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Watch: World-famous udon restaurant opens first Vancouver location

It's the first - of likely many - locations for the massive brand in Canada

One of this year's most highly-anticipated restaurant openings has finally happened, as Marugame Udon served guests for the first time in Vancouver on Saturday, February 24.

“The wait is over. I am so pleased to be announcing the opening of our Vancouver location," said Victor Hisao Misawa, President of Marugame Udon International, in a media release for the restaurant.

In the works since 2022, this is the world-renowned udon chain's first Canadian location, and it is located in the heart of the city at 589 Beatty St.

The 80-seat restaurant is now open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., featuring a menu of Sanuki-style udon, tempura, and rice bowls dished up in an exciting theatre-like atmosphere. 

Udon restaurant known for its boiled-to-order noodles

Don't be alarmed if you encounter a line outside the restaurant. Not only is it a familiar brand to many in Vancouver who have experienced Marugame Udon outside of Canada, but also lining up is par for the course, as the restaurant operates somewhat like a cafeteria, where you make your way down the line.

Guests are immersed in the Marugame experience as soon as they enter the restaurant, which boasts an open kitchen and the opportunity to watch the restaurant's signature noodles being kneaded, cut, and boiled to order. 

Those noodles are the thick, chewy, springy udon noodles that have brought Marugame to global prominence. "Sanuki-style udon is a specific type of udon noodle originating from Japan’s Kagawa Prefecture, formerly known as the Sanuki region, and is one of the most popular and widely recognized udon varieties in Japan," describes the restaurant. "Sanuki-style udon is made from a simple combination of high-quality wheat flour, water, and salt."

Marugame aims to set themselves apart with their udon texture - which they describe as "slightly firmer" than those of other udon-makers. The noodles are served with soups and a variety of toppings for what they say is "a culinary experience that engages multiple senses."

The menu for Marugame Udon in Vancouver features some of the restaurant’s most beloved udon dishes, like Kake Udon, spotlighting noodles served with clear and light kake dashi broth and topped with green onion and tempura flakes; Nikutama, chewy udon noodles served with traditional Japanese curry, along with seasoned sweet beef, caramelized onions, a soft-poached egg, tempura flakes and green onions;  and Kitsune, with Sanuki-style udon in dashi topped with sweet fried tofu.

What else is on the Marugame Udon menu?

In addition to Marugame’s world-famous udon, the restaurant serves dishes such as rice bowls like Chicken Katsu Curry Don (crispy chicken katsu on rice topped with Japanese curry sauce), and an assortment of tempura. 

The restaurant operates at an impressive level of efficiency, swiftly moving guests from the door to their tables with steaming bowls of udon and crispy golden-fried tempura. There is an area for gathering your utensils and sauces, and when you are finished, you drop your tray and dishes off at a designated station. 

The arrival of Marugame Udon in Canada is the starting point for what is expected to be an exciting expansion from coast to coast. The Vancouver outpost marks the 263rd overseas location for the brand, which began in 2000 in Japan and has over 1,000 locations altogether. Currently, the company is actively seeking franchisees to help Marugame Udon grow its presence in Canada. 

There will be a grand opening celebration known as the Marugame Matsuri (festival in Japanese) in March. 

“It will be a great honour to be present for this momentous occasion and I look forward to welcoming our guests and sharing the unique Marugame experience with this culturally vibrant, west-coast community," added Misawa. 

Follow @marugamecanada on Instagram for updates about the restaurant's new Vancouver location.

Watch: Trying udon, tempura, and more at Marugame Udon's first Vancouver location

@forkingawesomevia Would you stand in line for this new Vancouver restaurant? #vancouverbc #forkingawesome #udon #marugameudon ♬ Green Grass - Smoove Lofy

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