Today I attended an Udon Lunch hosted and prepared by the Kamloops Japanese Canadian Association at its Cultural Centre (160 Vernon Ave). Calling ahead, I reserved a spot for the 11:30am sitting. I arrived at 11:25am and headed to a table just inside the door where tickets were sold for $7 (Various write-ups for the event quoted $6, but luckily I had extra in my pocket!). I saw that sushi was also being sold, and although the friendly ladies at the table told me sushi should be ordered in advance (at time of reservation), extra was available to which I was welcome. I purchased one package for $5.50 and headed to my table. Immediately proffered was hot green tea for me to sip while waiting for the soup. Edna, an association member, and her brother George both chatted with me for a few minutes, asked if this was my first time to attend, and where I hailed from. Sometimes going to events solo can be stressful, but I was made to feel at home in a relaxed atmosphere.
After about 5 minutes, the udon was set in front of me. Oodles of noodles were suspended in a delicate broth, upon which rested turkey, pork, and an egg. A sprinkling of fresh green onions completed the dish, and I dug in. Available to add to the soup was pickled cabbage, served family style on the table. It was mild and a little smoky - a great addition to the broth. I couldn’t resist sampling from my take-out tray of sushi, of which included inari, california roll and futo maki. All three had their own flavour profile - the inari being sweet, the california roll sesame-y, and the futo maki combining egg, cucumber, shitake mushroom and a kind of vegetable which I found very delicious yet couldn’t identify.
I encourage everyone to attend one of these Udon Lunches. They are a unique way to celebrate Kamloops’ culinary history (and present). The lunches will not occur again until the 4th Friday in September, but will continue monthly (4th Friday) until next June of 2013 before ceasing again for a July/August hiatus.