Marugame Udon to launch first European site in London this summer

Japanese restaurant group, Marugame Udon, famous throughout Japan and Asia for its traditional Sanuki udon recipe, will be serving up bowls of authentic udon noodles and freshly fried tempura at its first UK site near London's Liverpool Street station from July 2021.

Marugame Udon has chosen London as its first restaurant in Europe, ahead of future plans to expand around the continent. Renowned as the world’s largest udon noodle and tempura specialists with restaurants dotted across Asia and the United States, Londoners will now be treated to the sights, sounds and taste of the authentic udon kitchen.

In Japan, udon is a way of life for the Japanese who consume over 150 million bowls a year in Marugame Udon alone.

Marugame Udon pride themselves on making their udon noodles in-house throughout the day, with the open-style kitchen allowing diners to observe the daily ritual of the udon being made freshly cut and served steaming hot.

Using the Sanuki Udon tradition, Marugame Udon’s centuries old technique hails from the Kagawa Prefecture in the western part of Japan. The traditional recipe and preparation create a chewier texture compared to other udon, and can be cooked and presented in a variety of dishes.

Marugame Udon takes inspiration from the early Kagawa udon kitchen, where locals would cook for neighbours and communities. This is why in every Marugame Udon around the world you enter into the kitchen; the first thing you’ll see as you walk through the entrance is the ‘Kama’ (udon boiler) and you will see, hear and smell the hustle and bustle of a Japanese kitchen. The London restaurant will be no exception.

The 4000 sq. ft restaurant straddling Middlesex Street and Widegate Street will feature over 100 covers for dining in, as well as takeaway, click and collect and delivery options from partner Deliveroo.

The open-style kitchen will ensure customers are at the centre of the action; seeing the whole udon making process on show throughout the day. Customers will pick their udon over the counter plus they have the option to add tempura and musubi sides, with Marugame Udon’s iconic ‘build your own’ condiment station allowing diners to spice up their bowls with fresh ginger, chillies, ‘tenkasu’ (tempura batter pieces) and extra Japanese delicacies.

Each Marugame Udon noodle is cut at 60cm in a swift accurate motion, adhering to their ethos of craftmanship that dates back to the origin of the udon noodle over a thousand years ago.

In Japan udon is a big part of everyday life; Marugame Udon’s Head Chef Kouhei Honkawa has created a menu that is both exciting and accessible, with mains starting from just £3.45. The menu is designed to be affordable and every day.

Menu highlights include Kama Age – the most traditional and purest way to eat udon, Beef Nikutama with sweet short-rib beef and a soft poached ‘onsen’ egg on udon and broth, Two Pork Tonkotsu with chashu and spicy miso pork, and Chicken Katsu Curry Udon.

Famous for their Japanese tempura selection as well, Marugame Udon will serve chicken, prawns, squid, pumpkin croquettes and fresh seasonal vegetables fried in front of diners in the open kitchen.

Exclusive to the London restaurant, Chef Honkawa has curated a bespoke menu with his UK team, featuring the global brand’s very first vegan selection. Highlights include a vegan version of the traditional Kake Udon, plus a stir-fried Kimchi Yaki Udon, Curry Udon and a vegan Tempura batter which now opens up tempura as a side dish for vegan and flexitarian diners. Vegan dishes will make up 30% of the main menu offering.

For those with a sweet tooth, desserts include unlimited soft serve ice cream in two flavours Vanilla and vegan Matcha, and dorayaki pancakes, which are a traditional Japanese treat with a creamy filling sandwiched between two fluffy pancakes and the recently famed Little Moons mochi.

Asahi beer will also be on offer, in bottles and draught (with each pint poured in just four seconds, using state-of-the-art technology) along with canned sparkling sake from London’s only sake brewery Kanpai, wines and a range of soft drinks including refillable Coca-Cola freestyle, ginger kombucha, green tea and traditional Japanese Ramune lemonade.

In Japan, each Marugame Udon restaurant features a traditional Japanese roof tile design and irregular wavy floorboards, reinforcing the Japanese philosophy of Wabi Sabi – to find beauty and acceptance in the imperfect. This design concept will be reflected in the London site, where the restaurant style is based on one of nature and purity, with all materials mirroring the simplicity of the menu’s ingredients.

Discover delicious, authentic Japanese udon this summer. That’s the Marugame way.