Marukame Udon, Chatswood

Marukame Udon offers udon and tem­pura in Chatswood after the format of Mappen Noodle Bar and Oiden Bowl Bar in the city. D and I were after a quick meal and we’ve a pen­chant for Japanese food.

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.