Kaleo O Kalihi
Ramen Time - Chimpei
January 10th, 2010

Back in the day, me and the missus would go to eat weekly ay the old DaiRyu on King Street. According to my friends from Japan, it was close to "Hon mono," or the real thing. I guess having a ramen cook from Japan made that possible. Maybe the major difference being cooked in Hawaii. It was a place of comfort and good food at prices we could afford at the time. After we got married, we moved to Makakilo and our DaiRyu days were over. Sadly, the restaurant closed a few years later. I don't mean to make any disparaging remarks, but the new Dai Ryu in Kapalama is just not the same. So what is a ramen lover to do?....
Easy, braddah, easy. The new place for me is Chimpei. They are located in the old Misuzu location on King Street. Spicy food lovers may remember It's Chili in Hawaii on the corner.
The menu is pretty extensive and I like it that way. I take my ramen quite seriously. You can order many different varieties and a few that are a little off the ramen path.
There are also many specials that are posted right up on the wall in typical Japanese mom and pops style and like Misuzu used to do. Try the mochi inside your ramen, it's so good.
Ever hard at work, owner, Mr. Hashigami crafts the tasty broth and noodles with whatever toppings the item calls for. My mouth is watering as I write...
Hon mono desu (The real thing lidat) Hashigami san even has someone that helps with the cooking duties right out of Japan. Yes, I know that I'm not from Japan, but had ramen there and Chimpei is the closest thing to being in the motherland.
And of course the star of the show, my favoritest ramen, Chimpei's Miso Ramen. There are little soy beans in the broth from the miso paste that float around. I try to get the noodles, the broth and the beans in perfect proportions. That way, I can enjoy every single bite in the exact same way.
Now no visit to any ramen establishment is complete without the ever famous ramen sidekick, gyoza. Now that my 2 sons are growing, we are gonna have to start ordering more than 12 pieces. My little one already counts and rations the order.
My side order of bean sprouts. Just kidding. As much as I love Chimpei, I do not like bean sprouts. Only problem is that I always forget to ask to leave them out. In typical "no waste" Hawaii style, my wife eats em for me. Good wife.

Chimpei Ramen
2080 S King St
Honolulu, HI 96826
(808) 947-5919

17 Responses to “Ramen Time - Chimpei”

  1. wafan:

    I need to start a list of places to eat when I visit during the summer. This place sounds good! What is the parking like?

  2. Ynaku:

    Oh brah. My mouth is watering as I read. Eh wat kine guy you no eat bean sprout?? 😛 Nah brah, wat eva you need to enjoy the eating experience.

    Wat time now? Time to look for fuud. I stay hungry cause of you 😆

  3. M:

    Hello Alan!

    I gotta check this place out!

  4. aokami:

    Oh man, the places to go, the places to go. Make sure you diet before you come, so that you can go all out. Parking is pretty good for them. Just don't park in the church's parking (clearly marked) or you may be walking home.

    I know what you saying. Hilo no mo da kine ramen places yeah? Lot's of Pho places though. Been noticing a bunch of Thai and Vietnamese coming up.

    Go, M, go. If you like ramen, you gonna love this place. It has become my favorite place. I like Goma Tei and Goma Ichi too, but Chimpei is my fave.

  5. M:

    Alan, What do you think of Tenkaippin in Kapahulu?

  6. Melissa:

    Looks good! Are those home made noodles?

  7. aokami:

    I want to try Tenkaipin, but always no mo parking. On top of that, I'm a parking Nazi. Hate to park close to others. Love my vehicles like babies

    think they're Uki san and the gang at Sun Noodles. Got to meet him too a couple of weeks ago at the Peacebridge fundraiser

  8. Keahi Pelayo:

    Looks like a really ono and reasonably priced place.

  9. matt:

    my mouth is watering. you're right, though...no can beat the ramen from the motherland.

  10. aokami:

    Keahi Pelayo
    Yes, reasonable, real good and uh...shoots, I was trying to make it the three "R's" oh well. I know you got the gist of it

    Dude, go with the miso, I tell you, it's unreal. Quite close if not the same as the motherland. Only my Nihon friends and family would contest that. "Food iz sooo gud in Japahn yeah? So diflent flum Hawaii yeah?".....uh yeah...sure. Ahem...

  11. matt:

    tbh, the only food I didn't care for in Japan was the ramen!! not all of it, just the one my cousin took me to in their hometown (kurume). I guess they're famous as the birthplace of tonkotsu broth and it was strooooong. really pungent and kind of off putting to my western nose or something. I'm not shy about trying new foods and I'll eat anything once, but once was enough for me for tonkotsu ramen made the "real" way in kyushu.
    the shoyu ramen i had in tokyo is no ka oi, though.

  12. Local Guy:

    My favorite ramen place is Goma Ichi. But I gotta try Chimpei. The only regret I have is that all these ramen places will drive the saimin places out of business.

  13. Moke Young:


    Once again it's nice to think about great foods & for me I guess that I've been use to the mountauin style of Japanese cuisine opposed to the Tokyo style refined style of cooking that is different from what I was use to growing up in Hawai'i eating my Mom's dishes.

    I finally made it to a Ramen shop after being so stuck on Saimin Hawaiian style and could see no better way than to eat at the establishment in Lihue, Kauai that is hard to compare with.

    Though I enjoyed the Ramen at a hole in the wall joint located on NYC's lower eastside I was also amazed at the packed Japanese eateries that makes for a food fest & a great place to eat during the wee hours.

    What I liked was how they prepared white turnips julienne cut with soy sauce that was the simplest & most flavorful dish I've tasted never knowing that a turnip or daicon could taste that good!

    Ramen shops are a great example for any community & it's great to see your dish prepared right in front of you and when there's a charismatic chef, it can be a nice little celebration for the palette & soul.

    There's so many great combinations too and endless perhaps.

    Mahalo's for sharing and for breaking the glands in my mouth once more.

    It's funny how thinking of food can be so stimulating & definitely good for the soul!

    I thought of your ukulele company yesterday watching Herb Ohta Jr. on youtube & figured that someday soon I'll need an electrified version with the unique crown. I am content to just play for myself to get into a nice zone but have been asked to play in public of late knowing too that being able to share Hawaiian music is truly a gift & a great way to connect people in so many ways.

    I'll be performing next month at the State University of New York's Farmingdale campus here in Long Island during a Green Festival my friend directs & I putting together songs to tell a nice story about Hawai'i, it's peoples and the Aloha Spirit.

    Mahalo's for another great though on good food that has been one of the highlights of my life traveling abroad and sampling so many different versions of good food.

    Keep up the great effort.

    Aloha Poalima!

    With Aloha,

    Moke Young

  14. aokami:

    Sorry to hear about your tonkotsu ramen experience. It's not my favorite broth either. I tend to go with miso more often than not. Shoyu is little plain for me as I like mine rich, but not too thick like tonkotsu.

    Local Guy,
    I love Goma Ichi too, but hard sometimes, especially if you go prime time. No guarantee that you'll get in before you stop being hungry. The miso tan over there is the one I always go for.

    Moke Young,
    Glad the posts bring home closer to you my friend. I know you said that you probably not going to make it home anytime soon, but I would love to meet you if you did. I'm also happy to hear about your playing ukulele. It's such a happy instrument and meant to be shared in the way that you are doing.

  15. Nathan:

    Dang, if I had known I would have gone while I was home two weeks ago!

  16. B Hee:

    Love your blog...remember me....Erins friend..tshirts..my mouth is watering as i read...and i even ate dinner already...hahah. Aloha!

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