One of the better ramen restaurants in Agano City is Noroshi Ramen in the small town of Yasuda (30 minute drive from Niigata City). There is also a shop in Shibata (about the same distance from the city) which I have never visited. The Yasuda shop is small with three tatami tables (each seats four people) and there are around seven counter seats. This place is always busy when they open, with a queue that stretches out the door even before opening time at 5:30PM, so if you’re not planning on spending too much time in this little town, then it’s best not to wait for the tatami tables if you’re a couple or going solo, since there are always families waiting for the ones that have already been snapped up by the early queuers. As you go in, choose what you'd like from the ticket vending machine and hand it to the person who'll greet you as you walk through the second door.
Servings are big here, this is an ideal place to come if you are hungry. Seldom am I able to able to finish the standard soy sauce two-piece chashu (roasted pork). While it is difficult to finish up the entire bowl, that doesn’t mean that it’s quantity over quality in this place, not at all in fact.
The (made on the premises) ramen they serve here has a nice, thick, almost udon quality to it and can be described as pleasantly chewy. The broth – simmered in pork bones of course – has a deep, rich, meaty flavour, and it is just the ticket on a cold snowy night (welcome to winters in Niigata). The chashu - which is slow roasted in the ovens behind the counter - is exceptionally tender and flavourful. The noodles are topped off with a generous mound of seasoned bean sprouts, chopped cabbage and garlic, and then the pork. The drippings from which are incorporated into the aforementioned broth, and they all come together to make a delightfully warm feeling. I often leave Noroshi feeling as though I could just fall asleep very peacefully, and while I never really experienced ramen before coming to Japan, this is definitely a comfort food restaurant.
The prices are very reasonable (¥600 for soy sauce ramen with single chashu, ¥700 for the miso version, add ¥50 for each additional slice). They also serve gyouza, chashu rice bowls, and mini sets for kids.
〒959-2221 Niigata-ken, Agano-shi, Yasuda, 1973−1
TEL: +81 250-68-5541