Marugame Udon is a Japanese restaurant that serves mostly soup based Udons and rice bowl meals.
I was persuaded by my friends to try one of their branches at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong. The long waiting line outside the venue kinda put me off a bit. I’m not the type of guy who’s willing to wait too long for a table just to eat dinner. But since we’ve been hearing great things about Marugame Udon, I’ve decided to give it a go.
The food selection is very appetizing and affordable. If you’re new here, you’ll most likely end up getting the “bestsellers” like I did. Honestly, picking what to eat was the hardest part.
I ordered the Beef Ontama Bukkake with a Pork Tonkatsu on the side. The Udon comes with the egg and the beef strips. The onion spring relish comes for free and you can get as much as you want.
As for the taste, personally it was nakaka umay. The taste of the soup was actually unexpecting. I ordered a beef based soup but to my surprise it tasted like Tinapa fish. But it gets a little better when you mix the egg in the soup.
The Udon noodle was well cooked and firm. But the beef gave it another taste that I didn’t want to be there. The beef strips were sweet. Like the sweetness you get from a Tocino. It just didn’t blend well for me. I was really expecting something beefy but it just wasn’t there.
It became more nakakaumay when I mixed all elements together. Imagine the sweetness of a Tocino mixed to the taste of a Tinapa blending in a soup. It made me wish that I should have ordered something else. I had to put pepper into it to neutralize the flavors, which I don’t normally do when I eat ramen.
There wasn’t any “Wow!” moment for me in Marugame Udon unlike my experience in other Japanese restaurants. But I’m still willing to try it again. They do have some interesting selections from their menu and I’m definitely interested in trying their other side dishes. The Pork Tonkatsu that I had was just right and tender.
So will I be coming back? Not too soon. But when I do, I know I wouldn’t be getting the Beef Ontama Bukkake again.
Update: My Return
I came back because somehow i’m still intrigued with the other selections Marugame Udon offered. This time I got myself the Katsudon Rice Bowl. I must say it’s a good choice for dinner. The pork meet was scrumptious and just the right sweetness from the sauce. I also added a piece of Tempura on the side for an additional P60 and it was also good. This experience was more satisfying than my first. So I’m now a believer that this restaurant has more punch than I thought it packed.
Update: Coming back for more
Yes, I came back and I’m starting to like this restaurant. It has officially become one of my go-to restaurants when I’m in SM Megamall. They’ve got a good amount of serving for every meal and quite affordable for a Japanese restaurant.
I ordered the Beef Yaki Udon for P190 and thankfully the beef didn’t taste like Tocino this time. It was good! The sauce really sinked into the noodles. It had enough meaty meat mixed in it, unlike in some restaurants where they only serve you with a few strips of beef with mostly fat in it. It’s a really simple dish that fixed my carvings for pancit canton. But it’s way better than pancit, of course! It has a clean savory taste to it and just the right mild saltiness, no after tastes that lingers in you mouth.
Since most Filipinos prefer meals with rice for lunch or dinner, this can also be a perfect side dish with Marugame Udon’s rice bowls. And in that case, a regular serving of this can also be shared by two. But I preferred it as my main course.