Walking up and down the streets of Roppongi, it is easy to see the limitless options when it comes to dining out. You can find everything from Italian to Mexican food. One restaurant in particular stands out amongst the rest though, and that is Tsurutontan. An upscale Udon restaurant with very affordable prices and stylish design, Tsurutontan is a must when in the area.
Staying in Roppongi, I pass Tsurutontan multiple times every day. It caught my eye because there was almost always a line to get in. If there wasn’t a line, you could still easily see how bustling Tsurutontan was inside. It can be a little intimidating to someone who is visiting or to someone who is not fluent in Japanese due to the the dazzling food displays in huge bowls outside the restaurant and the fact that there often seems to be little to no foreigners dining inside, but do not let it deter you from trying out Tsurutontan.
When you walk in, there is a large waiting area off to the side and clipboard directly in front of the sliding doors where you sign your name and how many are in your party. The wait time can be extremely long, so be prepared to queue during peak times. The main dining room is open and bright with multiple booths and also a bar that faces part of the kitchen. This area allows smoking and a lot of people do, so if you are sensitive to that, I suggest asking for seating in the back of the restaurant. While the front is modern and airy, the back area is darker and more intimate. You are asked to remove your shoes before going into this space of private rooms and several large communal, low tables. I recommend dining in the back for anyone looking for a more unique and authentic experience at Tsurutontan.
The tables are all equipped with “call buttons”. When you are ready to order or need anything you simply press the button and a waitress will come. You are served complimentary chilled tea and Tsurutontan also provides English speaking guests with a full English menu.
The menu includes photos of all of the items they serve as well. Tsurutontan serves many different kinds of Udon in various sized portions. For one fixed price you are able to get a single, double, or triple order of your favorite dish. A single order is recommended though, as the bowls are enormous. You can easily fit your head inside one! The Shabu Shabu Udon is particularly delicious and very popular, but almost every customer was happily eating one of the other various dishes offered at Tsurutontan. This particular location is open late, so if you spend a night out in Roppongi and need something to eat in the early hours of the morning, stop by Tsurutontan. No matter what time of day you go though, you won’t be disappointed!