Marukame Udon – Waikiki, HI

Happy soggy Sunday everyone! What a weekend forecast, did you folks get the text message earlier today? I was freaked out at first because it was the first one I ever received from emergency alerts, I thought it was great though! Hope you are all doing well. We had a bit of craziness at work due to the power outage but everything was back to normal just in time to go to work on Friday.

The famed Marukame Udon! They have been open for quite a while and haven’t slowed since day one. They have even opened a location in downtown. So two great locations with awesome parking options. That was dripping in sarcasm wasn’t it?  I took the trek out to Waikiki recently to give them a try! I parked at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and walked over. It was a short but hot walk…and the place does not have air conditioning! I came back and went to the food court to buy something to get validation for the parking. Here’s a tip for you, you have to spend at least $10 to get the validation. Here’s a second tip, everyone in the food court has terrible customer service. When I went to pay for my parking ticket, it would have cost $10 for parking so it’s good I got something in exchange. Anyway, a real quick update today! I had an…interesting experience.


140525-02Regular Ontama Udon – Cold

The noodles were pretty good. Actually they were very firm which I don’t mind at all. The cold noodles hit the spot on this hot day. I thought their udon and sauce was good, but nothing I need to return quickly for. Their seats are always filled but the way this place works, someone is always leaving as you are ready to sit and eat!

140525-03Fish Cake Tempura and Shrimp Tempura

Here’s my funny story about this visit. Well you get in line, you let the cook know which style udon you want. They prepare it up really quick and hand it over to you, you then walk over to the hot tempura bar and musubi bar before you hit the cashier. The tempura are all set out with tongs ready to be selected. I wasn’t really paying attention to everyone ahead of me so as I reach the musubi bar, I start to grab my own musubi by hand. I got a stern scolding from the lady behind the bar about having to use the tongs. The tongs were tucked away on the side…for you to grab your individually wrapped musubi. Yes, I was trying to grab for my own plastic wrapped musubi and was told to use tongs. It was a bit ridiculous if you ask me – isn’t that what the plastic wrap is for? I didn’t take pictures of the musubi but the salmon onigiri was not great. The salmon was incredibly salty which overpowered the whole musubi…or was it cause I was salty from the experience? Hehe, in any case…I’m glad I got to try this place but I am definitely not itching to return soon.

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.

Yakitori Glad – Kaimuki, HI

I love me some good yakiniku. The izakaya style shops that we have in Hawaii are all great! Yakitori Glad opened about 2 years ago and I have heard nothing but great reviews. On a whim, Kristian and I decided to give this place a try without a reservation. First of all, you should make reservations because this place is busy! They were able to squeeze us in because we were a table of 2 and were able to get out before 7pm. Yay! I think the biggest draw for this place is that everything is priced at $3.90. It was kind of funny to see the different cup sizes of the same beer for the same price. The Chinese in me says always buy the biggest size but I know not everyone does. The McDonald’s here in Hawaii sells all their soda sizes for $1 but I try to keep it to the medium size to make myself feel better. 😛 Enough talking, let’s get to the food!!

140216-14Store Front – busy busy busy! The staff are all so awesome though, super nice folks.

140216-01Special menu on the wall. Super cute!


140216-03Mo-mo Spicy Teriyaki – very good. Nice and moist and the sauce was delicious, not too spicy!

140216-04Buta Bara – one of our favorite dishes of the night. Nicely seasoned and grilled pork. In fact, we ordered one more of this because it was so good!

140216-05Tsukune Cheese – Chicken meatball with melted cheese on top. It was pretty good but I can’t help to compare this to Kohnotori. I don’t remember Kohnotori having a chicken meatball with cheese but their chicken meatball (tsukune) is the best!

140216-06Gyu Kushi – grilled meat. Least favorite of the night, dry and a bit rough. I wouldn’t recommend this one.


140216-08Kawa Suage – Chicken Skin!! I thought it was okay but it wasn’t seasoned enough. Kohnotori definitely wins in the Chicken Skin category. It’s just too bad they are out of it so often.


140216-10Tebasaki-shio – Barbeque chicken wings. It was okay, but nothing memorable.

140216-11Ebi Karaage – one of the specials on the wall! Soft shell shrimp fried up karaage style. It was SO good. And yes, the shell/head/tail were all edible!


140216-13Momo Glad-yaki – this is one of the highlighted dishes on the menu. It was pretty good! Good portions!

How was our experience? Great! I would definitely recommend this place to others! They do have a small parking lot in the back but it is pretty messy to park in. The lot is small and tight. Even with my corolla…I was like…wow how can a bigger car park well in this lot? They have the open lot in back along with a really small parking garage…I didn’t even try to go in the garage. Give them a try! Kristian, feel free to add your comments…it’s been a few weeks!