Some like it hot

Columns Veg'n Out

September 7, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Conveniently located within the bustling shopping mecca of Ala Moana Center, Iyo Udon is a Japanese eatery known for its unbelievably fresh and tasty udon.

Created from 100 percent domestically produced wheat flour, Iyo Udon’s deliciously wholesome noodles are made in-house literally as you are sauntering through the service line selecting your additional ingredients. That’s right, all meals at Iyo Udon are self-serve, so you absolutely can have it your way.

In fact, it’s easy as 1-2-3. First, order your choice of udon from the myriad of menu offerings. Second, select the freshly fried tempura and hot Omusubi options your heart desires, and then simply present your mouthwatering meal to pay at the register.

And interestingly enough, up until my first visit to Iyo Udon, every encounter I had with udon was served hot, a comforting soup of sorts that soothed straight to your soul. Yet I was educated on the versatility of the traditional noodles, as Iyo Udon’s kitchen supervisor Masaki Hiramoto shared with me how this special dish is also served and enjoyed chilled.

But this week on our Dining Out excursion, we kept things toasty, opting for a palatable pair of vegetarian-friendly Iyo Udon hot options. We began our meal with Kamatama Udon (Regular $4.25, Large $5.25), a simple yet satisfying bowl full of bliss for your belly consisting of freshly made udon noodles mixed with a single soft-boiled egg acting as its “broth.”

“Traditionally, this dish is served as raw eggs over rice,” explains Hiramoto, “but here, we modify it (for safety reasons, as well as taste preferences) to a soft-boiled egg served with our signature udon noodles. It’s a popular choice.”

Assorted Tempura ($1.25-$1.75) ordered a la carte, provides the perfect accompaniment for the udon. Choose from a plethora of deep-fried offerings. We opted for a smattering of Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Vegetable Croquette Tempura, each bringing veggie goodness to the table alongside a tasty, toppedoff crunch for good measure. Dunk them in dipping sauce (Iyo Udon’s original garlic sauce is pictured here), or enjoy as is, there’s no wrong way with these bite-sized delights.

So whether you like it hot or cold, any offering from Iyo Udon is just the right temperature to tempt all taste buds.

Contact Andy Beth Miller at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Iyo Udon

Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd. Second Floor, Mauka, Ewa Wing, near Victoria’s Secret
10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. daily

Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best