofu that was not bland. This is another dish with an incredible smell and these pan fried noodles are quite tasty, smothered by the sauce.
Dessert is also something not to miss, especially because they get them from Lady M. We tried The Crown of chocolate, a layered chocolate cake with a dark chocolate mousse and ganache as well as chocolate crunch that was vary good…not surprisingly. The cake was moist and this is the perfect dessert for chocolate lovers.
This was a great lunch and I would definitely go back to TsuruTonTan for udon noodles. They have an extensive menu there that can be overwhelming especially with the photos that are mouth watering.
Enjoy (I did)!
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TsuruTonTan Udon Noodles Brasserie - 64 W 48th St, New York, NY