Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Another rainy day means another perfect day for ramen. This past un-sunny Sunday while trying to complete Operation: Halloween Costume, we decided to go to Taishoken. When we walked in, the waiter was just finishing up cleaning off a table. It’s a good thing we arrived when we did since every other chair in the place was taken and there were people waiting for seats the rest the time that we were there. We also came right on time for the lunch hour specials that are available between 11:00 – 2:00. They also have happy hour from 2:00 - 6:00 and 9:00 - 10:00 where everything is 10% off. Our order took about 20 minutes to arrive which is unusually long for a ramenya, however there was only one waiter for the 20 or so people eating.

I had my usual, shoyu ramen ($7.50). The shoyu ramen had a strong menma flavor and was load with toppings: Charsiu, menma, green onions nori and fishcake. Where some places load on the topings at the expensive of the noodles, this was not the case at Taishoken. I didnt even come close to finishing all my noodles here because there were tons. I even got the regular size order, but there is an option to get a large. I can't image how many noodles you'd get in a large. I was very happy to have oodles of noodles since they are just soo yummy, likely my favorite part of Taishoken. The noodles were thicker than most ramen noodles but still nice and firm and stayed that way till my last bite.

After digging around in my ramen for a bit, I realized that they forgot to add my requested shoyu egg. When I finally got the attention of the waitor, he apologized and quickly deliverd my egg. Well worth the wait.

In addition to my ramen, I also got a mini charsiu rice ($2.50). Served in a little rice bowl, the charsiu was tender and flavorful but not overly salty. The rice was also flavored with the charsiu and sesame.

Since Eric had never tried tsukenmen before, he order the Pirikara (spicy) tsukenmen ($9.50). Furikake and nori dominated the soups flavor with a bit of spice. The soup was oilier than usual ramen broths and nicely coated the cold noodles when dipped. Eric also ordered the regular size which is good thing because he also got a big heaping searving of them.

My friend had a lunchtime combo special ($8.45) which is the same size as their normal combo just a dollar cheaper since its served at lunch time. He had a mini miso ramen that had a strong miso soup flavor. In addition to the ramen, he also had a chicken katsu and rice. The katsu was moiste and tender but unfortunaely there were only 3 pieces. He quickly finished his meal and moved on to my mini charsiu rice.

Despite the longer than usual wait, we throughoughly enjoyed are visit to Taishoken and left happily stuffed.

Taishoken Ramen

903 Keeaumoku St
Ste C101A
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 955-8860

Parking: Metered street parking, paid lot in the back
Payment: Cash Only
Alcohol: None
Not So Typical Options: Tsukemen
Hours: Mon: CLOSED
Tu - Sat: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Sun: 11:00am - 8:30pm

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Taiyo Ramen

After spending too much time today browsing through Japanese ramen websites translated by the great google, I had to eat some ramen. I couldn't decide which ramenya to go to, so we ended up going to the first ramen shop we saw, Taiyo Ramen.

Located on the edge of Ala Moana Shopping Center, Taiyo ramen is part of a mini strip mall, that like its neighbor, has a packed parking lot at peak hours. Luckily, we found a spot right away, but many cars were circling the lot after a while. Korean owned and operated, Taiyo ramen's menu presents all the usual dishes you'd expect to see at a ramen shop with a Korea influence. Service was fast and our food arrived at our table just 5 minutes after we ordered.

Each table gets a tiny (size of a sauce dish) but tasty dish of kimchee with their order. The kimchee is crunchy and flavorful, but not overpowering with just a small spicy kick.

Since Taiyo Ramen is not the typical ramen shop, I decided to try something other than my usual Shoyu ramen. I order the Seafood Ramen - SPICY ($8.75). My ramen was loaded with toppings: cabbage, seaweed, green onions, carrots and a generous amount of seafood (squid, clams and shimp). The ramen was HUGE and the taste resembled the Korea ramen-like dish Champon/jjamppon. The seafood was the main flavor in the both and I asked for my ramen to be spicy, however there was not much kick to it.

Since my friend decided he didn't want to chance ruining his shirt with ramen-slurping splatter, he order the chicken katsu curry ($8.95). The curry had big chucks of onion and carrots and tasted like a typical Japanese curry, however it had a little spice and little less sweetness. The katsu was was juicy and still cruchy even though it was smothered in the curry.

With its quick service, big servings and Korean-hinted menu, Taiyo ramen was a nice change to my usual ramen eating.

Taiyo Ramen
451 Piikoi St, Ste 105
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 589-2123

Parking: Lot in front of restaurant
Payment: Cash Only
Alcohol: None
Not So Typical Options: Kimchee Frid Rice

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gyoza No Osho

On a gloomy and rainy Saturday, there's nothing better than a big bowl of ramen. This gloomy and rainy Saturday we made a trip out to Waikiki to eat at Gyoza No Osho in the King's Village. Unfortunately the King's Village parking lot was full when we arrived, but we luckily found some street parking right down the road.

There were just a few others eating when we arrived so we did not have to wait for a seat. The menu had the usual options, ramen, fried rice, and of course gyoza. But there were a few ramen choices that I've never seen before: Goma Ramen (sesame) and Crab Omelet Ramen. Beer and sake were also available. As usual on my first visit to a ramen shop, I decided to have the Shoyu ramen.

The noodles were nice and firm, but the shoyu base was a bit bland and the charsiu was dry.

My friend had the Garlic Ramen which tasted like a shoyu base with a lot of garlic. The soup had kind of a grainy texture and yummy big flakes of Garlic. He appreciated the fact that the bean sprouts did not outnumber the noodles.

And of course, with gyoza in the title of this ramen shop, we had to try some. We decided on the fried gyoza, but we also had the option of boiled and cheese gyoza. The price of the gyoza was just 3.95 for 6 nice size pieces. The gyoza came out perfectly fried and just seconds after we got our ramen.

Overall, the gyoza out shined the ramen. Service was excellent and very quick. I'd definitely visit again if I was in the area, but I probably wouldn't make a special trip into Waikiki.

Gyoza No Osho
131 Kaiulani Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-2161

Parking: Limited Garage Parking, Street Parking
Payment: Cash Only
Liquor: Sake, Asahi
Not so typical options: Cheese Gyoza

Friday, October 17, 2008

I love ramen. L-O-V-E. LOVE.

I love ramen. L-O-V-E. LOVE. I've been meaning to create a place to share my adventures in ramen-eating for some time, but for some reason or another, I just never got around to creating a blog. However, after having an entire bowl of ramen accidentally spilled all over my lap this past weekend, I took it as a sign that its about time I start sharing stories about my many ramen-ya visits.

So here it is. A simple record of my many ramen outings all around Hawaii and wherever else I find delightful bowl.