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January 09, 2007


Oh man. Everything was good here. From beginning to end. I’ve been home for winter break a little over three weeks and in this time I have come to the McCully Shopping Center exactly 4 times. And it was to Fook Yuen every single one of these times. We come to Fook Yuen so often that I no longer bring my camera because (gasp) I’m sick of looking at their food. Christmas parties, New Years, Birthdays…if there’s something to celebrate, the Chinese do it at Fook Yuen (or Legends!)

And every time we come to Fook Yuen I stare longing across to the other end of the open center at this little ramen place buried in the corner. I first read about it on Ono Kine Grindz. And then decided I must go! That was over two years ago and I was starting to think I’d never make it there when today’s rainy weather prompted my mom to say, “lets have ramen for dinner!”

And we hopped over from my mom’s Kapahulu office right to McCully and to the restaurant that promised youth. I’m not kidding. They say you’ll look younger if you eat their ramen. “Our homemade soup is simmered for over 10 hours…meticulous process produces a uniquely thick collagen rick stock that will actually help prevent aging of skin and joints.” As long as it tastes good, then I’m a believer!

We each had a bowl of the Yataiaji Ramen and holy moley, I did not know that ramen could taste this good! Actually, I think it was the soup and that chasiu that really took me away. This chasiu melted, I swear! right in your mouth. I didn’t even need to chew! Have you ever had chasiu that was creamy, salty and sweet all at once without one over powering the other? Well, this was it. I think I could have eating pounds and pounds of this chasiu. If you could even call it chasiu…I’ve never known chasiu to dissolve effortlessly in my mouth. And the soup, oh boy, while clear and shoyu-based it managed to be creamy. Creamy and clear. You don’t see that all the time. I was completely thrown off by this familiar food (ramen) served so thoughtfully in which every component of the dish was given such great care and thought.

The Kara-age was crazy! I’ve never had chicken, in any form for that matter, so tender and juicy! You could even say soft. Yes, soft sweet meat and the meanest crunchy crust. Such a drastic change of textures. The fried batter had so much taste on its own, it needed no dipping sauce and just a joyful appetite. Man. I’ve never loved fried chicken this much.

We opted for the pan fried gyoza (also comes deep fried) with our combo meal were presented a dish of three large plump babies. The paper-thin skin was fried crisp on the bottom and harbored a juicy filling with just the right balance between meat and veggies. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a meal where everything, from service to food and presentation and value, just hit the spot. We need more rainy days like this.

McCully Shopping Center
1960 Kapiolani Blvd. #214
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 946-2900

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