My favorite ramen place in Hawaii is the popular but hidden Goma Tei. Located in the middle of a shopping strip, invisible from the road, the small restaurant is beloved by locals and there’s often a wait for a table. My dad loves sesame chicken over cucumbers, so we usually begin by splitting a side order.
Usually on my first or last night in Hawaii, my family goes out for dinner here together (either to welcome me home or to send me off again). We always share some gyoza; no matter what else we’re having, this is a must. I’ve had a lot of gyoza and this one is very good.
Even though the other options are tempting, I always get a big bowl of ramen. My favorites are the tan tan ramen, a Chinese-Japanese hybrid made of broth flavored with sesame, and shoyu ramen, flavored with soy sauce. Usually ramen comes with char siu (this is what gives the broth such a delicious, rich flavor) but I also sometimes order chicken in mine. It also comes with bok choy, which I can never get enough of.
My mom ordered the curry chicken katsu, which you can see in the background; this dish is also just so delicious. If you get the chance, I would definitely recommend eating at Goma Tei! Locals argue whether this restaurant, or nearby Goma Ichi (which I’ve never been to) makes the best ramen on Oahu. The legend is that Goma Ichi was the first, and the partners split, one of whom later opened Goma Tei. The last time I was in Hawaii I went to Goma Ichi on my last night, only to be crushed when I saw the CLOSED sign. Next time, I must make it!
Goma Tei Ramen
Location: 1200 Ala Moana Blvd. #429 Honolulu, HI 96814 Phone: (808) 591-9188