One of the best things about travelling is serendipitously finding an undiscovered local restaurant. While, T and I were wandering around the alleys of Takayama in the Gifu prefecture we stumbled across an unassuming chuka soba shop. After an hour of Googling, I finally found out the shop’s name – Menya Shirakawa (麺屋しらかわ).
Slide the wooden door and you’ll be greeted with a narrow walls adorned with signatures from what I presume are Japanese celebrities. As this place is aimed at locals, there are no english menus and the owner/staff have limited English. But don’t fret because there’s only one item on the menu. Yeap, just one.
At Menya Shirakawa, that one item is their trademark Chuka Soba. The only variation you can pick is the size, a regular costs ¥700 while the large is ¥900. The only additional topping on offer is a soft boiled egg (味付け玉子) which comes at a bargain price of ¥100.
T and I were giving seats at the counter and were able to witness the owner at work as he furiously drained the noodles while the other chef grilled thin slices of pork over hot coals.
The final product is a work of culinary art. The noodles are chewy and thin, the soup is rich and the flame licked pork slices melt in your mouth. If you ever visit Takayama, do yourself a favour and find this secret local joint and order a large bowl of chuka soba.
Good: Flame grilled pork slices, chewy noodles, hearty stock
Perfect for: Lunch, dinner, supper
This post was based on an independently paid visit.
TripAdvisor page (English)
Menya Shirakawa (Japanese)