What’s on the menu at Zen Sanuki Udon, a new Japanese noodle house in Scarborough

What’s on the menu at Zen Sanuki Udon, a new Japanese noodle house in Scarborough

Name: Zen Sanuki Udon
Contact: 3720 Midland Ave., 416-881-8899, zensanukiudon.com, @zensanukiudonrestaurant
Neighbourhood: Milliken
Chef-owner: Seiichi Kashiwabara (Zen Japanese Restaurant)
Accessibility: Accessible entrance and washroom

The food

Even with over 40 years of experience making Japanese food, it still took Kashiwabara 10 years to save for an udon-making machine and undergo official training before he was able to introduce it to the Toronto market. Available in two thicknesses, in hot or cold broth, the house-made noodles are prepared daily using wheat imported from Sanuki, a province in Kagawa prefecture known for growing Japan’s best wheat. The noodles come with toppings like pork belly, duck breast, fresh salmon roe with grated daikon radish, shrimp tempura and onsen tamago (a soft-cooked egg). Coming soon: wagyu beef and wagyu suji (simmered tendon).

The Kaisen Don is actually two courses in one bowl. Rice is topped with raw fish and seafood (salmon, scallops, tuna and yellowtail) then tossed with a sesame dressing and served with wasabi. Kashiwabara recommends that diners save a portion of the rice for the second experience which involves the addition of hot bonito broth, making it a sort of warm rice porridge. $26.


The traditional dashi is a clear, MSG-free broth made from kombu (kelp), bonito and dried baby sardines. Here it is being added to the second part of the Kaisen Don service.


Here’s the Kaisen Don again as its own second course.


The Kamo Tsuke Udon comes with a concentrated dipping sauce that you drag the noodles through before slurping them up. It’s served with sliced duck breast on aromatic stir fried negi, as well as a bowl of hot soup. $20.


The Ikura Oroshi Udon is served cold and gussied up with salmon roe, grated radish, wakame (seaweed), tempura bits, fishcakes and egg. $20.


The Beef Curry Udon is topped with ruffles of sliced beef, fishcakes, wakame, scallions and tempura bits. $20.


Limited to only 20 servings a day, the Buta Bara Udon features udon soup with creamy slow-braised Sangenton pork belly. fishcakes, wakame, scallions, yuzu rind and tempura bits. $18.


Check out these adorable soy sauce dispensers.


Chef Kashiwabara.


Kashiwabara imported this udon-making machine, which produces the fresh udon using only three ingredients: premium quality Japanese flour, sea salt and purified water.


Some fresh udon.


The drinks

A liquor license is pending, but once approved the bar will serve a couple of Japanese beers and sake.

The space

The light and airy space has an open kitchen that permits curious guests to watch the udon-making process.