Two of the restaurant’s new limited-time menu items feature Kobe beef, so we pulled all the stops to feel worthy of this gastronomic celebration.
Marugame Seimen is one of our favorite places to enjoy a delicious and reasonably priced bowl of udon. In fact, our Japanese correspondent Yesterday even previously obtained information from one of the four certified master udon artisans across Tokyo who work for the restaurant chain. As a bonus, he is also added to the restaurant’s dedicated media contact list for press releases and promotional events.
Our story today begins on a typical day at the office a few days ago. Ahiruneko was working diligently at her desk when she heard a low mutter coming from somewhere, so she looked around. The source of the soliloquy under his breath turned out to be PK Sanjun, one of our Japanese reporters who once took Hell’s Spicy Mapo Tofu and barely lived to tell the story.
The chant was low enough that Ahiruneko couldn’t understand what PK was saying.
Curiosity overtook her, so Ahiruneko decided to approach.
The intense concentration of PK is really impressive.
It was hard to understand, even when standing right next to him. But when Ahiruneko strained her ears, she finally understood the scolding. “I want to eat meat,” is holding back PK for himself.
Ahiruneko retreated back to her desk laughing and only attributed the muttering to one of PK’s odd habits. However, at that moment, his phone started ringing. It was his contact from Marugame Seimen!
Yes, he had saved Marugame Seimen on his cell phone only as “Udon.”
Ahiruneko replied and was overjoyed to know that the restaurant offered her the opportunity to sample two of their new menu items featuring Kobe beef before the national public release date of July 6th. He enthusiastically replied that he would be there.
Throughout the call, PK sits as still as a rock…
…but suddenly came back to life. “MEAT!” he announced loudly, as if possessed by expensive wagyu gods.
That damn PK–he’s been listening to the entire phone conversation! Ahiruneko thought that there was no other way but to extend the invitation to her comrade as well. It’s not every day that you get to try Kobe beef at a local udon restaurant–and the guy really seems to want some meat–so he decides to be generous.
At that moment, PK does his thinking pose and starts to ponder. “Hmm. Marugame Seimen was founded in Hyogo Prefecture, which is also the origin of Kobe beef [Kobe is the capital of Hyogo]. It would be rude for cows to wear anything for this extraordinary experience. I really need to dress up for this event. ”
With that PK take off, walk in across directions to which restaurant they should go for menu sampling. Confused but interested, Ahirueko had no choice but to follow him.
PK stops in front of a salon called Ashule. It’s not just a hair salon, PK tells Ahiruneko, but there are others.
He immediately entered the establishment and disappeared from sight.
Ahiruneko was left waiting for almost an hour, her patience thinning at the endless thought of the delicious Kobe beef and udon.
Suddenly, a noble-looking man came out of the shop.
Wait a minute…
“Sorry to keep you waiting,” the unknown but very dashing person announced.
That’s PK!! He has undergone an extreme transformation to become none other than his new alternate persona Celebrity PK. It was a complete change from her previous sweaty appearance as she was now wearing a tuxedo with a black bow tie and long, beautiful, wavy hair.
He really was wearing an outfit befitting a celebrity who was ready to face a high level of beef. “Okay, let’s get this party started,” said Celebrity PK.
And that’s how Celebrity PK and Ahiruneko finally arrived at the restaurant. The smell of roasted Kobe beef filled the room, and they felt more ready than ever to start the sumptuous feast.
The first is Kobe beef udon with delicious spicy sauce. Once boiled, the noodles are dipped in cold water and sparkling awaits under a thick layer of sukiyaki-style roasted Kobe beef, all topped with generous portions of sliced garlic scallions, grated nori, and a drizzle of sesame oil.
It really is a mountain of meat! In fact, there were so many that they could only see the noodles underneath. The restaurant staff assured them that there were actually 1.5 servings of udon waiting.
The specially made dipping sauce is made from spicy chili oil base. It was a divine combination with noodles and beef.
The noodles themselves were cooked to perfection as usual at Marugame Seimen—chewy and full of filling. Of course, the Kobe beef is also out of this world.
The chili oil in the dipping sauce was certainly filling and our reporters found their tongues tingling with a spicy kick. Even so, it only serves to enhance the pure umami flavor of the beef, which shows how different it is from the regular cuts to be mastered.
“This must be expensive,” mused PK the Celebrity in between bites. “But I don’t have to worry about money as a rich man, so I’ll set my own price for it. I estimate that this dish will cost around 50,000 yen (US$450).”
“That’s too much!” Ahiruneko almost choked on her udon. He had to get a part time job on top of his regular job to cover that if that was true…!
“Sorry for causing any kind of alarm,” Celebrity PK replied. “Let’s finish eating and worry about the price later.”
A few moments passed before he broke the silence again. “Yup, I would say 55,000 yen.”
Why is the price prediction going up?! But it was at this point that the couple learned the truth from the restaurant staff. This bowl of noodles is in reality only worth it 890 yen, so the Celebrity prediction PK luckily missed. Ahiruneko was able to finish her portion calmly.
However, they didn’t forget the other dishes on the horizon, so now they were preparing to enjoy Kobe beef yakiniku rice bowl (590 yen). It consists of a bowl of hot rice topped with delicious Kobe beef slices and garnished with egg yolk and sesame seeds.
Delicious slices of garlic and ginger are also spread all over the meat. The smell of yakiniku alone was enough to rekindle their appetite. This meal will either end them completely or spoil their appetite for all other beef dishes forever.
PK Celebrities boldly pierce the shimmering yolks with chopsticks. “Hey, stop it…!” shrieked Ahiruneko.
Unfortunately, it was too late.
PK the Celebrity looked pleased with herself as the shiny egg yolk filled the rest of the plate.
The umami flavors of the meat, dipping sauce, and fat all come together to create a wave of flavors in the mouth. They added a bit of wasabi to the mix as well and that just enhanced the taste even more.
Instantly Ahiruneko noticed that Celebrity PK had abandoned her chopsticks for spoonfuls. He was now witnessing the legendary fast-eating technique known as “Sato Tornado” designed by none other than our own ace reporter Mr. Sato to shovel food into the mouth as much as possible.
The bowl was really clean!!
It is possible that PK the Celebrity has performed the technique with greater effectiveness than its inventor, Mr. Sato.
It was then that it occurred to Ahiruneko that a real celebrities will never lick their bowl clean. In response to this objection, PK Celebrity faintly countered that he was moved by Marugame Seimen’s spirit – whatever that meant.
“Marugame Seimen’s goal is to provide energy to Japan through the power of udon, so I show my own support to the producers,” he added. In other words, he shows deep appreciation for the people who should be grateful for feeding Kobe beef to the general public.
He further explained that only the top Tajima cattle raised according to the strict procedures in Hyogo Prefecture can bear the title of Kobe beef. This is all thanks to the efforts of the diligent farmers and restaurateurs who work tirelessly so that people like them can enjoy such delicious food.
To be honest, Ahiruneko still didn’t think it was a proper reason for a celebrity to lick her bowl clean, but she decided to let it go at that point. They return to the office feeling very satisfied and grateful that this is the kind of task they can do in the name of work.
In addition, Marugame Seimen has offered dishes with Kobe beef three times. According to the restaurant, the last time they offered Kobe beef as part of their menu, it sold out within a week. They anticipated something similar might happen this time.
Stocks may vary from location to location, but Ahiruneko still encourages interested diners to head to one of the restaurant locations as soon as possible after July 6. After all, you rarely get to taste real Kobe beef for such a reasonable price. .
Oh, and he has one last piece of advice. If you go to eat any of the new Kobe beef menu items…
…there is absolutely no need to turn yourself into a celebrity for the event.
References: Marugame Seimen, Ashuley
All images © SoraNews24
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