Salmon Ikura Bowl – Hokkaido Ramen Santouka

Just a quick post today. This is one of my favorites from Hokkaido Ramen Santouka! If I wasn’t such a glutton for noodles, I would get this by itself and just gobble it down. The rice is perfectly cooked, the salmon is freshly flaked and the ikura. How do I explain ikura? An explosion of flavor. Mmm…soo good…



Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Post 1
Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Post 2

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Honolulu, HI

Another post on Hokkaido Ramen Santouka! I’ve been back at least twice since my first bad experience. Service has gotten better and it’s not as busy as it has been in the past. I think the ramen is good – but not the best. I actually went to Japanese Kai Ramen this week and that might be my current favorite. I’ll have a post up on that one next week sometime. Let me share the pictures from my newest visit to Hokkaido, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs and we ordered the bigger size…by the way, my first visit is detailed here.

140404-01Miso Ramen

140404-02You really do feast with your eyes first…doesn’t this look delicious? My friend had this dish, she enjoys the broth and char siu. I think she prefers a firmer noodle but I wonder…maybe next time we could ask for firmer noodles. I think they would comply!

140404-03Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen

140404-04Red hot! Well not for me, but it looks red hot!

140404-05Toroniku. This is the limited quantity special each day. The char siu made of the pork cheeks which is extra tender and soft…so good yet so bad for you.  They leave the char siu off of the broth I think to preserve the softness and prevent overcooking.

140404-06Not sure why they leave the other toppings off too. Here are the toppings I tried to place nicely. Good dish, broth definitely looks more spicy than it actually is. I still say it’s great to see these new Japanese ramen shops pop up. Have you folks tried them all yet? 🙂

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka – Honolulu, HI

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka is a fairly new ramen restaurant that opened in the Kaheka Don Quijote shopping center.  I was surprised when I heard it was a full on sit-in restaurant – if you folks know Don Q well enough, you know the aisle of shops are all take-out places.  I was pretty excited to give this ramen shop a try!  I did get to give it a try but before I share the pictures, I gotta vent about what happened!  You can skip the next paragraph if you don’t enjoy angry vents.  🙂

So my friend and I came here on a lunch break the other day at about 2 something in the afternoon.  Both of us were starving at that point and had a very limited time frame to eat.  We figured 2 something on a weekday would be slow…I guess for this place – they are never slow.  But it wasn’t crazy busy, there were two people in front of us on the sign in sheet so we signed in and waited patiently outside.  Well you can see into the small restaurant so I was constantly glancing in (ha!  Sorry diners).  Anyhow, as we were waiting, a few others came by and put their name on the list.  I wasn’t paying much attention only knowing that we were at this point the next to go in.  So we’re standing there and these two girls who I KNOW was waiting with the rest of us (and behind me and my friend) decides to just walk into the restaurant and ask for a table.  There were a few tables free but I think the wait staff hadn’t caught up yet.  So the clueless waitress inside seats them right away.  My friend and I walk in and inform them that we were next and asked why they were seated first.  The waitress goes to talk to them but then comes back and leaves them in their seats.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  At that point though, we get seated and it’s like really close to them and they can see us.  What a comfortable dining experience (not!).  Not once did the waitress apologize and those girls probably gave us stink eye the whole meal.  Those girls are evil.  You know why?  They knew we were all waiting and they had signed in after us and still decided to walk  into the restaurant to forcefully get a table.  It’s was so incredibly rude and calculating – sounds silly for me to get mad but I hate when people ignore morals and common decency.  We all have to wait – wait your damn turn.  The waitress did not apologize once and I think she handled the whole situation so poorly.  Not once did she communicate why she did what she did even though we called her on it.  I mean, if there were tables opening up she could have told us all – I’m sorry I mistakingly seated them but we do have tables opening up so I will be seating you all very shortly.  Something simple like that I would totally be okay.  Mistakes happen.  And no give me that she’s new and don’t know their waiting list – that restaurant runs on that sign-in sheet.  Okay rant over.  When we got into the restaurant, we were served by another woman who seemed like she was either an owner/manager.  She was very good.

131216-01Ahhh…was so worth it.  Yes I got a side of salmon and ikura rice.  No regrets!  

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Hokkaido Santouka Ramen – Ala Moana, HI

Hokkaido Santouka Ramen fix satisfied! I can’t choose my favorite ramen place because they all serve such different types of broth and noodles. Hokkaido Santouka is definitely perfect for the days that you want more of a creamy broth. My friend had a coupon for free toppings so obviously we had to go, even if the coupon was worth 50 cents…lol.

150211-01Shio Chashu Ramen – free bamboo upgrade!



Kara Miso Chashu Ramen

My bowl of noodles! I usually don’t enjoy miso ramen but this is the only one on the menu that I can get spicy so I go for it. I enjoy it very much. This time, I asked for firm noodles. My friend said she felt like it just tasted undercooked. I thought it tasted great, because I enjoy firmer noodles. Then as they sit in the broth, they still remain somewhat al dente. Yummmm….

Japanese Ramen Kai – Ala Moana, HI

I’ve talked about Agu Ramen and Hokkaido Santouka Ramen in previous posts: here and here. Japanese Ramen Kai came on the scene around the same time as the other two and I finally got to try it! I gotta say, out of the three, Japanese Ramen Kai is currently my favorite! Let me share some pictures to show you why…


140419-02Miso Ramen – $9.00

140419-03Look at that char siu…drool…

140419-04Goma Tan Tan Ramen – $9.00 plus Aji-tama (shoyu egg) – $1.50



140419-07I got the tan tan ramen and I LOVED it. It was delicious. See how thick the broth is? How does it compare to Goma Tei? I definitely think Japanese Ramen Kai is better. You can tell they grind the sesame seeds fresh because there is a bit of grittyness (not in a bad way) in the broth. While the broth looks heavy and thick – I don’t think it plays off that way when you eat it. I would definitely recommend it! The egg was good, not great. Not soft boiled but at least it wasn’t overcooked.

140419-08Gyoza – $5.00

140419-09Gyoza innard shot. It’s your typical gyoza, nothing special or bad about it.

Japan 2015 – Day 1 Food

We got a bit lost looking for our apartment initially but once we found it and dropped our bags, we laid around a bit playing with our devices since we had wifi. I really learned how much I depend on the internet through this trip. Forreal. Anyway, after a while we decided to head out and get ourselves some dinner. We were tired and weren’t in the mood to have confused conversations with restaurants. We finally ended up in a ramen restaurant. The waiter was very nice but didn’t know English. We figured we could point at things in the menu. Soon the waiter disappeared and he actually got help…his colleague spoke English! Really good English! That was super cool.

And guess what? I realized that we were eating at Santouka Ramen! Yes! The sister restaurant of our very own Hokkaido Ramen Santouka! I was really happy to realize that and noticed this restaurant had the same exactly bowls that we have in Hawaii. How nice and comforting that was. Our waiter told us a story about going to Seattle to teach people about Japanese culture but getting arrested at the airport and being sent back to Japan. That was quite the interesting story to hear, didn’t know how to follow that! I’ll just follow that with food.

150405-01Tan Tan version of their Ramen – of course I had to get it!


150405-03Very open kitchen. This whole restaurant is just a bar against the kitchen. I watched as the soup was boiling away on the side.

150405-04My friend’s ramen, yummm

150405-05Tan Tan Ramen! This was mine. It was delicious. I enjoyed it a lot. I thought the brown stuff on top was meat from the picture but it wasn’t. It was like preserved chinese cabbage, I like that though. Very good!

150405-06Free egg! We initially ordered gyoza but they had run out. The waiter was very nice and told us that to make up for it, my friend and I would get free egg! He talked it up. He didn’t have to, I know Japan eggs are awesome! Very nice gesture, very delicious gesture. This dinner was nice and warm for a cold night. It was a nice end for a crazy travel day. Day 2 coming soon!