By Braddah Lance
I kinda left Da WWD! Hui hanging many blogs ago wen I posted about a food review showdown on How Do You Grind?.
There were three establishments that Da Wife and I went to wea each had it's positives and negatives. They were (according to da pics on da "How Do You Grind?" blog) Moe's Southwest Grill, The Alley and Daiichi Ramen & Curry. I'll let you guess which came in second but da hands down winnah is.......
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Wassup Wit Dat!
And da winnah is...................... Daiichi Ramen & Curry!
Dis was our first time evah at Daiichi. We dined in at da Aiea location and latah found out they had opened a second location in Pearl City (same complex as Starbucks, L&L and Pandas). Not sure if they still are offereing a 10% discount for take-out as a grand opening special but it doesn't hurt to ask. They also normally have coupons in the Val-Pak that comes in da mail.
Believe it or not, dis pic is missing anoddah main dish. I ordered a 2-set combo which came wit a "mini" udon (soba, saimin or udon in choice of broth) and two side dishes. Da Wife ordered a 1-set combo. Her udon couldn't fit in da pic.
Dis was my udon with tantan broth. Da broth is very hearty and "gritty". I cannot say for certain if the noodles are made in house or brought in but they were not over boiled and still "chewy" and solid as it should be.
Hea's a description of da tan tan broth which is cooked for 12 hours. Yup, TWELVE HOURS!
Da Wife had udon as well with shoyu base. Da wooden spoon was a nice touch I thought trying to give it da "ramen feel".
Part 1 of da two set combo I got a "mini" curry with rice. Da curry was tasty but on da watery side as Japanese curry tends to be. I prefer "thick" curry myself but for those who like the texture of curry from The Curry House will like the curry at Daiichi. Imho, I believe both use S&B curry but it is not confirmed nor will I say that it is, it just has similarities.
For part II of da two set combo I got da chicken katsu. Da breading on da chicken was put together nicely. It wasn't heavy or over-coated and you had a nice balance of chicken and breading. I'm not 100% surah if they used Panko but it tasted like it to keep it light. It was a little thin but I think they pounded it to make the chicken softer and it was.
Da Wife choose da 4pc gyoza for her one set combo. Gyoza is gyoza. Da main thing you no burn 'em.
So hea's da breakdown:
Three and a half Shakas and a Chance 'Um
Tables are a little tight (hence da 1/2 shaka deduction) to fit as much customers as can but it's a very casual restaurant, not fine dining. It was a little warm inside but it could have been just da broth... or maybe cause we were right undah da a/c and couldn't feel da breeze.
Four Shakas and an Au'right!
Service was more than satisfactory. The restaurant was packed with people shuttling in and out quickly and the hostess/server made it a point to greet everyone or at least say hi. She even anticipated Da Baby's needs by bringing an empty bowl and extra spoon before we even asked. A nice touch dat I liked was that she thanked everyone before they left with genuine sincerity instead of just "saying it".
Five Shakas and a Howzit!
For all da food we got and feeding 2 1/4 people for only $16 and change ($20 wit tip) I'd say dat would rank right up there as one of da bettah deals in town. I was more than stuffed - and I'm a big eater - so for an average eater, it's garans a take some to work for lunch kinda deal.
Four Shakas and an Au'right!
You want an onolicious, stuff your opu, quick and fairly cheap meal (for wat you're getting) then check out Daiichi Ramen & Curry. They have two locations: one in Aiea right across the Shell station below Aiea Bowl and the second in Pearl City. It really is a family, aftah a game or practice, no like cook at home kinda place.