Marugame Udon Manila (also known as Marugame Seimen in Japan) is a popular udon chain known for their freshly made Sanuki-style udon and crispy fried tempura that’s very hearty and affordable! The undisputed udon chain king in Japan has over 1000 stores and was named after Marugame, a city in Kagawa Prefecture known to have the best of these thick wheat flour noodles. Now open in Bonifacio Global City thanks to the Ben Chan Group, the self-service, canteen-style restaurant offers customers a front row seat to their open kitchen. Watch as the trained staff knead, cut, boil, and serve the noodles right in front of you, and have the option of customizing and adding toppings to your dishes. Here’s what to expect from Marugame Udon… Marugame Udon & Tempura Building 7, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Facebook: marugameph Marugame Udon is located along B7 of Bonifacio High Street. Customers start by grabbing a tray and then waiting in line for someone to take their order. After, they head down to the tempura station to get some additional toppings like omusibi (rice balls) and crispy fried tempura, then lastly, the drink station before paying at the counter. I love how the flow is patterned after the self-service style in Japan. The entire ordering process is quite fast and efficient, like an assembly line. I love the theatrical open kitchen experience where you see the tempura fried right before your eyes. The restaurant provides fresh udon noodles all day, which you can appreciate as they are stretched and boiled right in front of you. Although some of the ingredients like the flour are sourced locally, Marugame Manila made sure to make their udon’s recipe as close as possible to that of Japan’s for that uniform taste. There are plenty of seats to choose from, but try to avoid the office lunch and dinner crowds since the restaurant can get packed. The prices are very affordable and maintain the same level of pricing as in Japan. Menu: Marugame Menu Best to eat the udon with a little soy sauce & grated ginger, cut green onions, sesame, fried crumbs, and a bit of wasabi. Beef Ontama Bukkake Udon (P210-R, P260-L). Get it Hot or Cold. My favorite is the Beef Ontama Bukkake Udon that comes with marinated gyudon beef strips, Japanese poached egg, and bukkake soup. The generous strips of beef were very flavorful, adding to the broth’s mildly sweet and rich beefy taste. I also loved how the gyudon did not overpower the chewy noodles that were still the star of the dish. Mentai Kamatama Udon (P230-R P270-L) The Japanese guests love the Mentai Kamatama, which has the fish roe (fish eggs), hot spring egg, and nori strips for that umami flavor. But our group had mixed reviews. It’s probably more of an acquired taste. Chicken Paitan Udon (P200-R, P250-L) For something milder, try the Chicken Paitan Udon. It comes with sauteed chicken, a soft boiled egg, and flavorful chicken soup with a distinct taste of cracked pepper. It’s a hearty meal that reminds me of a warm chicken soup. Curry Udon (P170-R, P220-L) I also liked the udon noodles topped with beef curry. Japanese curry is slightly sweet as well as spicy, with a thick and clingy sauce. It’s a combination of two of my favorite dishes. You get the amazing flavors of the curry with the fun of slurping up the noodles. But the dish can get nakakaumay after a while. Beef Yaki Udon (P190). Freshly made udon, sauteed slices of beef, onions, cabbage, bean sprouts, Chinese chives, and Yaki sauce. I heard the Pinoy favorite is the Yaki udon reminiscent of our stir-fried pancit. Plus it’s a very hearty meal with a generous serving of beef slices and toppings. You can get as many extra toppings as you want at the tempura and omusubi station. The udon and tempura combination is quite filling. Chicken Karaage (P60) My personal favorite is the karaage–big chunks of chicken that are tasty with a lightly fried crunch. Ebi Ten (P60), Kakiage Ten (P60) The ebi (shrimp) and kakiage (vegetable) tempura are also good. Spam Omusubi (P60). Cooked Japanese Rice and Spam wrapped with Nori Strip. Skip the spam omusubi. It wasn’t to our liking. Gyudon Rice (P170) Rice lovers rejoice! Even though they’re a udon specialty restaurant, they also have rice meals available. I recommend both the gyudon and curry rice bowls. Fragrant, tender beef strips made yummier with onions in a savory, sweet sauce. My favorite part will always be that crunch from the pickled ginger. Curry Rice (P160). Cooked Japanese rice topped with curry beef. I’m really a fan of the sweet and spicy Japanese curry! There’s just something about that super soft meat with thick gravy-like sauce over rice.
Katsudon Rice (P190). Cooked Japanese rice topped with submerged pork katsu and egg, leeks, and nori strips.
The katsudon rice was just ok. Overall, I loved Marugame Udon! Their concept of making fresh, authentic udon that’s good value for money is a winner to me! I love the fat, springy noodles, which are quite filling. Plus, you get to customize however you like it and add as many toppings as you want. I recommend the Beef Ontama Bukkake, Chicken Paitan, and Beef Yaki Udon. For the tempura, I liked the Ebi ten and Chicken Karaage. And if you’re a rice person, the gyudon and curry beef is a must! Budget is P300/person with drinks. Marugame Udon & Tempura Building 7, Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City Facebook: marugameph Live an Awesome Life,
ABI of Team Our Awesome Planet Disclosure: We paid for own lunch at Marugame Udon. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. I heard the carbonara udon is a special dish that you can get in a few of Marugame’s branches like Hawaii. I think I’ll be ordering that on my next visit.