TsuruTonTan Udon Noodle Brasserie is known for its bowls of chewy udon that are as big on flavor as they are in size. The restaurant offers noodles served in dashi, curry or cream-based broths and recently introduced a $9.95 kamaaina lunch special that's worth in stop Waikiki.
$9.95 Kamaaina lunch special udon set
- Choice of a mini chicken soboro rice bowl or takikomi rice or a rotating weekly special donburi – on the week I went, it was a yamakake ikura rice bowl.
- And choice of a regular or large tanuki (hot or cold), curry or cream udon
The lunch specials are normally $15 each. Kamaaina can nab any of them for $9.95 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.. This set is one of the most filling and also one of the best values I've come across in a while. Die-hard udon fiends will flock to the tanuki udon and takikomi gohan (mixed rice). If you need something with more body, the curry or cream udon and soboro donburi are the ticket. There are 12 different combos you could end up with – that's plenty to choose from!
When the tray arrived, I knew I had overestimated how truly hungry I was. I ordered the large because it was free to upgrade but don't take it for granted – it's absolutely massive, making the set well worth its $9.95 price.
Soboro is ground chicken that's simmered in a sweet gingery shoyu-based sauce. It's served with scrambled egg or shredded omelet over white rice and is often served in yakitori restaurants at the end of the meal. It's a comforting dish that could stand on its own, but the mini donburi turned out to be just enough with the huge vat of creamy udon.
Happy hour starts at 11:30 a.m., so get yourself a frosty $1.99 draft beer or $2.99 glass of sake to set your meal off.
TsuruTonTan validates parking for two hours at Royal Hawaiian Center so if you play your cards right, you'll have some extra dough and time to get yourself a dessert too.
Royal Hawaiian Center
2201 Kalakaua Ave.
Lunch special 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
2 hours validated parking included