Hawaiian-themed ramen in Ikebukuro? I'll admit, I was skeptical of this one!
The default ramen-like noodle dish in Hawaii is called saimin. I had some once and it wasn't something I would be rushing to do again anytime soon. Soggy noodles, strange toppings, and a weak soup. I expected Hulu-lu to either be some sort of saimin thing, or I expected spam. Or pineapples.
What you get is a solid shoyu in the new style. Bits of fried onion highlight a mellow soup. Everything about this bowl is subtle and relaxing. How Hawaiian of them!
I have to mention the noodles. Made in the back by the master, they are firm and chewy. I was taken aback by how good they were. Siamin noodles are horribly soggy, so to have some perfectly cooked noodles was a surprise indeed.
Ikebukuro tends to be a bit rough around the edges, so this little oasis is a welcome addition to my recommended ramen list. Be warned, though, they run out of soup at times.
The spam. Yes, in Hawaiian fashion, there is spam. But not as a topping or ingredient in the soup. If you purchase the spam set (you should), you get a wonderful spam rice ball. Filled with konbu seaweed and a shiso leaf. It is even wrapped in plastic, so you can take it with you and have it later. Give it a try!
I made a video with the Yummy Japan crew. Check it out!
Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Ikebukuro 2-60-7
Closest station: Ikebukuro
Open 11:30-15:00, 18:00-21:00