Udon is the star at a new restaurant now open in Williamsburg with the help of the owner of East Village favorite Izakaya.
Hanon — at 436 Union Ave., between Devoe Street and Metropolitan Avenue — has two unusual owners in Japanese production company Rock’n Roll Japan and condom maker Sagami Rubber, which purports to make the world’s thinnest condom at .01 millimeters. Together, the two companies own a location in Kamakura, Japan, but they have recruited Izakaya owner Yudai Kanayama to execute their first stateside restaurant, which focuses on the thick wheat noodle.
The restaurant makes two kinds of udon — white Zenryufun and green Sasauchi — using various wheat flours, employing bamboo shoots and young barley leaves to color the green variety. There are more than 20 dishes, including tempura mountain yam with white and green udon noodles, as well as udon with chopped vegetables and seafood tempura in broth.
The narrow space is bright, with stark white walls, a lime green banquette, and wood tables and vaulted ceilings. There’s also a backyard, not in use at the moment.
While ramen shops are a dime a dozen in NYC at this point, udon has never quite had the same popularity. The thicker noodle has dedicated restaurants in TsuruTonTan, Udon West, Raku, and Fukusuke, but Hanon is certainly a big boon to the genre.
Hanon is now open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.