In the kingdom of udon bistros, Kunitoraya is king! Behind this tiny Brooklyn-style loft’s stainless-steel bar (bricks, stones and exposed rafters, subway tiles), master Masafumi’s team makes their thick noodles by hand with wheat flour imported from Japan. The long line stretches out onto the street in front of the ceiling-length windows, without too much consideration for the clients who are already seated at the counter or around the communal tables. Your own personal slurp fest can begin after nibbling on some incredible karaage fried chicken, followed by cold udon noodles dressed in crispy tempura breadcrumbs, strips of fried tofu and seaweed flakes, all covered in a thrilling soy-based sauce – or, for the comforting version with immaculate noodles swimming in an exquisite hot miso soup with radish, salsify and thinly sliced pork. For all those who aren’t into udon, the menu also has other insanely good traditional rice bowl options, topped with Japanese omelet, cooked salmon, tempura or breaded pork. // J.G.
FEELING THIRSTY? There’s Kirin beer (€5 for 330 ml), roasted tea (€4 a cup) or Tsukasabotan sake (€10 for 100 ml).
PRICE: Udon €10-22 (+€7 for the lunch prix-fixe menu with the fried food of the day, omelet or onigiri); plates €4-20.