Enjoy refined handmade udon noodles of Chotoku!
Recreating the Shibuya shop at Ginza Mitsukoshi: Chotoku handmade udon noodles and refined dashi stock
Along with soba and ramen, udon is one of Japan's most popular noodle cuisines, and visitors to the 11th floor of Ginza Mitsukoshi can enjoy freshly prepared noodles at the udon shop Chotoku.
This shop fuses elements of Japanese tradition with modern flavors. Chotoku originally ran their shop out of Shibuya's Miyamasuzaka neighborhood, but after moving to Takashimadaira farther from central Tokyo, they relocated their city-center shop to Ginza Mitsukoshi.
Masao Uemura, who served as master chef at the former Miyamasuzaka shop, makes the noodles by hand here in Ginza. The opportunity to watch every step of the noodle preparation process, during which matured dough is spread out and cut into udon noodles, is something only possible at a genuine, handmade udon noodle shop like Chotoku.
Udon is said to have originally come from China as a type of dim sum, which refers to various Chinese snack dishes, sweets and other such selections. These noodles came to Japan during the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) as a between-meal snack consumed by Zen Buddhist monks, and starting in the early Edo Period (17th century) it grew popular among the masses. Because udon noodles are thick and long, they are considered an auspicious food used in prayer for long life, and celebratory occasions in certain regions of Japan traditionally involve the serving of udon noodles.
One of the most important elements in udon dishes is the dashi soup stock. Dashi can be made using dried bonito flakes, kelp and other such ingredients that provide umami, or savory flavor, and it is an important element in Japanese cuisine. Chotoku's dashi is a delectable mix of Rishiri kelp, dried bonito flakes shaved the same morning, and small dried fish, all of which are selected with the utmost care to ensure excellent aromatic properties and rich flavor.
We encourage you to try the various udon seasonings as well, which enhance the dish by complementing the inherent aromas while stimulating the appetite. Seasonings include ginger, shichimi (a piquant blend of seven spices), kuro-shichimi (black shichimi, a peppery version of regular shichimi), sesame and diced green onions. The shichimi is made right here in the restaurant, and the kuro-shichimi is provided by Hararyokaku, a spice-maker operating out of Gion, Kyoto. Choose the seasonings you like and add as a little or much as you please to achieve a balance that meets your personal tastes.
There are other ways to eat udon in addition to the standard kake-udon (noodles served in broth) and zaru-udon (noodles served separately and dipped in a broth) formats, including nabeyaki-udon, a popular dish consisting of udon noodles served hot in a pot with broth. Nabeyaki-udon is served together with seafood, root vegetables, egg and other ingredients along with an umami-packed dashi so you can savor this dish to the last bite.
Chotoku's tempura is also very popular. Japanese tiger prawn, whitefish, vegetables and other selections deep-fried to golden perfection taste even better when flavored with a bit of salt before eating. Furthermore, because the outer fried-batter layer readily absorbs the dashi, these tempura make excellent accompaniments to udon dishes.
Chotoku also offers sake, shochu liquor, fruit liqueurs and other alcoholic beverages--udon and tempura taste even better when preceded by a drink or two!