Ramen Noodle Burger Matsufujiya has arrived at Yataimura Food Court in Shirokiya at Ala Moana Center for a limited engagement, from June 3 to 22, 2014. This, in comparison to what are usually more traditional Japanese Ramen shops that set up there.
Let’s check out Matsufujiya’s menu…
If I were with someone to share it, I’d definitely order the Combo with the Hot Dog, just to see how Japanese do Hot Dogs, however that wasn’t the case.
Before I continue, let me just say, as I’ve encountered with other Ramen vendors here from Japan, we had a serious language barrier, as my Nihon-go (Japanese language) skills are now VERY rusty (I used to rock it!), and the Nihongin cooks of Matsufujiya could barely speak any Eigo (English). On top of that, the local cashier didn’t speak a LICK of Japanese, so I had no translator. Therefore I couldn’t get much details out of them about the source of the beef (they said it’s from Japan), or other processes that go into this here Ramen Noodle Burger.
That said (and from little I could decipher), the other than the fresh lettuce, tomato and green onion, the all-beef patty, ramen noodle buns, cheese and mayo are imported from and made by Japanese from Japan. So there you go. Of course the idea and name in its most popular American form gives credit to Keizo Shimamoto out of New York. Which is probably why they’re calling it “Ramen Noodle Burger” and not “Ramen Burger”.
Here’s one order that came out which included crinkle-cut fries and bacon within the Ramen Noodle Burger…
If you go back and look at the menu, you’ll notice each additional “recommended” topping of Cheese, Tomato and Bacon runs $1.50 each, which is a little higher than the norm for a “haute” burger joint, yet expected.
However I decided to keep it basic only because I wanted to taste their Ramen Noodle Burger in its most unadulterated form. Especially being this is the very first time I’m trying a Ramen Burger. Hajimemashita yo. Yay!
Presenting my order, the one, the only, Ramen Noodle Burger Matsufujiya…
Notice the generous drizzling of Cupie Mayonnaise, which is a VERY RICH Japanese Mayonnaise that has a higher concentration of egg yolk in it. Good stuff! It’s flavored with “something” however I couldn’t pinpoint what it was.
Size-wise, its all-beef burger patty weighs in at a Godzilla-stomping 5 pounds, making this Ramen Burger a beast! Nah, just kidding, it’s actually about the size of large “slider”, where I’d estimate the patty itself to weigh in approximately 2 to 3 oz. after being cooked, or just a tad under 1/4 pound.
As it’s usually done, Matsufujiya’s Ramen Noodle “buns” are preformed and pan-fried to order. They’re the “nama” ramen noodle type, meaning they’re essentially fresh ramen noodles.
The ramen noodle “bun” set (top and bottom) looked like they were frozen when taken out and placed in the pan, however I didn’t bother to confirm that because of said language barrier. Sigh.
So opting not to add melted cheese, tomato or bacon, their “core” Ramen Noodle Burger includes Mayonnaise, Lettuce, Green Onion, and a VERY GENEROUS slathering of thick Teriyaki Sauce.
I have tears of Teri’ Sauce joy right now. lol
I repeat, a VERY GENEROUS SLATHERING OF TERIYAKI SAUCE…
OK, enough with the “glamour” poses. Let’s so do this! Hai, itadakimasu…
Notice I coated the ramen noodle “bun” in the extra Teri’ sauce for extra goodness.
And? Oh yeah. I’m feelin’ it. Definitely feelin’ it. Let’s go in again…
The key to this Ramen Noodle Burger is fortunately, well, the Ramen Noodle “Bun”.
It’s in a word: SUGOI (AWESOME)!!! It has the perfect level of crispiness and crunchiness on the outside, while the inside is perfectly glutenous and glued together, where it keeps its integrity throughout the ramen burger eating experience.
And “experience” is what it is, as if you’ve never tried a Ramen Noodle Burger or Saimin Noodle Burger before, it will certainly have you “tripping out” on its unique play on textures and flavors in comparison to a bread-based bun hamburger.
While this beef may be from Japan, it’s certainly not Kobe, yet it’s very fresh tasting, with just the right balance of fat to lean goin’ on. Ultimately, it’s as beefy tasting as your typical all-American burger.
Adding to the nicely charred medium-cooked all-beef patty was that luscious Teriyaki sauce. OMG, Matsufujiya’s Teriyaki Sauce is fantastic! I’m admittedly not a big Teri’ fan, however if it’s done properly, being caramelized over some good meat – or in this case burger – I’m totally diggin’ it. And this Teri’ Sauce was money. Thick, robust and savory, with just the right level of sweetness, and from I could detect, a hint of ginger goin’ on, which I always appreciate.
Size-wise, being a bit larger than your typical “slider”, it may seem small when looking at it, however after eating it, it’s surprisingly filling, at least for me. Then again, I eat “like a bird” so take that particular opinion with a strand of ramen noodles (get it?).
Wrapping this up, 4 SPAM Musubi for Ramen Noodle Burger Matsufujiya. They’ve indoctrinated me into the world of the Ramen Burger on a very positive note, as did Tanaka Saimin do for me with their Saimin Burger. All I could ask more of from this is perhaps using a better quality beef… oh like say Kulana Free Range from the Big Island, and that’s about it. Otherwise, they’ve pretty much aced the Ramen Burger as far as I’m concerned from a newbie’s perspective.
So if you’ve already tried either the L&L or Tanaka Saimin Burger, however have yet to try a Ramen Burger, it’s awaiting you now at Yataimura Food Court in Shirokiya at Ala Moana over at Ramen Noodle Burger Matsufujiya. Highly recommended!
Ramen Noodle Burger Matsufujiya
Yataimura Food Court at Shirokiya in Ala Moana Center
June 6 to 22, 2014 limited engagement
(4) Excellent. Worth another visit or purchase. (Winnahz!)
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P.S. Since I was in the area last night, might as well check out the “action” upstairs at Mai Tai’s, where Ilona Irvine happened to be singing…
Which actually brings back childhood memories, as my best friend throughout elementary school at Heeia in Kaneohe was next door neighbors to the Irvine ohana. And whenever me and the boys came over to play ball at his house and hang out, we always admired her singing, which she often did at her house. Last night Ilona was performing with this female group based out of Pearl City and Waianae, who were performing with Nesian Nine….
All I can say is, move over Beyonce and Destiny’s Child… Pearl City and Waianae is in da’ HOUSE! Wow, do they have some PIPES!