Thursday, August 7, 2014

うま屋 ラーメン Umaya: Nagoya's main chain

The next few posts from dear old uncle Hearts will be on shops from the Aichi/Gifu region, in and around Nagoya in particular. I make trips out here every year to visit family and gorge on regional ramen/miso katsu/tebasaki.

Umaya is THE typical Nagoya ramen shop. Nagoya has a lot more space and unoccupied land than Tokyo, meaning that many restaurants are larger and cater to families. Ramen shops like Umaya are no exception, seating dozens of groups during lunch. I went to the Oike-koen branch, which is not among the best Umaya branches, but is fairly representative of their quality as a whole.

Umaya are a chain of ramen shops that have circled the Nagoya area for over fifteen years. They specialize in a tonkotsu shoyu ramen with thick, oily, pork-bone broth and curly noodles of medium thickness.

Tokusei ramen (580yen)

This isn't my favorite bowl, but it is among my favorite bowl prices: just 580 yen for the standard tonkoku ramen with extra kujo scallions. The price hasn't changed since they first opened!

At lunch, however, they serve a special set that comes with a bowl of fried rice. The fried rice is real, and it's spectacular. Mixed with bits of pork and special seasoning, this is really good stuff and probably worth a full order in lieu of the ramen.

Like so many places in Nagoya, if you don't have a car, you'll have trouble getting here. But if you have a vehicle, a starving family, and an insatiable desire for expertly prepared fried rice, Umaya won't hurt your wallet or your feelings too badly.

Aichi, Tokai-shi, Fukinodai 6-127
Closest stn: Shinnittetsumae

Open from 11am-3pm (closed Mondays)


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