Thanks to the ubiquity of popular dishes like pho and ramen, noodles are a perennial food trend. You’re likely familiar with udon, the thick, Japanese wheat noodles, but you’ve probably never had them like Ikigai Udon makes them.
Ikigai Udon will make its DFW debut in Plano later this year at 8245 Preston Road, near the Nylo Hotel. “The concept comes from traveling around the world the past few years and trying lots of different things,” says owner Bao Pham. “We wanted to bring a unique, brand new restaurant concept to Dallas.”
Pham argues that his restaurant’s take on Udon is actually the first of its kind in the entire country. Using equipment shipped in from Japan, master noodle makers will knead, roll, and boil the fresh udon right in front of patrons’ eyes in the cafeteria-style dining room. “It’s sort of like a Japanese version of Luby’s Cafeteria,” says Pham. “Only more appealing.”
The spot will also serve musubi sandwiches, tempuras, and other snacks that can be ordered a la carte alongside your bowl of noodles. As an added bonus, the bowls of steaming udon will arrive in front of your face about a minute or so after you order, which makes Ikigai Udon perfect for quick lunch breaks.
Ikigai Udon is currently in the process of finalizing its menu and interior design, along with waiting for the specialized noodle-making equipment to arrive from Japan. It is currently set for a “late December” arrival. Stay tuned for more updates.