There’s an impressive selection of tempura available from pork cutlet, prawn cutlet, crab stick, sesame chicken and vegetables, as well as some non-fried items like sushi and garlic edamame.
D gets the Curry with Pork Katsu ($8.90). The pork was tender and juicy, although the breading suffered from being soaked in the curry.
And I go for the Croquette Curry ($8.90). The curry has a pleasant sweetness with a gentle heat (it could be spicier), while the udon had a good bite. Unfortunately, the breading of the croquette suffered the same fate as D’s pork katsu, only it didn’t hold up as well because of the soft innards. The croquette has bits of carrot in it, with a light yellow tinging the mashed potato but there’s not much heat in the flavour and could’ve benefited with some meat.
And our sides: Taiyaki ($2.80), Curry Croquette ($2.00) and Tempura Eggplant ($1.80).
This curry croquette fares better than the one in the curry, holding its shape much better, while the tempura eggplant could’ve used a crispier batter.
The taiyaki is different from what we expected. The pastry is deep fried rather than baked, resulting in a crunchy bread-like texture that’s chewy on the inside and encasing a generous amount of sweet red bean.
Marukame Udon offers a range of different sides to similar shops in the city, with the taiyaki being a most novel and delicious addition. The Japanese experience here goes right down to the change tray — customers in Japan place their payment into a tray that’s presented expressly for that purpose at the register — something I hadn’t seen since the hundred yen store on York Street closed down as the Daiso stores popped up.
Marukame Udon is located at 332 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067.