Thursday, September 26, 2019

天理スタミナラーメン (Tenri Stamina Ramen in Nara)

天理スタミナラーメン 近鉄奈良駅前店

Mention Tenri Stamina (天理スタミナラーメン), and any local from Nara will know what you are talking about. Refer to it as Tensuta (天スタ), an amalgamation of the name, and you'll sound like a pro.

I wanted to visit the honten, the original shop, but it is a good 40 minutes from Nara Station. The shop garnered fame over the past decades and now has many branches in the area. The one closest to the station would have to do.

This is stamina-style. Stamina is thrown around in Japanese to mean something that is hearty, something that gives you energy. Garlic and nira, or garlic chives, are prevalent. Meat is also a common denominator in the world of stamina.

I love it. Rough and intense. There is a bit of spice, and you can add much more heat if you like.

Cabbage and carrots round this one out. Despite looking like a meaty miso mess, this bowl here is surprisingly veggie.

Garlicky gyoza are a must.

Of course, energy-giving stamina ramen also has the opposite effect, giving customers a serious food coma. We rolled into the empty second-floor dining area to find one asleep on the tatami, napping off his bowl of noodles. It is definitely NOT an employee taking a mid-shift snooze, so if anyone from the Tensuta corporation reads this, don't fire this poor guy because of my comments.

Official site here.