It was funny how one of my friends, who just returned from the US after a short study stint, scoffed at Pasta de Waraku and was reluctant to believe that such Italian-Japanese fusion could be any good (later, other friends continued to tell him that it wasn't as bad as he would assume it to be). Eventually, we were deciding between Waraku (the original one) and Wakashachiya, and somehow or the other kare udon, Japanese curry udon, won the vote.
The menu in Wakashachiya isn't very extensive. You can have a basic curry udon or "upgrade" to one with a main ingredient (we tried quite a few of them below), or even add more than one main ingredient. Nicely enough, it turned out that all of us tried different things. This time round, I got my friends to rate their own food.
Ebi Fried Curry Udon: 8.3/10
I liked the udon noodles a lot because it was thick and chewy, and was a good contrast to the very crispy and firm deep fried prawns. The curry wasn't as thick as I would have wanted it to be, but nonetheless it was sweet, as Japanese curry should be. I like it for being a little spicy too, which fits the Singaporean tongue better than the more bland tasting ones.
Tori Kara-age Curry Udon: 7.7/10
John decided to go for the fried chicken and liked it quite a lot, especially the curry gravy. He smacked his lips and nodded with a satisfied nod: I'll give an eight for this.
Pork Katsu Curry Udon: 6.5/10
Tyler tried one of the best sellers here, but apparently he wasn't too impressed. I think this had to do with the pork cutlet being too dry and probably a tad oily.
Cheese Curry Udon: 7/10
Wei Jie admitted that he isn't an udon fan after dinner, but commented that he liked his udon for the cheese since it made the curry gravy more starchy (he used the word "sticky"). One thing he didn't exactly like though was the lack of ingredients as he was only given the standard curry udon ingredients in a couple of Japanese fish cakes and fried tofu skins.
Ming Yan was the more adventurous of our bunch, choosing the sole rice dish in Wakashachiya. She felt that it was interesting that it came with a small note on how to eat the dish in three different ways (instructions were given to divide the portion into four, with the fourth portion as the individual's favourite mix). The mixes included wasabi, spring onions and even a small flask of "dashi" (bonito stock). Hitsumabushi is really a more innovative form of the typical glazed Japanese una (eel) over rice. While the taste was quite ordinary and deserved more of a 6, Ming Yan felt the step away from the conventional way of eating una don was something positive indeed.
Service was good, though it seemed that the restaurant was pretty short-handed for a Thursday night. One manager-looking male and another female staff were all that I saw going to and fro the tables. Still, they were always pleased to help, which is good.
$16.00 - $16.90 for the curry udons
* $12.50 for a standard curry udon
$18.00 for the Hitsumabushi
all prices not including the 7% GST and 10% service charge
Wakashachiya Curry Udon
#03-92 to 95 The Central, Clarke Quay