Miso Nikomi Udon! It’s the Gumbo of New Orleans, the Khao Soy of Bangkok, the Bagel of New York, the Fish & Chips of London, the square shaped meat pies upside down in a bowl of thick pea soup Pie Floater of Adelaide, and it’s the taste of Nagoya! Miso Nikomi Udon may be hard to say, but easy to enjoy!
One of the best places to try Miso Nikomi Udon is at one of Nagoya’s oldest and most famed Miso Nikomi Udon specialty restaurants Yamamotoya. Open for lunch and dinner daily, Yamamotoya has over 15 outlets across Nagoya and the surrounding areas, and has been business since 1960. One of the easiest to find is the centrally located restaurant directly in front of the escalators in the B2 downstairs of the landmark Chunichi Building, along the Hisaya Odori Central Park.
The restaurants naturally use Aichi Prefecture’s famous Hatcho Miso. Yamamotoya’s other claim to fame is that it’s udon are all hand made using the finest local and imported ingredients. The noodles are thick! Each, long, heavy noodle comes in at about 4mm across, and Yamamotoya serves them piping hot, but slightly chewy.
A standard serving of Yamamotoya’s famed thick noodles in steaming miso based broth, vegetables, aburaage, (being a light, deep fried tofu based substitute for meat in old Buddhist Japan) thin rubbery slices of kamaboko minced fishcake, and topped with a raw egg, that slowly cooks itself as you eat it. The serve comes with a bowl of rice and a side order selection of pickled vegetables. This will set you back only 892 Yen! Not bad for a full meal! Other recommended versions come with slices of black beef, tofu, fried shrimp, or the most expensive on the menu at 1,680 Yen featuring tasty Nagoya Kochin chicken!
Don’t be surprised to find the earthenware lid ill fitting and half swimming in the rich brown soup. That’s the way Miso Nikomi Udon is served at Yamamotoya, and the lid is used as a plate with which to eat the steaming hot noodles and vegetables.
The rest of the menu is basic, fleshed out with the popular local delicacy, fried chicken wings, grilled Nagoya Kochin chicken on a stick, sweetmeats and occasionally seafood. Green tea is served with the meals, but there are soft drinks, beers, sake, umeshu, and a small selection of desserts such as Royal Milk Tea ice-cream and black sugar ice-cream available too.
The Yamamotoya chain are a regional favorite, and that means that sometimes you may have to queue up to get in. The wait will be worth it however, as the noodles are filling, the prices are reasonable, the service is good, and you’ll be genuinely surprised at the taste of Nagoya!