Udon Shin (うどん 慎) serves the best udon in Shinjuku, hands down. They carefully make all their chewy noodles by hand.
Udon Shin - Best Udon in Shinjuku
Udon Shin does attract a crowd. This includes plenty of tourists. But the reason is clear - they serve some of the most spectacular udon in Tokyo.
They prepare all udon noodles on site. The machine used is in plain sight when you walk in too. Wheat flour is delivered daily and the dough aged overnight. The noodles are resultantly as fresh and as springy as can be.
Udon Shin is on Tabelog (Japan's Yelp) as 1 of 100 Tokyo Udon restaurants considered to be the best. This praise is certainly justified.
Don't Dismiss Cold Udon
Japan closely pays attention to its four seasons. During the country's brutally hot summers, cold udon can be a refreshing treat. But perhaps the greatest thing about cold noodles (udon included) is their extra firm texture.
This is naturally the case at Shin. The cold udon noodles are delightfully springy. But do note that they take a little longer to prepare. This is because they're rinsed under cold water after being boiled.
Cold udon with assorted tempura is a popular menu choice. Pictured is cold udon with two shrimp and four vegetable tempura. There are other combinations too, from an all vegetable tempura to a fish and squid tempura.
Hot Carbonara Udon?
While most of their udon dishes are traditional leaning - hot or cold - there are some modern ones too. Case in point - the hot udon pictured below. The butter and egg (onsen tamago) richens the shoyu (soy sauce) base.
Think of onsen tamago as a poached egg with a softer egg white.
There's also black pepper in the background. This combined with the creamy egg and butter will call to mind carbonara. The bright red hill on the left is mentaiko (spicy code roe). You can order it without mentaiko, but I feel it's a dynamic match.
In conclusion, this udon hits like a carbonara with thicker noodles.
For Protein Seekers
More traditional udon offerings include a hot udon with raw egg and slices of beef (pictured below). Beef flavors gradually seep into the soup, giving it a meatiness and sharp sweetness. The raw egg ensures that it's creamy overall though.
Like in all of their udon dishes, there's a small bushel of fresh green negi (spring onions). Negi is a necessary part of any udon meal.
Udon Shin is a tiny restaurant. Inside is almost all counter seating, with a a few tables that barely pass as tables. It's amazing that they're able to make the noodles in such a tiny space. But such is Japan.
In summary, Udon Shin is worth the hype. Except to wait a line on a busy day.