TK Yamada, who spent more than a decade working and roasting for other cafés, now has his own spot with an extraordinarily pleasant lānai.
KaSnack Attack! Do 7-Eleven Hawai‘i’s New Ramens Taste Like Restaurant Kine?
At $4.99, we had fo’ find out: Do da new Pork Tonkotsu and Spicy Tan Tan even come close?
Me, I grew up on saimin. My childrens are growing up with ramen. And to me das dangerous.
Cuz da trend I see for ramen places is they like for try invent fancier and fancier kine ramens so they can charge more, adding truffles and whatnot. But I tink lotta local people balk at paying more than $20 for ramen. I remember seeing one ramen being advertised for like $23, and I wuz all like das too much, brah. I tink lotta people must’ve agreed cuz couple months later they reduced da price to $19.95. Lol.
Anyhow, I glad tings is finally moving in da opposite direction. 7-Eleven Hawai‘i came up with two new premium, budget-conscious ramen offerings that go for $4.99 each: pork tonkotsu ramen and spicy tan tan ramen.
EVERY SINGLE TING YOU NEED FO’ KNOW
I get high hopes for these ramens. Cuz couple years ago I wuz really impressed when 7-Eleven Hawai’i launched their Local Style Saimin. That one I thought wuz surprisingly really good. And cheap too!
And that was after they came out with their first bowls of ramen.
So I went da first day the new premium Spicy Tan Tan and Pork Tonkotsu ramens came out and managed for get da last Spicy Tan Tan. Da Pork Tonkotsu wuz almost gone too. And nevah have signage up yet. Usually they get those little signs saying it’s new. So I guess before it wuz released, word must’ve been getting out already. Das means dis ting get buzz, brah.
As many people know, I no more one microwave, so I asked my aunty if I could borrow hers while she wuz at work. She asked if it wuz cuz I had to write something for Frolic again. She knows me so well.
J’like for 7-Eleven’s saimin, these also have just little bit liquid swishing around inside. It’s amazing you no need even add water. You just gotta microwave ’em for da suggested time of 160 seconds. (In case you wuz computing, das 2 minutes and 40 seconds. I had to tink for little while.)
Looks like da real deals once you microwave ’em, yeah. Da Spicy Tantan comes with some choi sum and spicy ground pork in one spicy sesame broth. Da Pork Tonkotsu one comes with Japanese style char siu, green onions and half a hard-boiled egg in one creamy pork and chicken broth. Da noodles stay cooked to perfection with just da right amount of chewiness.
Da Spicy Tan Tan, even though it looks spicy as heck, it’s just mildly spicy. I’m glad I can detect da sesame taste. Sometimes when people try make tan tan it ends up tasting more like just spicy soup. For da record, my favorite tan tan ramen is from Goma Tei. For me, there’s no other that can compare. But I gotta say, this 7-Eleven Spicy Tan Tan ramen is just as good as ones I tried from restaurants that sell theirs for $10 to $15.
Da Pork Tonkotsu one looks nice and creamy. If they don’t boil bones for hours and hours for make this broth, they somehow manage for make one really good approximation. Da char siu isn’t my favorite, cuz I only love Goma Tei’s char siu. I dunno if you can tell, but I really love Goma Tei. But I will say that this char siu is just as good as da kine you’d normally find in $10 ramens from other restaurants. Disappointing little bit is da egg. Most times ramen places get da prettier soft-boiled egg, but I guess soft-boiled can’t keep as long so they wuz force for go with hard-boiled.
While I’m eating this one, I’m caught off guard when my childrens (who already ate) hijack my food. Last month we went to one new ramen place and my childrens got ramen really similar to this Pork Tonkotsu one. It costed around $12, but they didn’t eat it. They didn’t like da noodles, they didn’t like da broth. They didn’t like anything about it. For da record, their favorite ramen place wuz da kinda pricey Agu’s, but das gone now. So I always thought my childrens just have really expensive ramen taste.
But then I see them devouring my ramen from 7-Eleven. And I realize: Good ramen don’t gotta be expensive. Cheap ramen exists. It’s good. You can find ’em at 7-Eleven Hawai‘i.
And our children not going drive us broke after all!