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Oodles Of Noodles

Ono, You Know

January 13, 2019

Story By: Ellise Kakazu | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

Editor Ellise Kakazu is ready to satisfy her noodle craving.

I have always had an affinity for noodles. My mom even has tales of me slurping up long strands of it like a baby bird when I was a toddler.

Whether it is soba, saimin, udon or somen, I enjoy it all. But my favorite way to eat noodles is from hot bowls of soup. There’s something oh, so comforting about sinking a pair of chopsticks into a steaming dish and pulling out yummy, wiggly noodles with a spoonful of broth in the other hand. And on a nippy, winter day there’s nothing quite as satisfying.

Lately, the cooler temperatures have got me feeling a little under the weather, so I figured there’s no better time to share my love for hot noodles than now. So, let’s noodle away!

‘HAPPY’ EATING

Dishing out authentic Chinese cuisine on Waialae Avenue for more than a decade, Happy Days Chinese Restaurant has become many locals’ go-to spot for a delightful meal.

Happy Days Chinese Restaurant’s Beef Brisket Noodle In Soup ($11.95)

Owner Lisa Lum, who originally is from China, explains the restaurant’s goal is to serve customers meals that will make them “happy.”

So when I decided to combat my cold blues, I knew I had to step into Happy Days to turn my frown upside down.

While the restaurant is known for serving classics such as honey walnut shrimp, minute chicken cake noodle, cold ginger chicken, char siu and delectable dim sum, I decided to go for something a little unexpected — Beef Brisket Noodle In Soup ($11.95) — during my latest visit. And let me tell you, I am glad I did.

I discovered that Beef Brisket Noodle In Soup is a hearty bowl filled to the brim with made in-house chicken and pork broth, saimin-like noodles (one can request rice or look funn noodles), vibrant choy sum and tender beef brisket. Lum notes the beef takes about four hours to perfect and requires “plenty work.”

The labor of love is evident when biting into this dish, as the flavor-packed brisket seamlessly complements the texture of the noodles and the natural flavors of the homemade broth — it truly is heartwarming.

For those who cannot get enough of noodles, like me, Happy Days also can prepare items like Beef Chow Funn, Pan-Fried E-Mein and Char Siu Gon Lo Mein, just to name a few.

What’s more, in celebration of Chinese New Year, Happy Days Chinese Restaurant is now offering its special Gau ($6.80) until March, and will host exciting Lion Dances on Feb. 4 (6 p.m.) and Feb. 5 (6 and 8 p.m.) at the restaurant for its guests. Reservations are highly recommended, as many flock to Happy Days for the Chinese New Year festivities.

FOOD TO ‘THAI’ FOR

Bangkok Chef, a Thai restaurant known for its stellar curries and pad thai, recently unveiled another hit — Beef Noodle Soup ($11.45).

Bangkok Chef’s Beef Noodle Soup ($11.45) FILE PHOTO

First introduced to customers in 2018, the thai-style pho stars thick slices of meatball, beef, rice noodles and a made-from-scratch beef bone broth that takes about four hours to create. Owner Patrick Chang notes the chef adds in lemongrass, onions, Thai ginger and lime leaf to the broth to enhance the bones’ flavors. Topping Bangkok Chef’s Beef Noodle Soup is a sprinkle of parsley, green onions and fried shallots, giving the bowl extra zing.

Chang notes Beef Noodle Soup is really good and very flavorful, and encourages customers to try it. He also explains beef noodle soup is a traditional dish and can be found at virtually every street corner in Thailand.

Giving kamaaina a taste of Thailand, Bangkok Chef has a total of five locations spanning the island — Nuuanu (original location), Manoa, Iwilei, Ewa Beach and Moiliili.

Next time you are in the mood for some flavorful, authentic plates or bowls of Thai goodness, you know where to turn.

After digging into tasty bowls of noodles this week, I am glad to report that I am feeling much better! Sometimes, the best cure is a good meal.

As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

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