Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Flavor & The Menu
June 27, 2021

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Akinobu “Aki” Matsuo

Akinobu “Aki” Matsuo

A lively, theatrical exhibition kitchen is the centerpiece of Marugame Udon, as noodle masters demonstrate the art of their ancient craft in view of diners. While this hook has been successful in helping the concept to grow its U.S. presence, the culinary team stays focused on leveraging the full pantry of Japanese ingredients and techniques.

The Curry Nikutama Udon stars handmade udon noodles topped with two traditional Japanese curries, along with seasoned sweet beef, caramelized onions, a soft-poached egg, tempura flakes and green onions. “Japanese curries are a rich combination of a spice blend and smooth fruit notes,” says Akinobu “Aki” Matsuo, Director of Culinary and Master Noodle Maker. “The combination of flavors in each bite—sweet, savory, spicy, chewy—is perfectly satisfying,” he says. “There is no need to supplement with other seasonings or enhancements.”

The Curry Nikutama is consistently one of the top two best-selling items. “It’s a great entry into the unfamiliar—and a great ‘best of’ for those well versed in Japanese curries and udon,” says Matsuo.

About The Author


Patricia Fitzgerald is Contributing Editor of Flavor & The Menu, and a writer and content editor for a wide range of clients and media outlets. With more than 25 years at the helm of School Nutrition magazine, she has made the K-12 foodservice segment a particular niche, but her experience also includes work in many other industries and professions, including telecommunications, packaging, disability advocacy, waste management, community associations, small business retailers and more. [email protected]