When the "Joan Special" made its grand entrance, he was taken aback by the artistic presentation and powerful, fragrant aroma of the broth. The only thing that could outshine such a great first impression was his first taste of the meal. The warm udon in this set provided a totally different sensation—chewy, thick and flavorful—and the homemade dashi broth complemented the noodles perfectly. Mixed with kelp, bonito and dried mushroom, the mild, nuanced flavors of the broth are really special.
The deep-fried burdock is similarly delicious. While it tastes great dunked into the udon broth itself, our reporter recommends just enjoying it on the side with a bit of salt.
The tofu dumplings are boiled atop the other ingredients, which lends it the essence of all the food cooked beneath it—without the need for sugar or artificial flavoring.
And the rice balls? Phenomenal. Miso is lovingly brushed onto a ball of mixed grains and rice before grilling, and the end result really feels like a delicacy from an ancient Japanese fairy tale. It goes so great with pickles. Don't leave it off your order!
Speaking of pickles, by this point you can tell the pickled eggs were amazing too, right? Of course they were, and Masanuki’s respect for the chef grew even deeper. Is there nothing this chef can’t do?
The couple who run the restaurant are friendly and will chat to you about the specifics of your meal, which helps to appreciate each bite to the fullest. Waranokura Joan is well worth the trip, even if you’re coming from far away. If this puts you in the mood for food, grab a reservation and hike out there!
For more information including the location of Waranokura Joan, be sure to read the full story below from SoraNews24!
We visited Japan’s number one udon store in Gunma Prefecture
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