Quick Review: Bakudanya, Japan
I really like tsukemen or dipping noodles, but unfortunately this wasn’t a common menu item in the UK, so I was looking forward to trying Bakudanya in Hiroshima. Bakudanya specialises in spicy dipping noodles and provides a style of Tsukemen unique to Hiroshima.
We had to wait around half an hour in the whistling wind outside before we finally got a spot in this tiny 14-seater. The restaurant was located in the middle of a long pathway surrounded by buildings, so we were treated to a lovely wind tunnel effect which chilled me to the bones in my thin jacket.
So I was prepared for the spice by the time we got in.
Bakudanya offered noodles with a sliding spiciness scale, the spice level ranged from one to over 100! we asked the waiter for the ‘normal’ level of spice for mere mortals and he recommended a solid two on the spice level. It made me think that perhaps this spice to level number relationship wasn’t quite linear…
We both went for the spicy Tsukemen noodles which came to a total of 1,522.00 JPY / 9.32 GBP for two bowls and we had prime view of the chefs at work as they quickly made our order.
So you might have to wait a while to get a seat but the service is fast food level quick.
The restaurant had a very strong red theme throughout and was charmingly eccentric with a random collection of decorations and a huge wall of autographs. Bugger if I knew who they were though.
A large bowl of noodles, bamboo shoots, a soft boiled egg and vegetables arrived; I decided against the pork/chashu option which was probably the most popular one judging by its placement in the menu.
The soft boiled egg had that perfect orange runny look typical of good Japanese ramen shops and the bamboo shoots felt soft but firm when grabbed by my chopsticks.
The uniqueness of Bakudanya was in their dipping sauce. I’m used to a clear soy dipping sauce when it comes to my Tsukemen, but Bakudanya’s sauce was something else. There was so much spring onions and chilli oil in the sauce that I couldn’t even see the red liquid.
It looked dangerously spicy, so I was a little nervous as I watched my boyfriend plucked some noodles…
and dipped it into the sauce…
The bamboo shoots were soft but crunchy, the egg satisfyingly runny and the noodles were nice and firm. All this was complimented by the flavoursome dipping sauce which wasn’t particularly spicy at all.
I’m easily a spice wimp but I think I could have easily upped the spice level by two or three steps. It was still delicious despite the lack of spiciness, but I can imagine my bowl giving more of a kick.
So in conclusion Bakudanya is cheap, cheerful and tasty with a Hiroshima twist. Remember to dress correctly for the queue and you’ll be good to go.