How’s your weekend coming along? Mines is goin’ GREAT. Well deserved after yet another grueling week at the office. That in mind, I celebrated this past “pauhana Friday” with a pipin’ hot bowl of Shoyu Ramen from Yama-Arashi in Shirokiya, along with an ice cold glass of Sapporo biru desu. Hai, nomisashita ga, Kanpai yo!
Yama-Arashi Ramen is located in the far back corner of the always incredible Yataimura Food Court & Beer Garden at Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center for an encore engagement from back in December of 2013, here again from February 3 to 17, 2014.
Getting straight to the menu, I’m not for spicy ramen known as “Tan Tan” or “Tantanmen”, going right for the Shoyu Ramen. You know me, ‘cuz.
After a brief few minutes of wait while the cook prepared my ramen, voila.
Gosh, I don’t know what I want to do first: should I eat the shoyu ramen, or have a sip of the ice cold Sapporo? Tough choice! lol
Seriously, now it’s time to observe the ramen and take in its “ichinen” (life force). Contemplate its meaning in my life, and what life overall is about at this very moment. Why does the ghost of my past’ severely broken heart continue to haunt me downstairs in Ala Moana Center to this day? (that’s for you, Amy). Why do I prefer my Galaxy Note 3 over an Apple iPhone 5s? Why does the new “R2-D2/Darth Vader like” Apple Mac Pro “tower” look so freakin’ cool and completely smoke, speed-wise on the giant, crispety-crunchy Apple “Retina” Display (in the Apple Store downstairs), yet costs so effing expensive? Whoah man, life is full of such challenges!
First I sample the broth. And? Sugoi! Very, VERY oishii shoyu ramen broth!
Next the noodles. And? Sugoi again! Full-on Kansui flavor and texture profile, being “eggy” and firm. Ramen noodles really don’t get better than this.
Nex tthe Chashu.
And? Nice. Very nice. Buttery-tender with ample amount of fat, and well-balanced in pork and marinade flavor.
Next the Menma. And? Decent, but not as good as Ramen Kai’s Menma. This one totally tastes store-bought, not house-made.
More slurping, and I’m really enjoying Yama-Arashi’s Shoyu Ramen. Nom-nom-nom….
Oh, that’s right, there’s an ice cold draft pint (for just $2!) of Sapporo to work through. And? Lovely… and WELL DESERVED! F… I busted my OKOLE OFF this past couple weeks at work. Give me a whole pitcher of Sapporo, please!
There was also Bok Choy and Bean Sprouts in the ramen, which to me is a HUGE no-no, and took away 1 whole SPAM Musubi rating for that very notion. Ouch. To me, Chinese Cabbage and Bean Sprouts totally “sucks the Japanese” out of what’s supposed to be Japanese Ramen! Now it suddenly tastes like a hybrid Korean and Chinese Noodle soup. NOT good. Not that I’m against Chinese or Korean Noodle Soups, as I love them all in an of themselves, but don’t mess with Japanese Ramen, damned it!
And what to do with that huge sheet of Nori? Take it out and rest my chopsticks on it? Or eat it with “something” in this bowl of Shoyu Ramen? Well, that’s exactly what I did, wrapping it around the noodles and whackin’ it. And? Meh.
Interestingly, there were these bits of ground pork sitting on the bottom of the broth as I got down to it. I suppose for added flavor in the broth, which the broth did indeed have, bustling with “Umami”.
The ultimate compliment to any chef are dishes that come back “polished”, and that’s exactly what I did with Yama-Arashi’s Shoyu Ramen. Oishiikata! Take the bean sprouts and Bok Choy out, and I’d likely give it a solid 3 or 4 SPAM Musubi rating.
@ Yataimura Food Court & Beer Garden on the 3rd floor of Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center (Honolulu), for a limited engagement from February 3 to 17, 2014.
The Tasty island rating (for the Shoyu Ramen):
(2) Good. I’m glad I tried it.