I got to sample 2 places in Hawaii for Ramen. For the longest time the world of Ramen was always Ichiban. Then I was introduced to Shin Ramen and I was content. That is until I went to Japan and had ramen that literally rocked my world. Since then the world of ramen as I knew it completely changed. I never knew that ramen could be so complex. My idea of a complex ramen was to drop an egg in it after I shut the burner off. One of these days I will track down that mythical ramen that now only lives in my memory. All I know is that is was by Shinjuku station near the hotel that we were staying at.

I had tried to find ramen that was comparable since then but have always been disappointed. In the bay area, the place that one says to go is Santa Ramen in San Mateo. Although the ramen is indeed delicious, it is still nowhere near the quality that you can get in Japan. Beside who wants to wait a minimum of an hour for that? Elsewhere there is a small chain called Ryowa that looks like it can be great with the set combo of ramen, gyoza, and fried rice, but falls short. The closest thing to authentic ramen in the east bay IMHO is Norikonoko, run by a mom and pop who obviously take great care in their down home cooking. Once I thought ramen was like New York style pizza where people say that you just can’t make it elsewhere in the world due to the water.

That is what I thought until I went to Hawaii. I stumbled across this Ramen Nakamura while walking along the strip in Honolulu.

Ramen in Hawaii

I ordered the tonkotsu ramen, while Courtney ordered the miso, and my sister ordered the Oxtail ramen. The tonkotsu had a rich, deep broth and the noodles had a nice bounce to them when you chewed them. It was the closest thing to real Japanese ramen that I’ve had outside of Japan. I also stumbled across a ramen review site of Honolulu called onokinegrindz, which lists and reviews various ramen places. Ramen Nakamura got a good but not great review, so I’m curious what better ramen lies on the island of Oahu.

more Ramen in Hawaii

Before we left I had to try another ramen place. We decided to go to Kiwami Ramen since it was close to our hotel. Again the ramen was consistently good with texture and flavor, although not as good as Ramen Nakamura. I will definitely do some more ramen hunting when I return to Hawaii. Till then I will dream of returning to Japan and finding that one ramen place.