Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jimbo: Restaurant Review

I am crazy about noodles and eat them just about every chance I get. In Hawaii the noodles to indulge in are Asian. You can find Vietnamese pho and bun, Chinese noodles and dumplings and Japanese noodles.

When it comes to Japanese noodles there are three kinds I know and love--ramen, soba and udon. I've got a favorite spot for soba I'll be reviewing soon, and a number of ramen places on my list to check out. But when it comes to udon, I recommend Jimbo where they make the chewy thick white wheat noodles daily.

There are many ways you can tell a good restaurant, a bench out front with people always waiting to get in is a pretty dependable sign. Jimbo is a pretty little Japanese restaurant that specializes in udon. The menu is enormous because you can have noodles hot, cold, in soup, in salad, in sauce, stir fried, in a pot, and with an almost endless array of optional rice dishes.

I had a hot bowl of udon soup with sansai and wakame or mountain vegetables and seaweed. With sansai, there is always a variety of textures and flavors including mushrooms and various greens. I like it because it tastes healthy and fresh. It was a huge bowl and the broth had a very homemade rich flavor of dashi. This is a filling but light type of meal and I would happily order it again.

Lee had a combination that included saba, or mackerel and tofu with bonito flakes, and it was very satisfying. We also shared an order of crispy tempura.

My father had a bowl of curry katsu udon. Japanese love curry and this was a bowl of curry, slices of breaded pork cutlet and plenty of noodles. I've never seen this in the Bay Area but apparently it is popular in Japan, so I've read. My mom had a bowl of snow crab and egg soup with udon. Prices are reasonable and you can easily get out for about $15 per person.

More reviews of Jimbo:
Ono Kine Grindz
Epicurean Appetite

Jimbo Restaurant
1936 S. King St
Honolulu, Oahu