After many days cooped up at the Disney Aulani, Mama H.o.P. was getting cabin fever. We had a rental car for one day, so drove into Honolulu to see the sights, find pleasures that could not be had in the same damn lazy river and 2 slides at the resort, and enjoy any food that was going to be better than overpriced and mediocre. Marukame Udon was just what we needed. It is deceptively simply with its cafeteria lunch line set up. You point and order and your food is scooped into a bowl and ready to eat within minutes.
You can add as many fried tempura items to your udon as your heart or stomach desires. We got lucky and the shrimp tempuras were just being pulled out of the deep fryer.
Sweet Beef signature sweet beef, kake udon
The signature classic was simple and really hit the spot. The broth is uber tasty yet light and clean.
Curry Udon mild japanese curry, strips of beef
I’m a big fan of Japanese curry.
Paitan Udon smooth chicken and pork broth
This was an interesting cross between udon and ramen. The broth had that milky richness similar to that found in tonkotsu ramen, but the noodles were all chewy udon goodness.
Nikuzaru Udon cold noodle, sweet beef, clover sprouts, nori, spicy dipping sauce
The Annoyer went with the seasonal option of cold noodles. The noodles were perfectly chewy, but the dipping sauce was what did it for me. It was deliciously salty, sweet, with that rounded richness from sesame oil. I didn’t catch much of the heat though. YUMS!!
We got a varying selection of tempura items including sweet potato, eggplant, shrimp, and karaage. All of it was excellent.
The giant fried onion was probably better piping hot and fresh, but it was good enough the way it was.
Maybe I was more impressed by Marukame because of all the overpriced and mediocre food I had been eating up until my visit. I guess, in the end it is just a bowl of noodles, but it really is a great dining option when you factor in convenience, quality, and price. Each bowl of udon was only $4-$5 and each tempura item was around $1 on average. The other location by Waikiki Beach tags an extra $1 to everything and is far more crowded with a smaller menu. We were lucky enough to hit up Marukame Udon before the lunch rush, because sure enough a line was forming on our way out. I’m fairly certain if Marukame Udon were to hit the mainland, it would become the next great Chipotle. I would definitely add this to your Honolulu check list for a quick, cheap, simply “hits the spot” kinda meal.
10 – You NEED to eat here
9 – Awesome
8 – Very good
7 – Good
6 – OK
5 – Average
4 – Not bad
3 – Not good
2 – Terrible
1 – Do NOT eat here