3 outta-da-box ramen bowls at Shirokiya
These unexpectedly good ramens aren't your typical ramens
Pesto Ramen, Gashoken
I wuz with couple pesto lovers when I first saw this and they wuz kinda snooty, brah. They firmly said, “Pesto only belongs with pasta!” But I wuz intrigued. This wuzn’t just ramen noodles mixed with pesto sauce. This is one fancy blend of pesto with da entire ramen: A Seamless combination of pesto and parmesan cheese with tonkotsu (pork bone) broth. Da ting also get char siu, green onion, chili pepper flakes, kikurage (cloud ear mushroom), grape tomato, along with one special sweet and spicy sauce.
I no normally eat pesto pasta, but I really liked this. I wuz surprised how much da pesto basil-ee flavor came through, yet it never overpowered da creamy pork broth. Da notes from da cheese and da tomato helped make this da perfect fusion of Japanese and Italian flavors. No be himakamaka about your pesto, try Gashoken’s pesto ramen!
$13.80, Gashoken, Shirokiya Japan Village Walk stall 22
Beefy Wild Ramen, Kamitoku Ramen
I always wondered how come ramen places use pork and chicken for make their ramen soup stock, but I never really see beef. So I had to wonder, does beef broth go good with ramen or what? Kamitoku answers my question with one definite “hell yeah,” as beef ramen is their specialty. They get several beef broth variations. I tried their top two customer favorites. Beefy Wild is their most popular bowl for its robust and garlicky beef flavor.
Their second most popular ramen, Beefy Shoyu, has more shoyu and bonito fish flavor in da broth. Da char siu beef is so melt-in-your-mouth tender. I liked da Beefy Shoyu better, but really both of ’em wuz excellent. Though I now know it is possible for make super ono ramen with beef broth, I still dunno how come more places don’t do it. Ah, who cares, just go Kamitoku and try allll their beefy variations.
$11.70 each, Kamitoku, Shirokiya Japan Village Walk stall 33
When I first tried this several months back, I got it cuz I wuz curious if this famous ramen place from Japan could even make one Hawaii local-style saimin. And I wuz surprised how well they succeeded. Their saimin tasted like da kine shrimp base, old school, mom-and-pop kine saimin-stand kine saimin.
However, when I went back again recently, I noticed nevah taste da same. So I asked da girl if they changed up da broth or what, cuz before it tasted like saimin broth, but now it tasted like ramen broth. Da girl looked shocked that I noticed or something, then she apologized and said, yes they changed it, it now had da broth they wuz famous for, their golden dashi broth das made from kombu, vegetables, and one special blend of smoked fishes. I think da toppings still da same. Comes with kamaboko, egg, green onion, white onion, parsley, and pork belly. But now you getting da taste of how saimin noodles would taste with one ramen broth.
I personally thought their saimin broth wuz surprisingly good, so I dunno why they switched it. Maybe wuz too hard for make one separate broth for just this one dish when everything else get their ramen broth. Still if you nevah try ’em yet, it’s definitely worth tasting for yourself how saimin noodles would taste with ramen broth. But now I stay left wondering… What makes saimin, saimin? Is this still saimin if da broth stay ramen? I would call this “Saimin Ramen,” but go try ’em for yourself and you tell me.
$12.00, Chanpontei, Shirokiya Japan Village Walk stall 35