Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tenaga-Ashinaga: ramen in Takayama

Although most of our meals in Takayama were included in our hotel price, we did have lunch to find on our own. Since I've been on a bit of a ramen kick lately, I decided to do a little research and track one down in town. Right next to the river is this place, called Tenaga-Ashinaga. Naga means long, so this name essentially means "long arms - long legs" and is referencing the official Takayama mascots:

And the ramen was fabulous. Ryan had the regular, shown below, which came with egg, thick bamboo shoots, scallions, some sheets of nori and a really tender, flavorful piece of pork.

I went with what was called the "hida beef gristle". I thought maybe they mistranslated the word gristle, because the picture in the menu showed some nice, thinly sliced beef. But no, they got it right. It was gristle surrounded by huge chunks of fat. I am not sure if the fat is intended to be eaten. I couldn't do it. However, it did give the broth an incredible flavor. Ryan and I compared spoonfuls and mine had a whole lot more depth and meatiness. It was really amazing. We slurped them down with a couple of frosty mugs of beer and then headed back to the bus station to catch our ride home.

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