Saturday, February 20, 2010

Men's Table, Kamiyamada (麺's Table)

What's that you say, you're eager for shots of decrepit buildings? It's funny, I've got what you need right here. Haven't played with the black-and-whiteage of these, but I'm sure they'd work a treat.

Ooooh, panorama mode. Boy do I wish I had a digital camera that took pictures like a Lomography Horizon Kompakt.

Not sure what this place was selling, if anything - antiques, or just stuff that's been in inventory for 50 years?  There's more where this came from, and I can just send you a DVD of all the pictures...if we're family or something.

One of the famous items in the vicinity of Kamiyamada is Sarashina Soba, which is a very white soba made from the inside of the soba kernels only (my image is that it's polished like rice for sake, but I haven't looked it up). Another is Shibori udon, which is like udon tsukemen but the dipping sauce, instead of being a thick, meaty, oily soup, is made from liquid squeezed out of spicy radishes and mixed with miso. This is neither of those specialities. It's ramen. It was nice though.

The shop is very Nagano to me - they've gone in for the American Country decor, and with the shoes-off policy, brown carpet and turned-wood furniture it feels a lot like someone's living room in America. It was also very warm, which was more than welcome - half of my purpose in going to this town was to do a LOT of bathing and try to get rid of the persistent cold that's been plaguing my fingers and toes. The master initially confronted me with a weird look that I thought was going to be rejection and said 'Time...' but that sentence turned out to be ' takes. 20 minutes OK?' (Yes, Japanese grammar is pretty much like Yoda-speak. I think that's where they got Yoda's speech patterns.) 20 minutes was certainly OK as I had had my morning walk, photo session and long bath (two, actually).

And after the annointed 20 minutes, here came some noodles. They call these 'sarashina ramen', so I guess I was expecting something...I dunno, exciting? This is a pretty normal bowl, although somewhat distinguished by using two types of noodles, bigger menma, and a pretty well-cooked egg. The chashu was a little strong for my tastes - thinly cut, but very porky.

These thicker noodles were somewhat exciting - I wish the whole bowl had been these instead of 75% thin, slightly curly noodles (not Hakata-style, boo). Especially when first served, they were really firm and good. All made from local wheat, and there was a hand-painted sign above the counter that said they make all the noodles themselves.

Get a load of that perfect chopstick technique...

1 comment:

  1. The last picture with thick noodles seem to make this ramen somewhat viscous? Katakuriko in the soup to adhere to these noodles? Noodles look delicious though.