Early Reports From Onya Are A Generally Positive Mixed Bag

Photo courtesy of The Eaten Path

Onya, the Japanese noodle chain owned by the company that brought Beard Papa to the US, opened on Monday and Midtown Lunchers have wasted no time in checking it out.  It’s not really fair to judge a place on its first week (especially one that makes its noodles fresh, and will most likely get better with time) but the reviews seem generally positive.

As promised yesterday, James Boo weighed in on his blog The Eaten Path and seemed generally pleased, if not completely blown away:

“Onya’s curry udon… is certainly well done; I could see this kind of broth easily going down the path of too thick or too salty, but Onya’s preparation avoids these pitfalls to give us a hearty udon option… I wasn’t at any point disappointed by the food, which is likely to improve as the kitchen staff finds its bearings here in New York. The sheer diversity of menu items and sizes makes a meal here extremely convenient, and I’ll be going back soon for the cheaper udon and mini donburi options.”

Questions about service, and an Osaka born blogger weighs in… after the jump.

Onya is set up like an assembly line, and not surprisingly service has been a little questionable. Apparently they decided to offer takeout (despite yesterday’s report), although they are still recommending strongly against it based on this email from Lunch’er Jason:

“I just got back from Onya on 47th. It’s definitely worth trying, even though they’re brand new. The service is still in the “a bunch of people stepping over each other because they don’t know whose station is whose” phase, but the food is the real deal. Had the kamaage (?) udon, and a couple of pieces of vegetable tempura. It was absolutely delicious, and filled up my moderately-fat-man belly (your fat-man mileage may vary).

One thing, though: They recommend you eat it in-house, and I’m inclined to agree. The noodles are super-fresh (like, there’s a guy making them as you walk in) and udon is notorious for going downhill quickly. I might get some to go next time, but I’m only a couple blocks away. I might caution against taking these noodles on a cross-town journey.”

Finally, the blog Ramen and Friends weighs in from the perspective of somebody who was born in Osaka:

“The flavor of dashi was very good for udon, and I enjoyed the thick, almost cube like shape of noodles. I wished to be a bit more chewy since it was cold udon, but overall, it was tasty and satisfied my Osakan starch craving. But if you are hungry, I advise you getting full size udon since half size was about five slurps.

If you want a quick, mean and hearty udon satisfaction, I would go to Udon West, but Onya offers a nicer atmosphere and amazing service. I am glad to see a nice udon addition in the city. “

Proper Midtown Lunch +/- coming soon…

Onya Japanese Noodles, 143 E 47th Street (btw. Lex+3rd)


  • I love udon! Perfect for this cool weather.

  • Go early to go right in and right to the counter to place our order while beating the lunch crowd. I just tried this.

    They have an assortment of tempura sides to gaze at while you are making your order and I decided to get a tempura sweet potato and a large beef udon. Put me over the edge for $11 and change. You get toppings of the pepper powder, soy sauce, and they give you extra tempura crumbs (just like with Long John Silver’s extra crumbs). The udon noodles were nice and thick. And the broth was really savory. Really on point. I really do suggest that you eat there or request that they keep the noodles separate if you do take out.

    My only gripe is the quality of the beef. Since it’s assembly line construction of your meal, the thin slices of beef is pre-cooked and sitting in juice. That makes it chewy and the least appetizing part of the meal. All in all, good udon. Anything extra, and it doesn’t make it a midtown lunch.

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    They are really anal about no ‘TOGO’ orders. I stopped by after work to grab some tempura for dinner and was told it’s a ‘sit down only’ restaurant. Sad Panda.

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    I tried them yesterday (Wed). They had a few options they were now offering to go, and had marked those as such on one of the menus by the register with some white labels. They are currently offering a free piece of tempura with a bukkake udon order to celebrate their opening (not sure for how long), and since that was one of the to go options, I chose that. They offer three sizes – sm, med, lrg – and I chose med which was $7, and shrimp tempura. They gave me one piece of tempura, which was put by itself in a separate container (so as to not get too soggy I presume). The noodles were a very nice consistency and the broth and tempura were tasty, but I would definitely stay in next time as it cooled down really quickly from the 1 block trip (and I had to answer a few emails before eating too). The portion seemed smaller than Udon West, but then again I only got a medium. Will definitely be exploring this place further.

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