A belated Happy New Year to all readers of Moonraker Morsels, this greeting and first post of 2012 being later than I would’ve liked due to the ineptness of a certain, not to be named internet provider. However, like 2011 this is all in the past and I look forward to bringing you new eating adventures for the coming year.
Like many after the winter festivities I am looking to pass a lean month or two and was keen to kick off my first meal out back in Barna with some lighter dishes, circumstances meant we also needed somewhere that was a bit speedier than usual. So we took our seats at the gleeming white benches of Udon, a chain of noodle bars which has expanded its franchises from this original little outlet in Born to other regions of Spain.Now it may be the British in me but I’ve also got a loud voice, so squeezing into the benches and being in close proximity to fellow diners’ conversations and they to ours is not my preferred way of catching up with a friend, it means you have to stay away from the really juicy details. The waiter was with us almost immediately and our food not long after that. Despite ordering starters and mains everything came pretty much together. To start we both orderd gyoza dumplings, my friend chose the vegetable yasai gyoza, mine were filled with pork, cabbage and vegetables although the latter two ingredients seemed to be almost absent. However, the contrast of textures between the soft dumplings and crispy fried edges were pleasant.
The portion of edamame soya beans was miniscule for the almost 3€ charge and needed a good shake of the one thing that sets off these delicious pods…..salt!
The mains landed as we were still making our way through the dumplings, my friend chose the Ebi Karee spicy curry which although she admitted in Barcelona is unlikely to blow your head off, gave off hardly any heat or breadth of flavour. The poor selection of vegetables, lovelessly diced carrot and onion accompanied by slivers of shitake and three measly king prawns should’ve been heavier on the coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass and a list of ingredients she could’ve expanded on further.
For me I chose the buckwheat flour Kashiwa soba noodles which the menu described as strips of battered chicken with shitake and leeks in a traditional Japanese broth based on soya, dashi and mirin.
As the bowl had been sitting at my side for 10 mins as I ate the starter, by the time I got stuck in the chicken resembled a sunken, saturated bath sponge, with noodles that having sat in hot, bland broth all that time had lost any remaining bite in them.
Intrigued by the green tea tiramisu on the dessert menu we decided to give it a whirl and see if it may be a genius fusion that would redeem the previous courses.
Sadly all elements in the description were missing. ‘Sweetened mascarpone with sponge and green icing sugar’ would’ve been a more accurate portrayal.
This dessert epitomised Udon in one word, ‘lacking’. Lacking in a tiramisu booze hit (albeit an oriental one), the key green tea flavour nowhere to be seen and with the other dishes, a lack of freshness, vibrancy, the punch of citrus, the kick of chilli, the enhancement of seasoning, the contrasting textures, no condiments on the benches, all noticeably absent and all the bleaker for it. At 20€ a head with only a coke and a glass of wine between us, there are also infinitely better places to eat for the money. Udon, do one.
Udon, C/Princesa 23 / Montcada 6, Born (other branches around the city).