Beloved BowlsCover Story
March 7, 2021
Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Those in need of a quick bite know that 7-Eleven Hawaii is the place to go for local favorites that are tasty and affordable. Between Spam musubis and taquitos to sweet treats and ready-to-eat deli items, there’s something for every craving, including bowls of noodles that are perfect for the cool weather we’ve been having lately.
Local Style Saimin ($3.89, Oahu; $5.29 neighbor islands) is a customer favorite, and features lightly flavored broth with noodles from the ever-famous Sun Noodle company. It’s all topped with shredded egg, char siu and green onions, creating that special concoction kamaaina know and love — just like the name says!
“The benchmark for this was the ‘small kid time’ saimin stands, like Palace Saimin and Kinau Saimin,” says senior category manager Debbie Lee Soon. “For many, saimin is nostalgic comfort food, so I wanted the product to evoke a sense of familiarity for our customers.”
Another menu regular is the Beef Pho ($4.59 Oahu; $5.99 neighbor islands), which is the largest noodle bowl and one of the longest-running. Can you believe it’s been on the menu for four years? The broth is made with authentic Vietnamese ingredients and includes fresh local Thai basil, sliced beef, and red and green onions.
“For most people, it’s not easy to make a good pho at home with authentic ingredients,” explains Lee Soon. “I wanted to offer a high-quality product that customers can get any time the craving hits.”
Pho and saimin have been notable noodle staples on the 7-Eleven Hawaii menu for quite some time now, and adding convenient, restaurant-quality ramen to the mix was the logical next step.
“These ramen offerings are a fusion of classic and new: classic broth flavors paired with exclusive housemade noodles created to our specifications,” says Lee Soon. “The bowls have different toppings, chosen to ensure each dish has complementary flavors and achieves balance.”
New on the menu starting March 9 are two ramen bowls that combine flavors of Hawaii with classic renditions. First up is the Spicy Tan Tan Ramen ($4.99 Oahu; $6.29 neighbor islands) that’s got a bit of a kick — think a Japanese version of Sichuan Dan Dan noodles with spicy chili sauce and gochujang. Fresh, made-from-scratch noodles combine with a housemade broth and spicy miso ground pork that’s seasoned with chili oil, peanut butter and sesame paste.
For more classic fare, opt for the Char Siu Pork Tonkotsu Ramen ($4.99 Oahu; $6.29 neighbor islands) come Tuesday.
This ready-to-go meal is made with a creamy pork broth and topped off with thinly sliced pork belly, courtesy of Redondo’s, as well as green choy sum and half a boiled egg. But the noodles are what makes this dish truly stand out. Each bite features ramen made from scratch by Warabeya specifically to 7-Eleven Hawaii’s specifications, making it a truly one-of-a-kind meal.
“I love the creamy, rich taste of Tonkotsu broth,” says Lee Soon. “Redondo’s makes the Japanese-style pork char siu locally, which was the perfect topping.”
And, she adds, follow 7-Eleven Hawaii on social media to get a behind-the-scenes look at its noodle-making process!
7-Eleven Hawaii makes it easy for everyone to try its noodles with a promotion that’ll save you $1 off any bowl. Take advantage of it March 22-April 4!