Posts Tagged ‘musubis’

Mamaya Japanese Foods – Mamma Mia!

March 1, 2013

Yeah, I know “Mamma Mia!” is an Italian phrase and this place I’m about to cover is not, but “Mamaya” is not exactly the easiest word to rhyme or come up with something clever for. It was either that or something to do with Papayas. 😛

We have a tradition in the Sugimoto household where we pack up our mat, drinks and selves, head to a favorite eatery to pick up lunch, and then head to Moanalua Gardens for a family picnic. One morning, the wife excitedly exclaimed that she wanted to pick up from this new place called Mamaya that recently (December, 2012) opened up in Pearl Kai Shopping Center. She heard about it from her mom and was particularly excited because it was the same bento company that serves up her favorites at Shirokiya’s Yataimura.

As a fan of new eateries and not having to drive very far, I was intrigued. So off we went, with drinks and selves in tow.

Mamaya Japanese Foods sign
Mamaya Japanese Foods sign

It’s located on the east end of the shopping center (to the left of Sprint, Kuru Kuru Sushi and Subway), where I believe BBQ Hut used to be.

When you first walk in, you’ll notice a delicatessen style lineup on the right.

Delicatessen style options at Mamaya
Delicatessen style options at Mamaya

Keeping things simple, everything from the “deli” – hot or cold – is Mix and Match style for $7.75 per pound. Here are the options we found that day.

Fried Ahi Belly with Teri Ginger Sauce, Mochiko Chicken, Yakisoba Noodle, Whitefish with Butter Caper Sauce
Fried Ahi Belly with Teri Ginger Sauce, Mochiko Chicken, Yakisoba Noodle, Whitefish with Butter Caper Sauce

Tofu Steak with Vegetable Sauce, Beef Broccoli, Chicken Katsu, Nishime
Tofu Steak with Vegetable Sauce, Beef Broccoli, Chicken Katsu, Nishime

Assorted Sushi, Pumpkin Tempura, Fried Pork Hash, Eggplant with Teriyaki Sauce, Potato Salad
Assorted Sushi, Pumpkin Tempura, Fried Pork Hash, Eggplant with Teriyaki Sauce, Potato Salad

Sweet Egg, Broccoli Salad, Water Crest with Sesame Seed, Kinpira Gobo, Namasu, Takuan, Aokappa, Kim Chee
Sweet Egg, Broccoli Salad, Water Crest with Sesame Seed, Kinpira Gobo, Namasu, Takuan, Aokappa, Kim Chee

Then you move along to the left and find something unique.

Poke Bowls!
Poke Bowls!

You can make a mini Poke Bowl for $5.75 or a regular sized Poke Bowl for $7.50 with your choice of rice (plain or multigrain). You can also go for the Mamaya Special Bowl for $8.25, where you can choose two kinds of Poke in addition to one side (Seaweed Salad or Won Bok Kim chee) with your rice. Looking at the per pound prices for the poke by itself ($14.50 for previously frozen ahi!), cost-wise, you’re better off going with the bowl.

Just past the register, we get to the drinks and the prepackaged stuff. The neat thing about the bentos is that if you are looking for a particular kind or combo and they don’t have it out, you can make a special request and they may be able to custom build your order (depending on supply) with a 10-20 minute waiting period. We were there just before lunch, and they were already decently wiped out. Luckily, we were able to find what we wanted. (Hint: the Misoyaki Butterfish and Mochiko Chicken are their popular items.) Here were some of the tasty looking options we found.

Mochiko Chicken Bento ($7.50)
Mochiko Chicken Bento ($7.50)

Hamachi Kama Combo Bento ($9.95)
Hamachi Kama Combo Bento ($9.95)

Salmon Dynamite Combo Bento ($8.50)
Salmon Dynamite Combo Bento ($8.50)

Grilled Salmon Combo Bento ($8.50)
Grilled Salmon Combo Bento ($8.50)

They even have donburis, musubis, handrolls, chichidango and mochi, amongst other interesting items!

Mochiko Chicken Curry Donburi ($5.75)
Mochiko Chicken Curry Donburi ($5.75)

Mochi with Peanut Butter ($2.50)
Mochi with Peanut Butter ($2.50)

Then we were off to Moanalua Gardens for our family picnic.

My Mochiko Chicken Bento at Moanalua Gardens
My Mochiko Chicken Bento at Moanalua Gardens

So if you’re a born-again westsidah like me, check out their new, closer location at Pearl Kai Shopping Center, and then come meet us at Moanalua Gardens. Just be sure to bring some fruits too. I dunno, maybe some papayas?

The fam
The fam

Mamaya
Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy
Aiea, HI 96701 (Street View)
(808) 492-1863
Hours:
Mon-Sat 10am-7:30pm
Sun 10am-5pm

 

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Marukame Udon – Homemade Japanese Style Noodles on the Cheap!

May 1, 2011

One thing good about having a dad from the muthaland is that he gets the scoops on ono kine Japanese grindz. Whether it be old time favorites that only the “insider” Nihonjins know about, or new joints about to open, papa Sugi is often in the know. Such is the case with Marukame Udon.

Early last month (April 1st to be exact), this pseudo-fast food Japanese noodle chain (known there as “Marugame Udon”) opened their first Hawaii location in Waikiki after opening 467 (and counting) locations across Japan. Thanks to an ad in a Japanese paper that pops subscribes to, we were able to get the jump and check it out just two days later.

Outside Marukame Udon in Waikiki
Outside Marukame Udon in Waikiki

From the looks of the shot above, it seems like you can just waltz right in whenevah you like, but don’t get it twisted, Marukame is usually mad busy, with crazy lines going out the door! Thankfully, it was not the case on this occasion (on a Sunday, a little before 5pm). Moms and wifey actually had some time to stop and smell the roses, er udon.

Wifey and moms deciding what to order
Wifey and moms deciding what to order

Here's what they were looking at (shokuhin/plastic food display)
Here’s what they were looking at (shokuhin/plastic food display)

Since it was indeed Waiks (located on Kuhio where the old Jack in the Box used to be), pops dropped us off earlier in the hopes of us snagging a place in line as he looked for parking. Since there was no line to speak of, I used this time to snap up photos of the joint before the mad rush came.


“How to Order” menu from Marukame Udon

Marukame Udon Menu
Marukame Udon Menu

Basically, it’s cafeteria style service here. You pretty much just stand in line…

Standing in line at Marukame Udon
Standing in line at Marukame Udon

… grab a tray, and tell the folks behind the counter what you want.

Marukame Udon employees ready to take my order
Marukame Udon employees ready to take my order

You can choose from a selection of 7 types of udon dishes: the Kamaage Udon (their #1 seller), Curry Udon, Niku Udon, Ontama Udon, Bukkake Udon, Kake Udon, and Zaru Udon.

You then scoot down the line, picking up your desired treats along the way.


Miscellaneous tempura/”age” treats along the way


Miscellaneous tempura/”age” treats along the way

Inari zushi and a variety of musubis at Marukame Udon
Inari zushi and a variety of musubis at Marukame Udon

When you make your way to the end, the cashier awaits and tallies up your total, which, for what you get, is VERY inexpensive (some udons start at just $3.75!)! And did I mention that the udon is made fresh, with “Nippn” brand Mentakumi flour, right before your very eyes!?

Udon noodles made fresh at Marukame Udon
Udon noodles made fresh at Marukame Udon

Once you pay, you can get additional condiments off to the side if you wish, and then find a seat in the relatively spacious dining area.

Marukame Udon dining area
Marukame Udon dining area

With pops still trying to find parking, I pass the time with some Internet surfing via with my Oceanic Mobile 4G hotspot.

Oceanic Mobile Works Here: Marukame Udon (Waikiki)
Oceanic Mobile Works Here: Marukame Udon (Waikiki)

Alas, pops arrives. There’s still no line so he’s able to order his Kamaage Udon and join us fairly quickly.


Kamaage Udon – “Piping hot udon noodles with dipping sauce” ($3.75 regular / $4.75 large)

Moms and wifey both got the Kake Udon. Here’s a shot of wifey’s order with a side musubi and ebi tempura.


Kake Udon – “Udon noodles in a hot broth” ($3.75 regular / $4.75 large)

And then we have my order: The large Curry Udon.


Curry Udon – “Udon noodles in curry sauce” ($5.25 regular / $6.25 large)

Although the parking sitch and potential long lines may be a bit of a deterrent, this is definitely one place you should try to check out. Fresh noodles, ono soup bases, and super duper affordable to boot! This one is Papa Sugi (and World Wide Ed) approved. 😉

Marukame Udon (Japanese site)
2310 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (map)
(808) 931-6000
Open Daily: 11am-10pm