Good Eats: Omen (Kyoto)

I have nothing against noodle joints. In fact, after a few days of heavy eating, a plate of cold soba noodles is often the only thing I crave if I’m still on the road. But I don’t always go out of my way to check out a noodle restaurant.

And then I heard about Omen.

Omen is what you night consider an upscale noodle joint. The branch I went to near the Silver Pavilion (there are three Omen restaurants total in Kyoto) was as cozy as any izakaya – a tatami section with low tables and a long bar of burnished wood that allows a glimpse of the chefs at work.

The interior of Omen
The interior of Omen

At Omen, although the menu has a fair amount of choice, the smart thing to do is order the noodles. You’ll be served a bowl of thick udon – hot or cold, depending on your preference – accompanied by a bowl of dipping sauce called tsuyu. The most attractive part of the meal, however, is the plate of fresh Kyoto vegetables that you can add to your bowl. I recognized at least scallions, daikon, eggplant, burdock root and a whole mess of greens that I couldn’t name but was very willing to eat. I added these to my dipping sauce, sprinkled in some sesame seeds and dipped my noodles into the lot. Perfection.

All the components of my meal and, in the back, directions on how to eat it :)
All the components of my meal and, in the back, directions on how to eat it 🙂

Omen is a great place to come for a cooling meal in the summer, but if you happen to be in Kyoto in the colder months, just order the warm noodles and you won’t be disappointed. Omen is a popular place no matter the season, so if you’re here on a weekend, a reservation is advisable.

Omen has a website but you’ll have to use an online translator or, better yet, a Japanese speaker, to help you out. The phone number is prominently listed.

6 thoughts on “Good Eats: Omen (Kyoto)

Add yours

  1. Thanks for another salivation exercise in REMOTE LOCATION cuisine! LOL

    I did take a peek at their website but unless I missed it, I found perplexing there were no photos?

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