Travel Eats: Marukame Udon in Hawaii
Marukame Udon has always been a part of my heart… We first tasted their handmade noodles from Japan and fell in love.
Their tasty udon is made fresh daily on the premises and all bowls are under $6. What is there not to love?
Yes, fresh udon!
The food is served cafeteria style so the first thing you do is pick your udon, then add all the a la carte tempura and musubi you desire and then you pay. That’s it! Easy, right?
Tempura and musubi includes… Shrimp tempura! Pumpkin and sweet potato tempura! Croquette, asparagus and eggplant tempura! Fried chicken tempura! Onion bomb tempura! Calamari and fishcake tempura! Tuna mayo, ginger beef and salmon musubi! Tofu wrap, kombu, spam and pickled plum musubi!
Since we were in Hawaii, we had to try their two locations. Marukame in downtown is slightly different from the one in Waikiki. The downtown one is definitely less busy and crowded. And most importantly has a different selection of udon types. Paitan udon (exclusive to the downtown Marukame Udon location) is so rich, flavorful, and comforting… I would vote for that one any day! In Japanese, “paintan” means “milky” or “white soup” which is succulent, creamy and rich. It is usually a rich pork and chicken based soup. I enjoyed it so much that I accidentally bit the inside of my mouth because it tasted extremely amazing!
At the downtown location, I ordered the paitan udon with soft boiled egg, shrimp tempura, fried chicken tempura, sweet potato tempura, pumpkin tempura and calamari tempura. The batter on the fried chicken is lighter than the traditional fried chicken batter which was very crispy and flavorful. As I mentioned earlier, the paitan broth was rich with flavor and the noodles were just the right consistency; chewy but not too chewy and incredibly soft but not soggy. Perfection!
At the downtown location, I ordered the niku udon with pumpkin tempura, shrimp tempura (of course!), calamari tempura, sweet potato tempura, fishcake tempura, fried chicken tempura and salmon musubi.
A very balanced bowl of goodness! I highly recommend this spot if you are looking for a tasty meal at a very reasonable price.
More on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/marukame-udon-honolulu-2