Kyoto Ramen Yotteko-Ya

Dinner last night was at Kyoto Ramen Yotteko-Ya, located on the second floor of the McCully Shopping Center. When this restaurant first opened, I was excited to have discovered another decent ramen shop in Hawaii because there are so very few.  However, within a month or two I noticed a dramatic decline in the soup flavor – it was as though one day someone decided to dilute the soup using equal parts water and soup as an easy way to cut costs in half – and it’s been the same watery soup every since. I keep going back periodically in the hopes that the rich flavorful soup I first tasted there was not just a figment of my imagination, but no luck so far…

They have three different soup flavors: Yataiaji (shoyu based), Tonshio (salt based) and Paitan (a milky white soup). You also have the option of how you want your noodles boiled: traditional “Japanese style”, or “local style” which is cooked a little longer for softer noodles.

My husband had the D Set ($13.45) with mini fried rice and 3 pieces chicken karaage, and upgraded his ramen to Kakuni Paitan (additional $4.00). The fried rice and karaage were good, but the ramen soup was just OK.

Yotteko-Ya - D Set with Kakuni Paitan Ramen ($13.45 plus $4.00)

Yotteko-Ya - D Set with Kakuni Paitan Ramen ($13.45 plus $4.00)

I had the Tonshio Ramen ($6.95) which tasted like noodles in salt water.

Yotteko-Ya - Shio Ramen ($6.95)

Yotteko-Ya - Shio Ramen ($6.95)

On their menu it states that they simmer pork, chicken and various vegetables for 10 hours. Really? Perhaps I’m too critical (which anyone who knows me well will tell you is true). Perhaps it’s unfair to compare Hawaii ramen to some of the best ramen I’ve tasted in Japan. But if you’re going to post the words “ROCKETED FROM KYOTO” on your storefront, then hey, I say you’re fair game.

PRICE RANGE: $6.95-$10.95 for ramen, $10.45-$13.45 for set menus. Click here to view the menu.
MY BILL: $26.93 for two
RETURNING?: Perhaps after a while again

Kyoto Ramen Yotteko-Ya
(Located on second floor of McCully Shopping Center)
1960 Kapiolani Blvd #204
Honolulu, HI 96826
Lunch Mon-Sun 11:00a-2:00p
Dinner Mon-Sat 5:00p-11:00p
Sun/Hol 5:00p-9:00p
Closed on Wednesdays

10 Responses to “Kyoto Ramen Yotteko-Ya”

  1. 1 Er May 7, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Kristen introduced me to this place…Been there a couple of times with her. The ramen was good! It’s actually been a while since I’ve been there, so maybe it’s changed. Most ramen places are good to me anyway since I just like noodles in general. :-p

  2. 2 sachiko May 7, 2009 at 11:53 am


    next on my list to try is the new kotteri ramen shop on king st called Raraya.
    let’s go!

  3. 3 honolulueats May 7, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Er: Thanks for your comment! Taste is totally subjective, so this is just my personal opinion, so it’s cool to see different viewpoints posted.

    Sachi: OK, I know where it is now, on S. King Street.

  4. 4 Kristen May 7, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Oh no! This was my favorite ramen place… when did you notice that they were watering it down? I haven’t been there in over a year. I hope it’s the same as I remember it. I really did love the soup when I had it. Where would you say has the best ramen on the island? I admittedly am not a very good ramen critic…

  5. 5 Kristen May 7, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    PS I haven’t had a chance to go to Ducky’s yet, but I linked up to your Angelo Pietro blog entry!

  6. 6 honolulueats May 8, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Kristen: I thought it’s been like that for a while, but I think it’s just me and a few other people who feel like this. I like Tenka Ippin on Kapahulu, but some don’t like that their soup is super thick.

    Thanks for linking up to the Angelo Pietro post – it got LOTS of traffic from your blog!

  7. 7 Taro May 9, 2009 at 5:50 am

    From my recollection, yatai aji was the most kotteri type. Did you taste the decline in yatai aji soup as well? One important tip in ramen is identifying which soup is the original soup the shop has most confidence in as the seasonals or the sub menu soups are usually not that good. Ton shio sounds like something I would stay away from the beginning. Another more important tip is not going to a shop that offers too much variety which I find as a sign of not having a distinct policy to taste.

    During my stay in Japan I encountered a couple good bowls. The tonkotsu ramen I had in Kurume (Southern Fukuoka, Kyushu) is the best so far. Kurume tonkotsu style uses a lot of pork head ie skin so their soup becomes full of collagen proteins and creates that wonderful sticky thickness without the fat content. It was only 380yen. How can they make a living…

  8. 8 honolulueats May 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

    Taro: Yes, I usually stick with the Yataiaji every single time except twice to try the Tonshio. The tasty soup I had at the very beginning was Yataiaji, and trust me: both are watered down.

    380 Ramen – what a deal! I see you’re making full use of your time in Japan for professional development.

  9. 9 Aaron May 13, 2009 at 2:10 am

    ever try to come up with ramen rankings? i have my own list, but i have to try a few places still (like Taishoken and Ramen Nakamura) in order to come up with a definitive list. Also, what makes a good ramen shop? some ramen shops have good noodles but mediocre broth (yotekka-ya) and some the opposite (goma tei). some have good gyoza (ezogiku) and some have good mabo tofu (hokkaido ramen). some are more korean than japanese (taiyo noodle shop). some make everything well but nothing stands out (sanoya) and some make only one or two things really well (tenkaippin). i really don’t know what criteria is more important than others.

    • 10 honolulueats May 13, 2009 at 10:00 pm

      Ooh a fellow ramen enthusiast! I only require a good bowl of ramen at a ramen shop – that’s enough to get me to return again and again. Don’t need the curry katsu or any of those other items. In my opinion, the criteria for good ramen is first and foremost soup, then noodles, then toppings, then price. Me and my family tend to favor kotteri ramen (rich, fatty soup) as opposed to assari ramen (lighter, clear broth). My sister told me about another noodle place called Raraya (on S. King Street) that’s supposed to be good too. Have you tried them?

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