Moonraker Morsels

A Barcelona food blog

Udon

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.Udon noodle bar, Barcelona, Claire Gledhill, Barcelona food blogNow 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.

Gyoza dumplings and Edamame at Udon Barcelona, Claire Gledhill, Barcelona food blog

Gyoza dumplings and edamame

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.

Ebi Karee at Udon, Barcelona, Claire Gledhill, Barcelona food blog

Ebi Karee curry

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.

Kashiwa soba at Udon, Barcelona, Claire Gledhill, Barcelona food blog

Kashiwa soba

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.

Green tea tiramisu at Udon, Barcelona, Claire Gledhill, Barcelona food blog

Green tea tiramisu

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).

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8 comments on “Udon

  1. Vera
    January 17, 2012

    The Born branch is the worst Udon. We usually go to the one on Tallers. The secret is to only have starters and dessert! The main dishes are quite poor.

  2. The Spain Scoop - Scoopette
    January 17, 2012

    I tried Undon on Tallers a long time ago and never went back. I don’t feel like you get your money’s worth there, which is too bad, because I love noodles. Have you checked out the sushi place two doors down from Undon on Princesa?

  3. butterytoast
    January 17, 2012

    Vera, for me everything was weak and for the money doesn’t even warrant ‘it’ll do’ when out and about hungry another time, especially given the location, plenty other better options nearby and I wouldn’t be inspired to try another branch.
    The Spain Scoop, I’ve not much sushi in my life but would love to expand my knowledge especially during these few weeks of attempted weight loss. Do you have the name of it so i know I’ve got the right place?

  4. eyemunch
    January 22, 2012

    I thought Udon was alright, not worth the money but not a bad deal. We went to the one in Placa Espanya. The starters aren’t really starters, they’re side dishes so they always come out at the same time. I’ve found that with similar oriental restaurants.

    And I don’t rate soba much, I always tend to go for the drier dishes and I find these are still expensive, but better value for money.

    Also, a good drink to have is the green tea. It’s nicely presented, and quite cheap too, it even comes with free refills if I’m not mistaken.

    Still, there’s usually places I’d rather go than Udon.

    • butterytoast
      January 23, 2012

      Thanks for your comments James, although I think as with Vera’s comments, it feels too much like trying to pluck out the positives from too many negatives and therefore easier just to give it a miss.

  5. Udon
    July 5, 2012

    Hi guys, just dropping a line from the Udon offices, apologies if some of you didn’t enjoy the meal at our restaurants, although we always try to give a fresh service with the best ingredients & dishes. We surely do our best for all our clients to enjoy their meal at any of our Noodle Bar’s.

    For the next time we suggest you a main dish (that is a yaki or a soba dish), a side dish of the season and a dessert if you fancy, for example. Sure it will fill you up for a reasonable price. Or why not our Lunch Box, for 7,95 you get a Chicken Yakisoba and a drink, quite a nice price.

    We would appreciate and we hope to see you all soon again in any of our Noodle Bar’s, i’m sure you will enjoy your meal, now in summer and every season with new dishes.

    Udon

    • butterytoast
      July 12, 2012

      Hi Udon,
      Many thanks for your comment, had you actually taken time to read the article in full you will have seen that I did in fact order a soba so need need to try it again on another visit as you suggested. Sadly I don’t think I’ll be returning, with the eating out options available in Barcelona I think there’s better to be had.

  6. Udon
    July 31, 2012

    Hi butterytoast, we respect your comments & and welcome you back if anytime you decide to pop in again.

    Best regards from the Udon Team.

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