With aggressive expansion plans to open 21 locations in in Texas for 2017, AGU A Ramen Bistro put focus back on Hawaii by opening its first pop-up location on Oahu. Taking over the Iyo Udon space next to Victoria’s Secret on the Mauka side of Ala Moana Center, AGU A Ramen Bistro is testing a new format ramen shop which opened in late August—a self-service eatery where customers simply order and pay for their food at the counter before finding a seat in the dining room, where a server will deliver the food.
The menu will be limited compared to the other five locations, featuring some of the most popular dishes, including shio (salt) tonkotsu (pork-based broth), shoyu tonkotsu, spicy tonkotsu, shio jidori (chicken-based broth), shoyu jidori, yuzu jidori, vegetarian tan tan, pork curry rice, and soboro don. Appetizers and sides, such as gyoza, AGUcini (deep fried cheese rice ball), chicken karaage (fried chicken), and agedashi tofu (deep fried tofu cubes in a light dashi) will also be served.
Those mourning the loss of Iyo Udon will be relieved to hear that a few of the most popular udon items will remain on the menu—the kake udon (hot noodles in soup), bukkake (both versions—hot and chilled noodles with soy-based broth), buta curry udon (noodles bathed in a rich pork curry) and zaru udon (cold dipping noodle) options—in addition to a variety of tempura selections served ala carte.
“We want to try something quick and easy for those who are on a tight schedule,” says Hisashi “Teddy” Uehara, owner and chef. “This format works well in Texas for ramen, and so we wanted to see how it works for a location such as Ala Moana that witnesses shoppers, retail employees, and businesspeople who need a quick bite.”
The pop-up is slated to be open for eight months, until March 31, 2018. AGU A Ramen Bistro operates five other locations throughout Oahu. For more information, visit www.aguramen.com or call (808) 797-2933.