Finally, A Dedicated Udon Place in Jakarta.

Some bits of history first: 

Have you heard of Babacucu.com? If you happen to be a freebie hunter you should really check them out (this is not a sponsored statement :p). It stands for "Bagi bagi cuma cuma", which literally means that this is a giveaway portal that accommodates people who wants to give something for FREE & vice versa, people who wants to look for freebies without much effort. It chooses the winner randomly (I think ~ can't figure out if they're using special philanthropy algorithm or not). It's super random, I know, haha, but think of it as testing your luck. 

Well I tested mine, and when the giveaway prizes in Babacucu.com are 2 Marugame Udon's vouchers, I just couldn't resist to take part in it.

Long story short, I don't know what is it with me and fluke these few weeks, but those 2 tickets ended up on my hand eventually ;) 

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.
— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

YES, I DO BELIEVE IN UNIVERSE CONSPIRACY. 

BACK TO MARUGAME UDON. 

One of the reasons why I was so eager to aim for those vouchers is because Marugame Udon has the EXACT same concept with Menya Mappen & Oiden, two restaurants I go to every time I went into 'survival' mode while I was in Sydney last year.  Very similar concept, food selection, self-service etiquette & how to's. From the open-kitchen concept that allows you to see udon(s) and tempura(s) in the making, to the deep-fry goodness Tempura Bar at the end of the line just before the cashier, and the free flow tempura flakes and chopped spring onions. The only difference is probably that Marugame Udon provides finely chopped bird-eye chili, considering that some of Indonesian's have big appetite on adjusting their own spiciness level.

TEMPURA! TEMPURA! TEMPURA!

Assorted Tempura Bar. They have 10 kinds of tempura, differentiated with Black tray being their Premium Tempura selections priced from IDR 10.000 - 14.000; and Red tray as Regular Tempura priced at IDR 7.000 - 10.000.

Assorted Tempura Bar. They have 10 kinds of tempura, differentiated with Black tray being their Premium Tempura selections priced from IDR 10.000 - 14.000; and Red tray as Regular Tempura priced at IDR 7.000 - 10.000.

RED tray Tempuras: Kakiage (10k), Broccoli Tempura (10k), Egg Tempura (8k), Chicken Chili Tempura (7k), & Sweet Potato Tempura (7k). Too bad at that time they're running out of Broccoli Tempura. I was damn curious. BLACK tray Tempuras: Ebi Tempura (14k), Kisu Tempura (10k), Tori Tempura (12k), Beef Croquette (10k), Skewered Tofu Roll (12k).

RED tray Tempuras: Kakiage (10k), Broccoli Tempura (10k), Egg Tempura (8k), Chicken Chili Tempura (7k), & Sweet Potato Tempura (7k). Too bad at that time they're running out of Broccoli Tempura. I was damn curious.

BLACK tray Tempuras: Ebi Tempura (14k), Kisu Tempura (10k), Tori Tempura (12k), Beef Croquette (10k), Skewered Tofu Roll (12k).

Free flow tempura flakes and chopped spring onions. And of course, I found it only in Indonesia that people actually like to adjust their spiciness level by adding certain amount of bird-eye chili chunks.

Free flow tempura flakes and chopped spring onions. And of course, I found it only in Indonesia that people actually like to adjust their spiciness level by adding certain amount of bird-eye chili chunks.

UDON! UDON! UDON!

Niku Udon (IDR 45k) - Fresh udon with sukiyaki beef in kake dashi soup. With additional chili, haha we do it as the locals do it. The high quality of freshness speaks out for the udon itself.   It has the perfect udon texture and the right level of chewiness. Simply my kind of Japanese comfort food.

Niku Udon (IDR 45k) - Fresh udon with sukiyaki beef in kake dashi soup. With additional chili, haha we do it as the locals do it. The high quality of freshness speaks out for the udon itself.   It has the perfect udon texture and the right level of chewiness. Simply my kind of Japanese comfort food.

Mentai Kamatama Udon (IDR 50K). My all time favorite. In Sydney I've learnt that udon really works with soft-boiled egg, and the addition of chili cod roe (mentai) plus shredded seaweed (nori) + roasted sesame really boosts the whole flavor of the dish. But beware, it also boosts the saltiness so you might want to adjust it a little bit. Soft-boiled egg rocks!

Mentai Kamatama Udon (IDR 50K). My all time favorite. In Sydney I've learnt that udon really works with soft-boiled egg, and the addition of chili cod roe (mentai) plus shredded seaweed (nori) + roasted sesame really boosts the whole flavor of the dish. But beware, it also boosts the saltiness so you might want to adjust it a little bit. Soft-boiled egg rocks!

Kakiage Tempura (10k) & Tori Tempura (12k). It's more than enough to accompany one meal, in fact, they come in quite huge size so if you have small appetite I recommend you to only order one. IF, you can restrain yourself from those hungry eyes while picking at the Tempura Bar.

Kakiage Tempura (10k) & Tori Tempura (12k). It's more than enough to accompany one meal, in fact, they come in quite huge size so if you have small appetite I recommend you to only order one. IF, you can restrain yourself from those hungry eyes while picking at the Tempura Bar.

Beef Croquette (10k) & Sweet Potato Tempura (7k). By the time I took these two out from the tray I didn't realize that these were all carbs, lol. So there goes my 'healthy' udon meal. Starch in noodle + potato inside the croquette + sweet potato. Should've picked other things on the tray!

Beef Croquette (10k) & Sweet Potato Tempura (7k). By the time I took these two out from the tray I didn't realize that these were all carbs, lol. So there goes my 'healthy' udon meal. Starch in noodle + potato inside the croquette + sweet potato. Should've picked other things on the tray!

AND DON'T FORGET TO RETURN YOUR USED TRAY BACK.

Although they had it written on the instruction signage on the queuing line, I still see people who left their used trays and don't return them back to where they belong. Sigh. I guess we're too accustomed to be spoiled of having lots of human resources to take care of our mess. I hope that there will be lots and lots of self-service restaurant like these and finally give a common sense to society that returning your used tray is just the normal thing to do post-eating.

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SO THAT'S A WRAP. 

Thanks Marugame Udon for finally opening such concept in Jakarta. And thanks for curing my crave of Ontama Mentaiko Bukkake (in here they named it Mentai Kamatama Udon). Next time I'll probably give it a go on your other menus. Your Tori Baitang looks good!

Marugame Udon Full Menu Listing. Image taken from here.

Marugame Udon Full Menu Listing. Image taken from here.

Now I just know where to go if someone asks me, "Where is the best udon place in Jakarta?".  As of mid 2013, it's on Mall Taman Anggrek, 3rd floor.

Marugame Udon & Tempura
Mall Taman Anggrek 3rd floor
Jl. S. Parman Kav 21, Slipi, West Jakarta
Ph. +6221 5639451

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