We showed up at Agu Ramen, the original location on Isenberg at the Saint Louis Alumni Association, about an hour after they opened on a random Tuesday. They already had a 30 minute wait going. Not picky, we told the hostess that we would sit anywhere…table, bar…just get us that ramen. That thirty minute wait actually turned out to be just 10 minutes, and we were shuttled to the bar, bypassing those who had requested a table. Score.
“Hisashi Uehara, Executive Chef and Owner, named his premier ramen bistros, “AGU” which means “fellowship” or “best friends” in Miyako, his native Okinawa dialect. Every day, more than 1,560 pounds of pork bones are slowly boiled at an extremely high heat for over 24 hours in order to create AGU’s signature, creamy yet hearty, tonkotsu broth. The resulting enticing rich flavor speaks of the love that goes into every bowl. Tonkotsu Ramen is considered by many to be the “king of ramen”.”
The menu. If there’s a piggy next to it, then it’s gotta be good, right? Agu’s menu has proved to be more than popular, with restauranteurs opening four other locations on Oahu (Ward, Kapolei, Waikiki, and Pearlridge). They’ve also opened up three restaurants in Houston and plan to expand to Dallas as well.
Of course, we had the requisite gyoza, which we enjoyed more than Golden Pork’s version.
We also got adventurous and tried the Fried Mimiga (pork ears). Actually, not really adventurous since we’re filipino and filipinos are born with taste buds made for anything pork based and fatty. We’ve got good genes (and high blood pressure).
Ban Ban Ji Kurage, noodle-like slices of crunchy jellyfish, marinated in sesame ginger sauce. Not your average ramen-ya side dish.
I’ve been asking each ramen-ya about their favorite or most popular ramen dishes. The staff at Agu Ramen told me that it was the Original Kotteri, so the Original Kotteri it was. Think rich broth made with black garlic oil, garlic, and silky se-abura. This bowl of ramen was steaming full of umami.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, topped with house char siu, aji tamago, kikurage, takana, beni shouga, and negi.
Everyone is happier when they’ve got ramen in their tummy.
925 Isenberg Street
Honolulu, HI 96826