We’ve got another Hawaii restaurant suggestion for you! You know we’ve got you covered with ramen suggestions in Takayama and Vancouver so how about today we share with you our review of Ramen Bario in Honolulu?
We were wandering around Waikiki looking for a late dinner at around 9pm. Thankfully for us, Honolulu is such a big city and Waikiki was popping with places to eat. We settled on Waikiki Yokocho which is a food hall exclusively full of Japanese restaurants. We were missing Japan so much and popped in to grab our dinner.
At 9pm there weren’t lineups for any of the restaurants which is great because we were getting hangry. That’s not the say the place was entirely empty – most of the restaurants were still at least 50% full. We imagined it’d be much busier during peak dinner hours and on the weekend.
Note that this place charges extra if you ask for tea (they serve oolong) so instead of paying $3.00 for it, we stuck with water that they offer you buy default. Other than that, the prices looked like what we expect for a very touristy area.
CHAR SIU RICE BOWL
Ramen Bario Honolulu serves not only ramen but some side dishes like fried chicken, fried gyoza and this char siu bowl for $3.98. Howie decided he needed some rice with his noodles so he ordered the char siu bowl.
It arrived before our ramen did and was a great appetizer. For the price, it was great value as there was still a lot of rice and plenty of char siu on top. The meat had a beautiful charcoal flavor. Some of it was nicely fatty but the other portions were a bit dry. You don’t notice it very much though when you mix it all in with the rice. So overall, not even in texture. However, we still felt it was great value and would reorder this next visit.
I ordered the Egg Ramen ($14.98, reg size) which comes with a ramen egg as well as thick slices of char siu. There is also a ton of bean sprouts in this bowl and I felt almost overwhelmed by how much they gave me. I actually filled up Howie’s empty char siu bowl with bean sprouts. If you like bean sprouts, you’ll be in heaven here. And if you hate bean sprouts…well you should ask them not to put any in your bowl!
The ramen broth here was extremely thick and fatty. You can already tell from the picture that it’s not some thin plain broth. The noodles were also thick. The char siu pork? Also thick and fatty! If this bowl was trying to enter the Thick and Fatty Competition, it would place number one.
I thought I would feel gross and bloated afterward but that wasn’t the case. Despite what I said earlier, this ramen bowl was actually very comforting. The noodles were so chewy and I slurped it down with the broth. I couldn’t finish all the meat and noodles but that’s standard for me. Howie got to eat the rest of it!
Howie absolutely loved his noodles. He kept raving about how the quality was great. The broth was spicy which he also very much enjoyed. The meat in his bowl was overall fairly fatty which was another bonus point from him. The one thing he didn’t love as much was that the broth used a miso paste which caused a slight tangy taste he didn’t appreciate as much.
We waited about 20 minutes for our ramen to arrive which is a bit longer than we’re used to waiting if we were in Japan. However, overall the staff were very friendly and were quick to come over if you needed anything. The ramen itself was reasonably priced and we would return. Obviously, we’ll need to try out more of the restaurants in this food hall maybe starting with the Nana’s Green Tea around the corner from Bario!