Gomatei – Ward Village, HI

Gomatei been around long time yeah? I remember when I used to go all the time when they first opened. I believe Ward was their first location and it was SO popular when they first opened and I remember how good it was. I don’t know what happened, maybe my tastes changed but I stopped going there but we decided to give it a try again. I think I haven’t been to Gomatei in like over 5 years. Poor things, they have adjusted to the pandemic by offering takeout ordering but each time they answered the phone, they had to clarify each time that they are the Ward location and not the Ala Moana one. I can see why there is confusion, their street address also has Ala Moana in it! So many phone calls ended with no orders…

Won Ton Shoyu Ramen | $11.75

Served with Japanese style Won Ton (with chopped shrimps and minced pork, marinated for 24 hours in our special soy sauce and essence of dried scallop. Then chopped baby bamboo shoots and shredded wood ears are added for an unique flavor) and vegetable garnishes.

Garlic Tan Tan Ramen | $13.25

Served with Japanese style Char Siu (tender pork belly) and vegetable garnishes. And added garlic bits, blanched in oil for a slightly crispy finish.

This my bowl. I love garlic. Have I told you this? LOVE GARLIC. Now that I’m looking at the price difference between a simple garlic ramen and a won ton ramen…do I think it was worth the extra money? Not really.

There is something lacking in their broth now. I remember how flavorful and deep the flavors of the tan tan ramen used to be. And look, this is coming from a person who no like salty food anymore (bland city for me usually) and it just felt underwhelming. One of the fun things about eating there in the past was finishing up the noodles and slurping up some of that good soup…and finding bits of chung choi that helps flavor the soup. No such luck this time. And the garlic? Barely added any taste! How’s that!

Curry Loco Moco | $12.99

Served with Hokkaido rice, Japanese style hamburger, and an egg.

Funny story, we had a hard time figuring out where to eat. I love a curry loco moco and told my friend that if we didn’t share this dish, our friendship would end. Friendship survived. First funny thing, where’s the hamburger?? Well it’s underneath that egg, lol. It was a good hamburger patty but yeah it was kind of small. Delicious dish! I would order this again for sure.

You know, me staking our friendship on a curry loco moco dish could have saved us some stress. I won’t name the restaurant, but we almost went to another place. Well, we made a reservation for the previous restaurant for this week and I got a call cancelling the reservation due to a possible covid case. ALWAYS THREATEN FRIENDSHIPS OVER FOOD. You’re welcome for the lesson.

Lilikoi | $4.00
Wild Jamacian and Yellow Passion Fruit

Lydgate Farms | $4.00
Locally grown vanilla bean glaze, cacao nibs, cherry drizzle

Hot Single | $4.00
Tolentino Farms neighborhood honey + flakey sea salt

L&L | $4.00
Lemon and lime baby. Meyer lemon sugar, Tahitian lime curd, citrus caviar

Strawberry Fields | $4.00
Kula farms Maui strawberries and green tea

Hot Single | $4.00
Tolentino Farms neighborhood honey + flakey sea salt

If you’re at Ward, you gotta go to Holey Grail Donuts for dessert. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be dessert, just go there and try their donuts. Look, it’s expensive. $4.00 a piece but you’re supporting a small local business…it’s delicious and it’s donuts. Come on. Well I think I have overdone it so I won’t be going for a while now but it doesn’t make these donuts any less good!

My absolute favorite is their Hot Single…the other flavors always sound so intriguing but in the end, I think the Hot Single is the winners. And thankfully, the hot single is a main stay on their menu. I am usually a huge fan of lilikoi but found it a bit lackluster on this donut. The L&L looks pretty and sounds amazing but eh…tastes just alright. I actually preferred the Strawberry Fields donut more though you can hardly taste the green tea (which is fine with me). Hot Single all the way!

8 comments

  1. Honolulu Aunty says:

    I sometimes go to the Gomatei in Kahala Mall. I order the spicy broth, vegetarian and side order of gyoza for a very satisfying meal. Sometimes it is too spicy, but then, I really like spicy.

  2. Arlene says:

    Junk that Gomatei’s soup isn’t as good as it used to be, maybe you could be an agent of change by giving their social media a little hint? Have you tried the Noods place yet?

    • Jenny says:

      I didn’t even know they had social media presence, lol. Maybe I give another location a taste first before judging too hard. I haven’t tried Noods yet but I’ve been wanting to! Also wanna try the new one in Kaimuki. Onoya?

    • Jenny says:

      Ahh…it’s too bad they closed down. That whole section of shops have been torn down…they are building yet another high rise…

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