Authentic, fresh udon noodlesA La Carte
August 15, 2021
Story By: Maria Kanai | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
When it comes to udon, Tsurutontan doesn’t cut any corners. According to general manager Takuma Lathrop, they make udon noodles fresh daily in-house, using a special blend of udon flour and salt imported from Japan. They even use water specially filtered to mimic characteristics of the water in Japan in order to make the most authentic noodles possible.
“Noodles are aged overnight for the best texture,” says Lathrop. “We use specially imported bonito flakes and konbu kelp from Japan with the same filtered water to make our dashi every day. This dashi is used as the base of all of our soups.”
The restaurant’s popular happy hour runs 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. On the menu is the Tan Tan Udon ($21 regular; $18 happy hour) with a rich sauce that includes minced meat and blanched greens. Customers also love the Creamy Spicy Shrimp Tempura ($14 regular; $12 happy hour), a fresh shrimp tempura dish drizzled in creamy spicy sesame sauce and topped with chile pepper threads. A newer addition to the menu is the Lava Roll ($16 regular; $13 happy hour) with shrimp tempura, avocado and imitation crab with special sauce. Be sure to try the Hamachi Carpaccio ($15 regular; $13 happy hour), served with a house made avocado purée instead of traditional jalapeño, adding a creamier texture to the hamachi.
Good news for kamaaina and military: there’s three-hour parking validation at Royal Hawaiian Center. Lathrop also shares there’s a weekday dine-in lunch special: a $9.95 donburi with a choice of a full-size udon. The donburi changes each week, so follow them on Instagram (@tsurutontan_hi) to be in the know.