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Omen

The O in the name Omen is the honorific title, in this case, for men, noodle. This is a place that takes udon noodles seriously, and serves them up in a unique and healthy way. The main branch is located just steps from Ginkaku-ji (the Silver Pavilion). While it is often crowded, it is worth the wait. There are also several other branches in Kyoto, including an attractive shop near Kodaiji and a smaller branch on Shijo-dori, just west of the Kamo River.

The Omen set is the best way to fully experience full noodle reverie. Diners have the choice of ordering it hot or cold, depending on the season. First, a mortar and pestle arrives with lightly roasted white seasame seeds. This, you grind to whatever consistency you like.

Then, the broth arrives in a large earthenware bowl, accompanied by a mound of hot or cold noodles and a plate of artfully arranged vegetables: parboiled nappa cabbage and spinach; shredded ginger and scallion; plus a wonderful and unexpected addition: kimpira gobo. These, you mix however you please. Additional broth is provided to add as you go. And it is delicious.

In season, the saba (mackeral) sushi is also highly recommended. Just a few huge pieces (it takes two or three bites to consume one piece) of silvery striped skinned saba sushi, in a rustic round shape (most pressed sushi is rectangular) arrive on a plate. No soy sauce is needed because the rice is highly seasoned with ginger, and the saba is soaked in a perfectly balanced vinegar blend that compliments the oily taste of the mackerel.

 

 
The udon at Omen is served with an array of vegetables.
Saba (mackeral) sushi is also a specialty here.
ADDRESS: three locations in kyoto
TEL: 075-771-8994
HOURS: Fri-Wed 11:30am-3pm and 5-9:30pm
Website: omen.co.jp
 
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