Have you ever heard of cases where a gourmet orders an item at a place during a casual visit and ends up making a great culinary discovery? Nmaganu-ie, near the top-ranked beach in Miyako Island is just such a place.
The signboard menu lists original Miyako soba, which you can enjoy either hot or cold. The Hot variety is a hybrid recipe combining the best features of Okinawa-style soba and ramen. The special soup, made from slow-simmered pork bones goes perfectly with the Miyako soba noodles. Chinese-style roast pork and bamboo preserved bamboo shoots (used often in ramen) top off the whole nicely.
The cold noodle dish combine sesame seeds with chewy raw noodles. The topping is a delicious pairing of preserved plum and okra. The sourness of the plum overlaying the sesame flavor is truly refreshing.
Hot or cold, this shop’s noodles are sure to satisfy. Once you try them, you will definitely want to come again.
In the Miyako dialect, “Nmaganu-ya” means “grandchild’s house.” This high school café concept is unique to Japan. It came to Miyako in 2013 with the high school students of Miyako at the heart of the project, making menu selections, creating recipes and running the place. Shifts are divided with the adults handling weekdays and students working on weekends.
The inspiration for the shop came from a lecture by Mr. Masayuki Kishikawa of the Taki Town Office of Mie Prefecture who spoke about a project called “Mago-ya” upon which the television drama “High School Restaurant” was based. Mr. Kishikawa’s words on ways in which students can revitalize their community made the Miyako Island students realize that might do the same for their own community.
Soon afterward, students from the high school’s Student Work Club took charge and worked to develop the café’s operation from product development, to production to sales and even accounting.
As much as possible, local ingredients, including locally cultivated fruits and vegetables, locally raised chicken and pork. The menu features juushii (flavored rice) made with mozuku (seaweed), desserts using mango, brown sugar, red sweet potato, sweet beans and miso, all locally produced.
Students of all types -- future pastry chefs, doctors or nurses – came together are supported by adults in their community and won the First National High School Mago-no-Mise Gran Prix that was held in Mie Prefecture.
They also had a chance to learn about industries in Okayama Prefecture. Nmanganu-ya is a place where high school students can experience different things and where visitors can encounter some unique aspectsof the island. Please stop by when you visit Miyako Island.
Ngamanu-ya, Farmers Market, Atarasu Ichiba
Address: 1440-1 Hirara Nishizato, Miyako Island