It was raining again last night, and I didn't feel in the mood to stay at home and cook. Since there were so many ramen shops that I have been looking forward to trying, I decided to visit the next place on my list, Yotteko-ya.
Described as a Kyoto-style ramen shop, this place is fairly new to the island, opening within the last couple of months or so. I had noticed this shop on my previous visits to the McCully Shopping Center and since I had never tried Kyoto-style ramen before, I made a note to come and visit.
Making my way inside via the shop's sliding door, I found it to be brightly lit and full of seating. Just a couple of tables were occupied when I stopped by at about 8:30 pm.
There was an interesting graphic on the wall with lots of Japanese writing on it which I couldn't read. This same graphic was also printed on smaller sheets of paper and placed under the plastic "table cloths".
Printed on the front cover of the menu is the following:
"Our homemade soup is simmered for over 10 hours with the choicest pork, the freshest chickens and 10 different vegetables and spices. This meticulous process produces a uniquely thick collagen rich stock that will actually help prevent aging of the skin and joints.
So, please enjoy our soup to the last drop and look younger!"
Now, I'm not so sure about the claims of looking younger by having a bowl of ramen, but I was willing to try a bowl...for research, of course. After looking over the menu, I decided on one of the combo sets, Set A (US$8.95). This set came with a bowl of tonshio ramen (ramen in a Hawaiian salt based soup), 3 pieces gyoza, and a bowl of white rice! If you're on Atkins, stay away!
First the ramen arrived. It was garnished with homemade chashu, green onions, black fungus, and toasted white sesame seeds. There was a slight film that had formed on the surface of the broth. There was no doubt that this was caused by all of the animal proteins floating around in the broth. Upon taking the first sip, I was overwhelmed by the flavor. It was interesting and indescribable. I had never tasted ramen like this before. The broth was thick and rich, and although it was salt based, it wasn't salty at all. Amazing. The chashu had a wonderful flavor and was melt in the mouth tender. I don't think I could have made a better choice.
Next up were the gyoza. The gyoza skin was perfectly thin and the filling meaty. The gyoza were cooked just the way I like 'em, slightly crunchy on the bottom, smooth and slightly chewy on top. Yummy.
Am I happy that I came here? Definitely. Would I come here again? Absolutely. The next time I'm here, I'm planning on trying the house specialty, the kakuni ramen. If you like a good ramen that has a distinctive flavor, this is one place you won't want to miss.
McCully Shopping Center
1960 Kapiolani Boulevard Suite 214