How do you like your noodles? Hot or cold? What temperature do you want the broth? Or, perhaps no broth at all? The texture of the noodle changes with the temperature. The umami changes depending on the type of broth or dipping sauce. While some connoisseurs may insist on only eating it a certain way, I suggest ordering what suits your needs that day. If it’s hot outside lean towards dishes like zaru or hiya-hiya. And in winter, go with the standard kake udon.
Here are some Tokyo udon shops you may want to check out.
かけ Kake – the standard hot noodles in a hot broth
ぶっかけ Bukkake – cold noodles with a bit of strong broth, garnished with toppings such as grated daikon, sudachi, and green onions
醤油 Shouyu – cold noodles topped with soy sauce and some garnishes
ざる Zaru – cold noodles served with a small bowl of tsuyu dipping broth (also called tsuyu-dashi)
釜あげ Kama-age – hot udon noodles served in a bowl of hot water and served with a dipping sauce
釜玉 Kama-tama – kama-age noodles that are topped with a raw egg and some soy sauce
The following are based on the temperature of the noodles (the first part) and the temperature of the broth (the second part)
あつあつ Atsu-atsu – hot noodles in a hot broth; basically a kake-udon
ひやあつ Hiya-atsu – cold noodles in a hot broth
ひやひや Hiya-hiya – cold noodles in a cold broth