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Kishiya: Nagoya’s flatter noodles boast a local flavor

by Adam Miller

Many enjoy kishimen on the go, standing at a crowded platform while waiting for their bullet train to arrive. But to slurp this Nagoya specialty in style, Kishiya is a sophisticated but affordable option.

Kishimen is much like udon, in that it is a long, thick, soft white noodle. But what makes kishimen unique is that it is flattened out and has rough, crinkled edges. It can be served in a number of ways, but the broth is usually either white (salt) or red (soy sauce), although curry versions are also available.

At Kishiya, every bowl of noodles is served fresh, so it may take a little longer than the other kishimen restaurants in town. There over a dozen kishimen dishes to choose from, as well as a variety of udon and a range of okazu (side dishes) and a small variety of sake, beer, whisky and shōchū. Those with a sweet tooth may be disappointed to hear there is no sweets selection at all, although there is a rather modest cheese board.

Kishimen may not be the most remarkable of local specialties in Japan, but the fact that it can adopt so many different flavors and serving styles means that it is suitable for everyone. Thousands of stores claim to have the best noodles in the city, but if you want authenticity, comfort and an extensive menu, Kishiya is your best bet.

Ikeshita Towers 1F, 2-17-7 Nakata, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya; 052-752-7114; dinner daily, lunch weekends only; nearest station Iketa; smoking OK; around ¥1,000 plus drinks; Japanese menu; no English spoken.