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Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at your favorite restaurant? Well, much credit goes to the many chefs, owners and managers who work diligently day in and day out to ensure Hawaii’s diners have a top-notch dining experience. This week, Dining Out gets the inside scoop from Chinpei Ramen owner Yoshi Hashigami, who opened Chinpei Ramen in April 2008.
NAME Yoshi Hashigami
TITLE Owner of Chinpei Ramen
TRAINING/EDUCATION Fifteen years. My father has always been a restaurateur. He opened his first restaurant in Japan in 1955. Upon graduating from college, I took a bigger role in managing four of the seven locations.
Who or what inspires you as an owner? My father has been a big inspiration in becoming a chef and restaurateur. His menu items consisted of classic ramen dishes with a little twist to enhance the flavors. I was very interested in creating new recipes and also changing up classic flavors to my own.
If you could serve food to a celebrity, who would it be and why? What dish would you serve? I don’t have any celebrity that comes to mind. The only people I would like to serve are my father and my family. My father has been my mentor throughout my life. My family has always been supportive of me to be a chef and own my own restaurant. My wish is to share my father’s recipes, carry on his culinary legacy and make him proud. I know he is proud of me that I opened Chinpei Ramen in Hawaii and that my menu consists of many of his recipes and also some that I created and enhanced.
What is your favorite dish on the menu? Why? Gyoza is my favorite — if there is only one that I must choose. It is very juicy and crispy. The filling has the perfect balance of various vegetables, spices and meat. Although it is fried, it is not too oily. It has a “Japanese” taste, which is nostalgic of my time in Japan.
Is there a dish that you create that’s not on your menu, but available upon request? There are a few, but the two most popular non-menu items are Deep Fried Noodles with Mabo Tofu and Stir Fried Yakisoba with boiled noodles (normally made with fried noodles). The latter is a healthier version.
2080 S. King St., Honolulu
Monday, 5–9:30 p.m.;
Tuesday–Friday, 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 5–10 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.