Monday, February 2, 2009

蕪村 (Buson in Nagano)

蕪村

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After a so-so Nagano ramen experience, I wasn't in the mood for anymore. My last meal, after a day of skiing, was to be at a local Hawaiian burger place. But this was the day of rest for burgers, apparently, and I needed something quickly before the next bullet train back to Tokyo. Buson was recommended.

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A few styles on the menu. First is a standard pork bone style. Next is a standard salt. 3rd was しじみ which is a type of tiny clam. It's often put into miso soup, but how would it taste in a ramen soup? You have questions? I have answers.

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The answer is "I don't know, I didn't try it."

Their special was あご - ago - flying fish. I couldn't pass up something like this. A heavy pork soup flavored with flying fish. I've eaten plenty of とびこ, which is flying fish eggs, but rarely have I had any other flying fish related cuisine.

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It really worked. Can't say I could tell you the difference between a soup flavored with flying fish and... any other fish, but it worked. Not too thick, the subtle fish aroma alongside the rich とんこつ soup was perfect for the cold night in the mountains. I think an interesting touch would be a small dollop of bright orange flying fish eggs on the top. Too artistic?

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The salt ramen wasn't bad either, made with high quality salt. Also, it was served with a lemon wedge. I've never seen that before.

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Some local spices added a nice touch.

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So Nagano was cast in a bad light by the overly salty meal the day before, and redeemed by this smaller shop.

If you ever find your way to Nagano, enjoy.