Manichi Ramen on Kona Street has a relaxed atmosphere with Asian artwork and interior details that make it a great spot for dine-in guests. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)
By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer
Ramen is arguably one of the best comfort foods and is easily accessible with many locations and reasonable prices. The warmth from the broth is enough to drive away the cold and soothe your soul after a long day. Whether you’re dining solo or with friends, these are some of the best ramen places you don’t want to miss out on.
Momosan Waikiki: Momosan offers a variety of unique ramen dishes that highlight the presentation skills of Chef Masaharu Morimoto. The quality of noodles is what one would expect when dining at the restaurant of an Iron Chef, and the relaxing atmosphere of Waikīkī makes the experience unforgettable. There are six types of ramen available to guests, priced at $19 each. The best deal is the Momosan set for $28 where you can choose ramen and a side. I highly recommend the spicy tan-tan and the sticky ribs. The rich red curry broth combines the dish’s traditional aspects and perfectly complements the tender chashu pork. In addition to the ramen, the sticky ribs are the best by far. It surpasses typical gyoza or edamame with a crispy, flavorful outside and a juicy inside that seemingly melts in your mouth.
Onoya Ramen: The best spicy ramen is from Onoya Ramen. The savory body of the dish is comforting, like visiting an old friend, and the flavor is so delicious, it’s to die for. The restaurant is located on Kapahulu Avenue, only 10 minutes from KCC, and the prices are affordable with one bowl of ramen being around $14. My favorite ramen is the tonkotsu spicy with house-made spicy sauce and garlic chip garnish. If you’re looking for something on the savory side, Onoya also serves cheese curry ramen with a light chicken broth and your choice of a shoyu or shio base. My go-to for appetizers is the spicy tuna crispy rice because it has the perfect mixture of crunchiness and a chewy texture. The sliced jalapeño on top adds an unexpected kick to a sweet and salty dish.
Kamitoku Ramen: As someone who struggles to finish huge portions of food, it was a pleasant surprise to find that Kamitoku Ramen offers both regular and small sizes for ramen dishes. The prices are reasonable for quality and quantity, with the regular size priced at $14.35 and the small size at $11.50. I usually get the beefy spicy ramen with a side of fried gobo. The ramen has a refreshing taste, and the spice level is heightened by the use of crushed chili flakes, which is something I’ve never seen before. Unlike regular chashu, beef is a thicker cut of meat, though it was not tough or difficult to eat. The fried gobo also goes well with the simple broth and the mild, earthy taste makes it distinct. The restaurant is located in Ward Village, which makes it the perfect place to grab a bite after a movie or shopping.
Manichi Ramen: Tucked away on the ma uka side of Kona Street by Ala Moana Center is a small restaurant that serves the best ramen noodles. It’s not overcooked or overly dense, and it’s not hard either. The consistency of the noodles is perfect and makes a huge difference in overall enjoyment. Priced at $13 a bowl, the original red ramen is my favorite. The broth doesn’t soak into the noodles and makes them soggy, which allows the guest to eat at a comfortable pace. In addition to the delicious ramen, Manichi has excellent donburi and various gyoza. The donburi comes in regular and small sizes, which makes it perfect to sample other menu items as well. Of the five gyoza offered, my favorite is the melted cheese gyoza. It’s something that you won’t find at other restaurants, and the combination of ground pork and cheese creates wonderful umami that’s on the creamier side.