Name: Bushi Udon Kappo
Neighbourhood: Yonge and St. Clair
Contact info: 1404 Yonge St., 416-323-9988, bushiudon.com
Owners: Koki Oguchi and Don Suzuki
Chef: Koki Oguchi, formerly chef and owner of the Danforth’s shuttered Sakawaya
The food: House-made udon noodles, as well as an extensive assortment of Japanese sharing plates. The udon—thick, chewy wheat noodles—can be ordered plain ($6.50) or with vegetable or meat toppings ($8.50–$10.50), and is served either in a hot soy-bonito soup, or cold, for dipping. Other items include chawanmushi (Japanese egg custard, $7), unconventional tempura ($1.50–$2 each), grilled dishes ($9–20), shabu shabu ($31.50) and original creations like a tuna salmon spring roll ($10).
The place: Along the north wall of the spare, 34-seat dining room are bundles of Japanese charcoal, which is prized for its detoxifying properties (Suzuki also owns an alternative medicine business). Bushi Udon’s hot kitchen is tucked behind a large traditional red doorway curtain, in front of which is the sushi counter where Oguchi works.
By the numbers:
• 30 seats in the dining room (plus four at the sushi bar)
• 3 types of green tea: genmaicha, premium sencha and hojicha
• 2 months, the time it took for Oguchi to develop the flour blend he uses to make his udon (he had to compensate for the high gluten content of Canadian flour)
• 1 udon noodle machine, hidden in the basement (there are only three in all of Canada)