Raraya Ramen

Ramen lovers often have set preferences for their ramen, the main ones being:

SOUP: こってり kotteri (rich, high oil/fat content) or あっさり assari (light, clear broth with low oil content)
NOODLES: 細麺 hosomen (thin noodles) or 太麺 futomen (thick noodles)

Of course, there are many more deep layers to ramen, such as soup flavor (shoyu, salt, miso, tonkotsu, etc.) and stock base (seafood, pork bones, chicken, etc.), and I’m open to various flavors depending on my mood.  But there’s one team I’m a loyal member of: こってり細麺派 Team Kotteri-Hosomen, or Team Thin Noodle-Rich Broth. (Yes, Japanese tend to make “teams” for many issues including how they like their food, and have a strange sense of bonding with other members of the same team. An example we can relate to in the US is French fries: soggy or crispy? I’m definitely on Team Soggy, which is perfect because my husband is on Team Crispy).

Anyway, as mentioned previously there are very few ramen places on Oahu I like. Tenka Ippin on Kapahulu is one of them. The other one is …  Actually, I lied. There is only one ramen place on Oahu I like. 

Until now.

I’ve been wanting to try Raraya on South King Street (on the Makai side of S. King Street, just before Piikoi) since I heard their soup is kotteri style.

052809 raraya exterior

052809 raraya interior

My sister ordered the Ramen ($8.00) and a side of Gyoza ($4.00) to share.

Raraya - Ramen ($8.00)

Raraya - Ramen ($8.00)

Raraya - Gyoza

Raraya - Gyoza

I had the Ramen ($8.00) and made it a meal set by adding on rice, kimchee, and egg for just $2.00 more. The seasoned boiled egg was delicious, with a creamy yolk. They have other interesting meal sets like natto-don, unagi-don, and tarako (cod fish roe) don.

Raraya - Ramen Meal Set ($10.00)

Raraya - Ramen Meal Set ($10.00)

THE SOUP: Excellent. One sip of the soup and my sister and I looked at each other with eyes lit up.  The unmistakeable flavor of pork bone and marrow hits your tongue immediately, and after a while you can see the collagen coagulating at the top of the thick cloudy soup. We had been waiting for ramen soup like this in Hawaii! This is just as good as the ramen soup back home!

THE NOODLES: Their noodles are very thick, almost as thick as udon noodles, made in house using flour flown in from Japan. Now, this is purely a matter of personal preference, but as a member of Team Hosomen it was such a disappointment to me to waste such a beautiful bowl of soup on such thick noodles. The reason I prefer thin noodles is not only the texture, but because the noodles hold the soup flavor better.

However, my sister and I know that there must be こだわり a personal reason for the chef to select such a unique noodle to go with his soup, and the recipe is his labor of love. We dare not risk offending him by asking if we can get thin noodles instead. We have a special place in our hearts for passionate, hardworking ramen chefs. 😉  Raraya gets an A for effort and A+ for their soup.

PRICE RANGE:$8 for ramen, $10-$14 for ramen combo sets. Click here to view their menu
MY BILL: $15.00

(5 Parking stalls in the back of the building)
1145-B South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
Lunch Mon-Sat 11:00a-2:30p
Dinner Mon-Sat 5:30p-9:00p
Closed Sundays


13 Responses to “Raraya Ramen”

  1. 1 Er June 2, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I’m trying to imagine exactly where this ramen place is…Can’t quite place it. Anyway, Kristen and I (who both LOVE noodles/ramen) will definitely have to try this place! Your review was so glowing that we need to! Glad you finally found a ramen place here that you love! 🙂

  2. 2 honolulueats June 2, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Er: Actually, I just had to edit my post because I drove by it again today and realized that it’s on S. King Street just before Piikoi (not Keeaumoku). It’s pretty easy to miss, but just look for the red sign. I’m still waiting for your post about you-know-what!

    • 3 Er June 3, 2009 at 9:23 am

      I posted it kind of late last night…Sorry it took me a while. I ended up writing quite a bit…Looking forward to your comments! 😉

  3. 4 papamonkey in Tokyo June 3, 2009 at 2:23 am

    RARAYA??? Isn’t it a strange name for a ramen shop?

  4. 6 Sister-in-law #1 June 8, 2009 at 12:10 am

    Glen says that your writing about ramen sounds just like the movie Tampopo–our favorite movie! We are definitely going to try that ramen place. I agree–I like thin noodles better, too. My favorite place up until now has been Gomaichi–I like their vegetable tan tan ramen.

  5. 7 sachi June 15, 2009 at 1:58 am


    taro said that Raraya’s ramen is actually yokohama style.
    the tonkotsu-shoyu soup, the thick noodles, and the store name ending in 家 instead of 屋 indicates all the characteristics for yokohama style.

    i didnt know all of that until he told me. so i guess if ur into yokohama style then youd(people) like it.

    not so much for me… uhuhu

  6. 8 NL June 24, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Kristen and I tried it today and we LOVED it! We used the coupon found in the dining out section of the newspaper for a free $2 side with the Ramen. Kristen chose the egg and char siu (after seeing and hearing how much you loved your medium boiled season egg!); it did not disappoint! I would have chosen the bamboo shoots, but they were out of it so I just had double order of the char siu. They have the best char siu that I’ve ever had on any ramen that I’ve tried.

    We were unsure which soup base you tried so we got one of each…Kristen got the Salt and I got the Shoyu which they said is the common one that most people get. After trying each, we decided that we liked the shoyu better. They also gave us a choice of the amount of oil you want in the soup (oily has two tablespoons of fat, normal has one and less has just whatever fat is in the basic soup base). It was suggested that we get normal and it was way oily enough. I may even try less next time. We also tried both kinds of noodles….Kristen the fatter noodles and me the thinner. I liked mine and she liked hers. We also noticed that they gave a lot more noodles than other ramen restautants.

    The soup was delicious! And we found out that they will refill your bowl with as much soup as you want! Good deal, but we were so full that we couldn’t take advantage of it. I actually couldn’t even finish mine so I took my left overs home for a small snack.

    The owners (husband and wife)were so nice. Well, we only spoke to the wife, but she was so polite and sweet. We told her about your blog and how impressed you were with their food which is why we came to try it ourselves. She was so happy to hear it! She said with the economy down, the business is slower so that’s the reason they put the coupon in the newspaper, hoping it will increase business.

    Kristen and I will definitely go back again soon. When I saw her a few hours later, she said she has started craving it already!

    Thanks SO much for the review and recommendation! Oh yeah…I got an extra bonus…10% senior citizen discount. She discounted $1…couldn’t figure out why it was that amount, but I was happy to get any reduction!

    • 9 honolulueats June 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

      Ooh I’m so glad you liked it! I’m excited to hear that they offer the thin noodle option now (they didn’t have that before when I went). I got the shoyu broth the last time, normal oiliness. Wow, you found out so much useful information (altho I can’t use that senior citizen’s discount).

  7. 10 norene June 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    About the noodles: she said that they originally made it with the fatter noodles because that is Yokohama style and they wanted to keep it as authentic as possible. BUT they realized that some people, locals especially, preferred the thin noodles so now they offer two kinds.

    I’m beginning to crave it again just talking about it! Thanks again for the recommendation!

  8. 11 Er June 30, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Kris & I went to Raraya last night so I could try it. It was good! I got the shoyu with the thick noodles (I like a lot of noodle)…with LESS oil (thank god…that was oily enuf already). I got the egg as a topping (not used to eggs w/that soft center, but it was very tasty!), and we tried an order of gyoza (which was good too!). Like you said, the soup is very good…super tasty. It was A LOT of food! I actually have my leftover for lunch today! Thanks for the write-up on this place…would never have gone/known otherwise! 😉

    • 12 honolulueats June 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Erin for the comment! I’m glad you liked it too! It is a lot of food for the price, isn’t it? I actually went for a second time the other day too, since NL told me about the thin noodles. It was delicious!! But you’re right, the soup is pretty oily so one trip satisfies my craving for a few weeks.

  9. 13 Kristen June 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    I LOOOOOOOOOOOVED it! Thanks for the recommendation! NL wrote everything for me, but actually I had the thin noodles and enjoyed it even more! I also LOVED the egg (got 2 the last time!) And they were so nice, letting us use 1 coupon for each to get 2 extra toppings! Great deal!

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