We decided to spend a couple nights in Takayama on our last Japan trip. Neither of us had ever been and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. It’s about a 4 hour trek from Tokyo to get there but it is completely worth it. We fell in love with its small town feel and the people there were extremely friendly. It’s a very popular tourist destination and most shops and restaurants were very English friendly. On our first night, we were wandering just around since we arrived in the late afternoon and didn’t have plans other than to grab dinner and relax. We didn’t know that most shops closed around 6pm with the exception of restaurants.
We were there in mid-March and the weather was still very cold. We knew we needed to warm ourselves up with some hot soup and noodles. There are actually quite a few ramen places in town. We stumbled upon this one which was located at the corner of a main street. We looked them online and they had a 4.0/5.0 star rating from other reviewers. Their prices seemed reasonable enough so we decided to go in and give it a try.
I ordered their ramen with a side of the galbi beef on rice. I wish they had used the Ajitsuke tamago that most ramen places offered. It’s that flavored egg with the soft yolk in the centre. However, this was just a regular boiled egg with no flavoring. We felt the broth was about 20% oversalted but we were pretty hungry and we just slurped it down. The noodles look very thin and stringy which worried us at first. But when we bit into it, it had a lot of bounce which earns a thumbs up from us.
My galbi beef was OK. I had to chew a lot because it was pretty tough. I’m not convinced that they used a good quality meat with my bowl. There was a nice flavouring in the sauce and the green onions and onions on top gave it a nice extra flavor.
Howie ordered the same ramen but served with Hida beef. Takayama is famous for their Hida beef and we were very curious to try it. We felt the quality was on par with Yoshinoya’s beef and was disappointed. However, we got the feeling we were served very cheap cuts of beef and it wasn’t a true representation of what Hida beef quality is really like.
I don’t think you can tell by looking at the pictures of our two bowls of ramen but Howie actually paid 100 yen more to add extra noodles to his bowl. He did get a noticeable amount more even though it doesn’t show up in the picture. We both only got one slice of pork and we wish there was a bit more because the slice was a bit small.
Given how low prices were for our meal in a tourist town, we felt that the quality matched the prices. If you’re looking to taste good quality Hida beef for very cheap here, then you need to look elsewhere because this isn’t the restaurant for it. You get what you pay for here. We went at 6pm and the place was about half full and people ate and left pretty quickly. There was a mix of locals and tourists eating there. We would still recommend this place to anyone who wants to try Takayma ramen.
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