Noodle Tuesday: Kiwami Ramen

Clockwise from left: tsukumen with spicy dipping sauce, gyoza, shoyu ramen

When Kiwami Ramen closed in the Waikiki Shopping Plaza about a year ago, noodle fans were left with nowhere to go for tsukemen ramen, in which the noodles and the broth—more of a concentrated dipping sauce—are served separately. But recently, Kiwami reopened on Keeaumoku St., in the short-lived udon shop Tsuku Tsuku Tei.

Will Kiwami succeed where the previous noodle tenant could not? Here's hoping it does: Kiwami's noodles are refreshing in their lightness, as compared to the heartier, pork-forward ramen broths that have been filling the bowls du jour.

The tuskumen ramen comes with cold or warm noodles, a fat, chewy, wavy variety that allows the dipping sauce to cling to its edges. Sauce options: shoyu, shio (salt), and spicy, which is not very. The broth is not meant for drinking straight up: it's salty by itself, but the perfect complement for the noodles.

The shoyu ramen is another popular order at Kiwami: here, the noodles are straighter and thin, the chicken-based shoyu broth clear and subtle, the bowl topped with bamboo shoots, green onions and a thin slice of charsiu—this, a mere garnish, rather than the star of the bowl.

Kiwami Ramen, 641 Keeaumoku St., 955-1122,

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