Located just minutes away from Naka-Meguro station, Niwakayachosuke is a new restaurant on the block offering not just your ordinary izakaya atmosphere, but also delicious udon hailing from Hakata. Combining a decadent udon menu with izakaya menu options, Niwakayachosuke creates a fresh new fusion restaurant with both perfect bar atmosphere and delightful food.
The restaurant has its origins in Hakata, Fukuoka, and brings not only its izakaya culture to Tokyo, but also their regional udon. The menu offered to us on the night we went there included two types of udon, their special "Chosuke" salad, white sesame marinated seared amberjack, and an izakaya favourite from Fukuoka: deep fried chunks of ham.
First of all, the udon noodles had a delicious texture, with a perfect mix between chewy and soft, never too hard. The restaurant staff explained that this was a regional specialty of Fukuoka udon. The first udon was the chicken flavored white broth udon, with a light creamy taste with refreshing hints of herbs and light spice in the soup. This bowl was absolutely delicious and a welcome change from eating the average fish stock clear soup udon. The chicken soup was the best part, with a whopping 6 hours of work put into cooking this particular white broth! The rich taste had us all draining our bowls to the last drop. Next was a bowl of plain hot udon, but the taste was anything but plain, as the noodles had great texture, and the soup a delicious and comforting taste.
From the izakaya menu, my personal favorite was their original salad. Piled high as if it were shaved ice, the salad was light and refreshing with a tangy dressing that kept you going back for more. The seared amberjack slices in sesame sauce were also a great snack, full of flavors that burst with each bite. The deep fried ham chunks were an interesting first for me, and were a filling little dish to accompany the other considerably lighter foods.
The restaurant is cozy and small, as most izakaya are, but the modern and sleek wooden design still gives the restaurant plenty of space and ambiance. With friendly staff, an affordable yet delicious menu, and local izakaya atmosphere combined with the comfort of a modern day restaurant, Niwakayachosuke should be on your list of restaurants in Tokyo to try!