Tokyo Food Page
Buzenbo/
Naka-Meguro: Udon
₯3710-5425
€Data
At first glance this
elegant space looks
like a typical cafe
- artful ikebana
arrangements on
eight white tables
for two, a small
counter, and Bossa
Nova music playing
softly in the back-
ground. So it may
come as a surprise
to learn that they
offer more than just
good espresso;
you'll also find
some excellent
Kyushu-style udon
noodles.

The udon here is
made according to an
exacting recipe -
the broth contains
only dried sardines
(iriko) from Saeki
in Kyushu, and kombu
(kelp) from Hidaka
in Hokkaido. No
chemical seasonings
are added. Especial-
ly recommended is
the popular namesake
dish, Buzenbo Udon.
Hot noodles are
topped with shredded
kombu, fried fish
balls and deep-fried
tofu, and the flavor
is simply exquisite.
The rough-cut noo-
dles have full body,
but a softer texture
than typical udon.
The combination of
noodles, broth and
shredded kombu top-
ping is perfectly
balanced, and may
prove to be addic-
tive.

If you'd like a
little extra spice
you can try adding
some black chili
pepper from Kyoto.
Or try the "pirikara
niku udon" (spicy
meat udon), where
the noodles are
topped with a hefty
portion of garlicky
sauteed Matsuzaka
beef, onions and
green peppers. If
you're in the mood
for cold noodles,
the "ume oroshi
udon" (cold udon
with shredded daikon
radish and plum) is
also fantastic.

One great thing
about Buzenbo is
that the a la carte
dishes match the
high quality of
their noodles. The
grilled free-range
chicken and itawasa
(fishcakes with
wasabi) are well
above average, and
the atsuyaki tamago
(rolled omelette) is
as good as what
you'll find in the
best of Tokyo's
established tradi-
tional soba and udon
restaurants.

The tableware is
elegant as well -
udon is served in
Arita ware, and
shochu (your choice
of ten varieties)
comes in beautiful
Edo kiriko cut-glass
vessels. Chinese
almond jelly is the
only dessert, but it
goes surprisingly
well with espresso.

Buzenbo attracts a
diverse range of
customers - you
might see a lone
female diner, per-
haps a worker at one
of the trendy shops
nearby, enjoying a
meal next to a live-
ly party of ladies
in their fifties.
The cafe is open
till 2am, and dinner
without drinks gen-
erally runs around
Y1600-2000. Udon
prices are lower at
lunchtime, and the
noodles are served
with takikomi gohan
of the day (rice
with seasonal ingre-
dients). With their
reasonable prices,
high quality and
comfortable atmos-
phere, it might be
tempting to move to
Naka-Meguro just to
be able to eat here
all the time.

Buzenbo is about a
10-minute walk from
Nakameguro station.
Walk down Yamanote-
dori towards
Ikejiri-Ohashi, and
turn left at the
corner of the Meguro
Higashiyama Ichi
Post Office.
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Meguro-ku, Higa-
shiyama 1-11-15. 
Open 11:45am-2:30,
7pm-2am daily.
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