Saturday, October 19, 2013

Inaniwa Yoske 稲庭養助 - (Hong Kong)

 Inaniwa Udon noodles (稲庭うどん) are hand-made in Akita prefecture of Japan -  although there are dozens of Udon styles in Japan and many of them can be just as good as one another,  it seems that globally speaking only Sanuki 讃岐うどん and Inaniwa 稲庭うどん have made their name onto the world stage.  I personally don’t agree with this straight forward assessment because there are quite a few number of equally great if not better Udon styles from Japan,  especially those from Gifu prefecture which are so amazing yet little known outside of Japan,  or say the Ear Udons from Tochigi prefecture,  or Toyama’s Himi udon.    I also find it quite incredible sometimes when I often hear people especially those in Hong Kong complain about the Inaniwa Udon not being made ‘fresh on the premise’ in HK.     I am sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings (I really do care),  but the original Inaniwa Udons are all artisanally hand-kneaded  手延べ and then traditionally shipped out of Akita prefecture as limited,  artisanal dried noodles.  Just like some Italian artisanal pastas aren’t necessarily freshly made.   I think it doesn’t hurt much to do some proper research before criticizing others?  Angel




Natto Omelette  納豆オムレツ – $78
Was surprised because this natto version is hard to find in town,  though more popular on Japan side.   Heading off to a good start here hopefully?



Inside of Natto Omelette -
Very good!   Natto beans were fermented tasty and correctly stringy,  looks like someone remembered to stir them around before adding in to the eggs.    The Japanese eggs omelette itself was equally impressive as it was runny inside and also had a good eggs taste to balance the strong natto beans.  Excellent look,  excellent flavours too.   ~   10/10



Cold Inaniwa Udon with Mountain Yam  -  とろろ 冷やし稲庭干饂飩  $88
When this arrived,  the most noticeable thing was the really dried-out Spring Onions on the bottom left corner.  Perhaps they had chopped it 36 hours hours ago and aged it for flavour just to give them benefit of the doubt?  Don’t think so as fresh spring onions are so much more refreshing.   The amount of udon given was kind of small,  but since I am on a diet I am not fussed -  but they were so ice-bathed cold to the point it will chill your spine.   The dipping tsuyu broth was also quite chilled and mostly based on bonito & seaweed broth,  with some distracting sesame and then you add in the above-mentioned too dry spring onions and grated ginger by yourself.  There is no Japanese white leeks either.   The noodles were ok but probably boiled slightly beyond al-dente state.  The monotonous dipping broth was quite salty indeed and with a hint of lemon but not too well layered.    It was not too well balanced at all and I actually prefer the store-bought generic versions for once,   as those taste more familiarly right.   ~  6.9/10  





Inaniwa ‘Dry’ Udons -  Hand Kneaded Artisanally in Akita Japan,  then shipped Dried.
This Udon arrived being fairly icy-cold than expected.   It makes you shiver in coldness..




Mountain Yam Tororo – とろろ
Loved this Yamakake 山かけ grated  yam and this was quite sticky tonight.
Probably the best part of the Udon Set..




One of Only 2 shops dedicated to 稲庭 Inaniwa Udons in Hong Kong -  Although you can find it served in other Japanese & even Chinese restaurants easily
The other dedicated shop being Inaniwa at Elements (Review here) but since then has gone even further downhill but which I never posted my follow-up visits.    I really loved the Natto Omelette here,  but ended up coming away slightly not convinced as yet with their Cold Inaniwa Udon.   I hope to come back soon to re-try this and also other hot Udon items,  but it’s location is not exactly easy to access via public transport even in the land of HK.   Sounded so promising though.




Price:   $188 Per Person
Food:   ♕♕♕ 1/2  to ♕♕♕♕ 1/2
Ease of Access:  2/5

Address: ShopA1, 27Man Tai Street, Whampoa Estate,  Hung Hom

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