What an awesome place!
I decided to find out why the line was sooo long at this udon restaurant (Marukame Udon in Waikiki) last night. I was very pleased I did! Marukame Udon is a build your own bowl restaurant from Japan. They use the best Japanese ingredients and it shows in the flavour.
I planned so that when I arrived I wasn’t too hungry and wouldn’t be impatient waiting in line. I can be pretty impatient (hangry) when I’m hungry and there is ALWAYS a line.
The noodles are definitely worth the wait. I love open kitchens, you can see them hand making the udon. Each bowl is customised however you want in front of you as you go down the line. You start by choosing your size, then the udon, then the broth (kake, curry etc), and finally, the tempura you want to add in.
I chose the Kake udon with two prawn tempura and an eggplant tempura. The total cost was about $9USD.
Oh my was it delicious. I couldn’t even eat half the noodles, they were huge servings (surprise – I’m in America) and the tempura was perfect. It’s a very tasty, affordable meal.
Marukame Udon deserves a line. If you’re ever in Waikiki, make the effort and go there. Be prepared to line up but know it is worth the wait!
** EDIT** I’ve visited a number of times since 2013, most recently in 2018 and there is still a giant line and they are still delicious!