U:Don Japanese Noodle Station – Quick, cheap & filling.
Pronounced â€œYou-Donâ€, the udon noodles here are freshly made in house in the Sanuki-style. Along with made-from-scratch soups and sauces, they use only quality and natural ingredients. The owner, Tak Kuriachi, was very gracious and friendly in hosting our tasting here. Born in America, he spent time training in Japan and brought those skills back to Seattle to open U:Don in early 2011.
Chicken Karaage, Onigiri, Spam Musubi, and assorted Tempura is made fresh and served buffet style. I like the idea of self-serve, but unfortunately, most of the tempura items we tried were undercooked and still hard. The Takoyaki was the definite highlight — light and not too dense, but lacking in the amount of octopus. We didn’t get to try the spam musubi, but the salmon onigiri was just ok — a little bland.
Photos by Sean.
Honestly, the three udons we tried were very similar. On-Tama Udon, Kitsune Udon, and Tantan Udon, with the exception of the Tantan noodles (a play on the Chinese dandan noodles) that are spicy and to be eaten at your own risk. If they are too spicy or you decide you don’t like them, it can’t be returned, so make sure you’re ready. I don’t find many things too spicy, so I wasn’t too scared. I was right. It was maybe 3.5 out of 5 stars of spiciness at a Thai restaurant. It’s the right amount of spice, but not too much and not as advertised.
The summer special — Goma Zaru Udon was the one exception that really stood out. It is served chilled with sesame dipping sauce topped with housemade chili oil. The dipping sauce was really flavorful and I couldn’t get enough of it.
Overall, the noodles were too al dente for my tastes and I couldn’t tell that they were freshly made (oops!)
Summary: cute, college-y atmosphere, reasonable prices, filling food, but don’t expect greatness.
Recommendation: good for a quick and filling lunch
Open Monday through Thursday and Sunday from 11:30 am to 9:30 pm and Friday through Saturday from 11:30 am to 10:00 pm.
U:Don | 4515 University Way NE, Seattle | (206) 453 – 3788