Gontaro is a famous udon noodle restaurant in Kyoto. There are three branches in Kyoto. I went to the main branch located downtown on Fuyacho Dori, between Nishiki market and Shijo Dori.
The restaurant had a Kyoto machiya style exterior with a stone path leading to an automatic sliding shoji door. The interior is decorated in Sukiya-zukuri architectural style, common in many Japanese tea houses, creating a tranquil ambiance. There was only one waitress dressed in Kimono. She did not speak much English, but she could understand some of the things I said. She was nice and had a smile on her face the whole time.
The restaurant offers a variety of Soba and Udon noodles with some side dishes. The prices are reasonable. There is also an English menu available.
As I was craving fish, I ordered the Nishin udon (¥ 1200), a Kyoto specialty. It is basically a piece of dried herring placed on top of the udon. At the time, I did not know it was dried herring. On the menu, it stated sweet stewed herring. The soup was delicious, but I did not like the herring. It was dry and chewy. I guess I was not used to eating dried fish.
If you are in the area, this is a good place for Soba and Udon noodles.
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday except for Wednesday 11:00 AM to 21:00 PM
Telephone: +81 75-221-5810
Address: 604-8053 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward, 麸屋町通四条上ル