Okaru is a restaurant specializing in udon noodles that is open very late and is favored both by maiko and famous people
On a small alley in Gion, you can find Okaru, an udon noodle restaurant. The restaurant looks very Kyoto-like and has been in business for almost 100 years; it was founded in 1925. They are most famous for their curry udon. Their curry udon brings to you the triple punch of spices, bonito-dashi, and the chewy texture of the noodles. Curry noodles with beef and cheese is a classic at the restaurant; almost everyone orders this dish. They also offer hot pot noodles and rice bowls, so I’m sure that they have something for everyone. They are open until very late, and if you’re lucky, you may have a chance to see a real maiko at the restaurant!
Curry udon noodles with beef and cheese
/ ￥1050 (Including tax)
This dish has a bit of spiciness to them, but the soup is made of not only curry, but also bonito and kelp dashi-stock, so the taste has a lot of umami to it. When both beef and chease are added to this, you have a surprisingly harmonious curry dish in front of you. Drink a bit of the soup before having the noodles, and enjoy the umami – and then the chewy noodles. I’m sure that the taste will be unforgettable, and after eating this dish, I’m sure you’ll also know why this restaurant is so popular.
Udon noodles with tempura
/ ￥1,200 (Including tax)
You get two huge deep-fried shrimp with the udon noodles, and I recommend first having one and drinking a bit of the soup, and then enjoying the noodles. If you leave the other shrimp in the soup, the batter surrounding it will slowly melt into the soup, and then you can enjoy the change in the taste as it becomes more layered.
Oyakodon (chicken rice bowl)
/ ￥880 (Including tax)
The egg in this rice bowl is very soft, almost soft boiled, and it goes very well with the juicy pieces of chicken. You also get the sweet and salty taste of the soy-based sauce, which then makes the rice taste incredibly good. Oyakodon is a very popular dish in Japan and you can taste the warmth of Japanese home cooking in this dish.