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Anyone Try Santouka Ramen Yet?

c
curiousgeo Dec 26, 2013 12:43 PM

Just wondering if any Hawaii CH'rs have tried this place and what your impression is? Going to go there one day with my son who is back home for winter break and is a shoyu ramen lover. Thanks.

  1. l
    ladybugthepug Mar 6, 2014 06:44 PM

    At noon there was already a decent sized waiting list. Thankfully I was only one. After putzing around in Don Quixote for about a half an hour, I was second on the list. Chairs at the bar are very plush and comfortable. The place is spotless.

    I ordered the medium bowl of shoyu. Couldn't go overboard due to the tasting menu that was slated for dinner. Broth was flavorful without being overly rich. Ordered with an aji-tama, it's a solid bowl of noodles. Server was a little slow getting me the check, but overall is was a great experience. I'd definitely go back.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ladybugthepug
      indelibledotink Mar 6, 2014 07:18 PM

      what was the damage?

      1. re: indelibledotink
        l
        ladybugthepug Mar 6, 2014 07:42 PM

        It wasn't bad. Off the top of my head $12 maybe?

    2. indelibledotink Jan 26, 2014 09:00 PM

      was at kaheka today, hunting for drinkable, non salted shaoxing wine (donki has it) and checked out santouka ramen. the prices were prohibitive $9+, there was no takeout, and a wait, so my service dog and i took a pass. the ramen looked good, and i was thinking about the comments on the pork cheek. they also have a version of saimin which i was interested in. i do think we will give this place a try soon if the weather keeps up like this, price be damned. i like how they offer different levels of chewiness for the noodles.

      1 Reply
      1. re: indelibledotink
        m
        macsak Feb 27, 2014 06:15 PM

        hmm
        interesting
        they never offered me a chewiness option
        i did like the 3 size options, although as others have said, it was pricey either way
        i had the shio ramen (med) with the toroniku
        the toroniku was definitely the star!
        soft and tasty
        the noodles are the straighter, more yellow noodles so prevalent nowadays
        the shio broth was good, a little thicker and more rich than yotekko-ya
        i was thinking of referring it as a miso-shio ramen
        it was really good, much better than the other new places, but i am hesitant to place it above my favorite, yotteko-ya
        i think the value you get at yotteko-ya is better (upsize is cheaper and regular size starts out bigger)
        although the toroniku is bananas

        i will go back, and most likely try the shoyu ramen

      2. c
        curiousgeo Jan 8, 2014 04:35 PM

        So my son and I went to Santouka for lunch today. It seemed like a perfect day for ramen, cool, overcast with some light showers. I was especially looking forward to it since Santouka was featured the other night on KIKU's Los Angeles ramen program.

        We arrived about 12:30 pm and waited 20 minutes or so to be seated, not bad for lunch hour. My son ordered a large shoyu ramen, I had the regular sized, signature shio ramen and we shared an order of gyoza.

        The shio was light and creamy with a mild flavor. Noodles were cooked perfectly and the charsiu pork was tender and flavorful. The gyoza was ok, but nothing special.

        The shio was fine, but I much preferred the shoyu ramen. The shoyu was tastier, also light but with a deeper, full bodied flavor. It reminded be a bit of the soup at Taishoken which was on Keeaumoku Street, a few years back which we really liked.

        All in all a nice addition to the ramen scene here and I will have to go again with my wife so she can give it a try.

        1 Reply
        1. re: curiousgeo
          killersmile Jan 8, 2014 05:36 PM

          Hmm, maybe i'll have to give the shoyu a try then. I used to like Taishoken. Although both my parents whose preference is shoyu ramen preferred the shio to the shoyu at Santouka.

        2. f
          fatstern Dec 30, 2013 12:39 PM

          i have, and it was delicious. Went with my friend who prefers more subtle broths (shoyu), while i almost always go with the stronger tan-tan and spicy broths (really like tan tan at goma tei and gomaichi, as well as the spicy tsukemen at kiwami). We followed suit: he ordered a shoyu ramen combo with their char siu locomoco, and i ordered the kara miso with the tonriku pork cheek upgrade as well as an aji tama egg on the side. Everything was fantastic, except the egg that came with my friends combo >>> its not an aji tama, it was a way over hard boiled egg with some thousand island dressing. I did not understand it....he and i had one bite each and let it be. not worth the space in the stomache. My aji tama egg was an entirely different story, being wonderfully soft boiled and pleasantly marinated in the sweet shoyu situation, with a little of that sauce in the bowl. could have eaten a half dozen of these. My kara miso ramen was an intensly, deeply flavored broth that i quite enjoyed. decent spice level. the noodles were good, pretty firm. the star of the show is those pork cheeks though. wow. served on the side with the rest of the toppings so as to not overcook the pork, the slices have a nice small layer of fat, and are insanely tender with a natural sweetness that complimented and shined through the broth when constructing a "combo" bite. fantastic. my friends shoyu broth was also nice, albeit more subtle. he got the regualr char siu and it looked reasonable thick and very tender though i didnt try it. his little loco moco was also super tasty, a perfectly soft egg on char siu chunks and a dark brown gravy. would get again. looking forward to returning....would highly recommend upgrading to those pork cheeks!

          3 Replies
          1. re: fatstern
            killersmile Dec 30, 2013 03:09 PM

            I just went on Saturday for lunch. Had the kara miso w/ toroniku and ajitama as well. Loved it just like you did. Tried the shio as well which was great as a lighter option. Excellent broth as well.

            1. re: fatstern
              c
              curiousgeo Dec 30, 2013 06:11 PM

              Great! Thanks for the reports fastern and killersmile. Will be going later this week, at the latest next week. Looking forward to it.

              1. re: curiousgeo
                killersmile Dec 31, 2013 11:59 AM

                Just want to mention that it was lucky I went early on Saturday. Not a large place - 7 counter seats, 2 4-tops, & 3 2-tops, I think. Got there about 15 minutes before opening. Write your name & party size on the sign-in sheet. Was 3rd on the list so no problem getting seated. By the time I left, there were a bunch of parties waiting outside. The wait was probably at least a half hour if you weren't in the first seating. When I passed by around 5:30pm on a weekday, there was no line and the restaurant was practically empty. Easier if you go at off-peak hours or on a weekday.

            2. killersmile Dec 27, 2013 02:09 AM

              My parents enjoyed it, but go for the shio ramen which is their specialty. Said the shoyu ramen was only meh.

              1. m
                macsak Dec 26, 2013 09:37 PM

                thanks for reminding me
                i have to post about agu

                check back in a few

                2 Replies
                1. re: macsak
                  indelibledotink Dec 26, 2013 10:15 PM

                  agu?

                  1. re: indelibledotink
                    m
                    macsak Dec 26, 2013 11:13 PM

                    search agu on this board
                    making a post about it as we speak

                2. KaimukiMan Dec 26, 2013 01:48 PM

                  not yet, but remember its right next to AAA Local BBQ with the best chicken Katsu in Honolulu. LOL

                  look forward to your report on the Ramen c.g.

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