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Order of the Day

Bowled Over With Flavor at Osaka Ramen

By Kyle Galdeira Photos By Lawrence Tabudlo
August 19, 2012

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For nearly a year, Osaka Ramen has attracted diners from around the island with its quality cuisine that is made fresh, served in large portions and priced to match any budget. With hearty ramen dishes, superb combination plates and tasty appetizers all available for well under $10 each, owners Michelle Huang and Zhen Wei Lin offer up tasty selections at an incredible value.

The eatery is located at Pearl Kai Shopping Center in Aiea, and accommodates up to 52 people — making it an ideal destination for a relaxing meal, pau hana snack or family get-together.

Spicy Tan Tan Ramen ($7.50, $9.75 with a gyoza set) is a customer favorite, offering a sesame-flavored broth containing spicy pork, cucumber, bamboo shoots and a “secret” ingredient that ties all the bold flavors together with each bite.

Tonkotsu Ramen ($7.25) is another popular soup dish, as it is “cooked a long time,” allowing the flavors that emanate from the sliced char siu pork, bean sprouts, garlic, egg and corn to simmer together. Miso Ramen ($6.50) represents one of the menu’s best values, with a light but flavorful broth that pairs perfectly with the complementary fresh chili garlic (available on each table) that diners are encouraged to add to any item for an extra kick of flavor.

“The Miso Ramen is priced very reasonably, and it’s a very popular dish,” Huang says.

Osaka Ramen also is known for its combination dishes, including Mochiko Curry Combo ($9.25) that, like all available curry combos, includes miso ramen soup, gyoza and fried rice. Chicken Katsu Ramen ($8.95), as well as other ramen combos, also include fried rice and four pieces of gyoza.

And, as the summer days continue to heat up, Huang also recommends Cold Noodle ($7.25) as a “perfect dish to cool you down on a hot day.” The offering includes a bed of cold ramen noodles with a tangy sesame sauce as well as pork, bean sprouts, crisp cucumber, egg and red ginger.

In honor of the restaurant’s first anniversary next week, Osaka Ramen now serves Salt and Pepper Shrimp ($9.50), which features a sweet garlic flavor and is presented on a bed of char siu fried rice. And, as a special introductory offer for loyal Dining Out readers, the new dish is available through the next two weeks for just $7.50.

The new shrimp dish, as well as tasty appetizers — including Gyoza ($3.50 for six pieces), Spicy Chicken Wings ($3.50 for four pieces), Deep Fried Whole Garlic ($2.95) and the Spicy Menma ($3.50) — provide a perfect complement to Osaka Ramen’s nightly Happy Hour Special. From 5 p.m. to closing every evening, all 12-ounce bottled beers are on special for just $2 each.

“The gyoza is very popular; we make it fresh in the morning for lunch, and again in the afternoon before dinner,” explains Huang.

“You can taste the fresh vegetables in every bite.”

Planning a party or special event? Osaka Ramen can help with a variety of party platters starting at $19.99 with choices of Chicken Katsu, Spicy Chicken Wings, Fried Noodles and more.

Osaka Ramen

Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy., #B9, Aiea
488.8836
Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.