I was wondering if the food in Kyoto could possibly live up to the non-stop greatness of Tokyo; well, my first meal in the city– an insanely delicious bowl of udon noodles — was here to pat me on the head and let me know that everything was going to be okay.
Omen, a restaurant with three locations in downtown Kyoto, specializes in udon noodles that you dip into a bowl of broth. You can pick from hot or cold — I heard that cold is where it’s at, so that’s what I went with.
They present you a plate of immaculately presented veggies, a bowl of toasted sesame seeds and other spices, and, of course, the noodles and the broth. There’s a little sign on the table that helpfully tells you what you’re supposed to do: you add a little bit of the sesame to the broth, a bit of the vegetables, then you mix it up, dip some noodles in there and enter noodle heaven. Then you begin the process again.
The combination of all of the various tastes and textures — the crunch of the veggies, the chew of the gloriously perfect noodles –is awe-inspiring. If this is the calibre of food they’re serving up in Kyoto, things are clearly going to be just fine.