Udon Sakaba Kitaro Labo
Slurp thick, chewy noodles with refreshing Japanese salted plum.
The buzz: Phrom Phong may be saturated with Japanese restaurants, but this udon specialist—despite opening for just a month—is garnering crowds for its gigantic bowl of freshly made udon noodles. Between the alleys in Sukhumvit Soi 43, Udon Sakaba Kitaro Labo not only serves dense noodles with delectable variations but also dubs as a spot for premium-quality sukiyaki to get you out of your post-work funk.
The decor: Set in a two-storey shophouse, Udon Sakaba Kitaro Labo is decorated with simple wood furniture, with the majority of seating traditional low Japanese tables on the first floor. If you arrive in a large business group, head upstairs to find enclosed private rooms on the second floor.
The food: The in-house udon menu comes with a variety of toppings. The mentaiko udon noodle (B360) arrives with a large bowl of fat, white chewy noodles and spicy cod eggs topped with egg yolk; when cracked open and mixed, it evenly coats the noodles, giving off addictively rich flavors. The umeboshi udon (B360), meanwhile, showcases the level of care this place puts into each bowl. The salty pickled plum, arriving in a size of lime, accentuates the dish with its refreshing sweet-sour taste. Other toppings range from potato cream (B280) and beef curry (B360) to the special carbonara (B420), substituting pasta for an Italian staple. Order mascarpone with dried sardine (B180) and put a spoonful on top for the full sensation. The pork sukiyaki set starts off at B1,500 featuring Okinawa’s native black pig aguu pork (180g), vegetable essentials, and udon noodles.
The drinks: Japanese beer starts at B140 for Kirin, and there are also shochu options available both by glass (B160) and bottle (B1,900).
Why we’d come back: There’s an inexplicable comfort in slurping cold udon on hot days, and with a variety of options available—along with the unapologetically large, thick udon noodles—Udon Sakaba Kitaro Labo secures our blessings as one of the to-go lunch and dinner spots for Sukhumvit’s working folks every day of the week. By Porpor Leelasestaporn
|Udon Sakaba Kitaro Labo, Bangkok, Thailand
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