Eating udon is all about the chewing feeling of the udon noodle. Marukame basically offers this kind of quality.
Located near Dukes Lane on Kuhio, it is near the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Very easy to find because there is always a line of people queuing in front of the restaurant. Menus are put at the door but since there are always many people, one has to find his way to look at the menu. It is a business model copied from Japan. Customers pick up a tray, order what kind of udon he wants, udon in soup, or with curry, hot or cold, regular or large. Then add his own side orders, different kinds of tempura (pronounced as ten pu la), shrimp, squid, onion,fishcake, etc, or different kinds of rice cake. Then pay at the cashier, just like the cafeteria in high school, all self service.
Ther are plenty of seats in the restaurant, but since ordering took up some time, one can always find a seat after paying for the meal.
Be prepared to wait for around half an hour before you can sit down with your udon during meal hours, less in other timing. It is kind of low price in Honolulu, you can have a basic meal for less than $6, not even enough for tipping in a nice restaurant.
As a frequent traveller to Japan, I would say their udon has a near Japan quality. Udon is always cooked in that way, so if you look for some fancy performance, or high price items such as hand made sushi, this is not it. Their udon is prepared inside the store as a customer can see, ensuring its freshness.
So,if you are looking for a simple meal but quality food, it is definitely worth a try.
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