Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Yajima-Ya is a food truck located on Sheridan St. in Honolulu, Hawaii. They are known for their donburi bowls (rice bowls with meat, tempura, or vegetables on top), udon and soba noodle dishes, and...iced coffees and waffles?! Yup, you got that right!

Some of their regular menu items (December 2011)

I found this truck on a Monday and ordered the Samurai Donburi special bowl ($7.50): a combination of vegetable tempura and sliced beef over rice. The dish also had some red pickled ginger and what appeared to be a teriyaki-style glaze over the rempura and the rice (might be wrong on that, though).

Samurai Donburi Special
I really liked the flavors of the glaze. Unfortunately, the tempura didn't look or feel like a true tempura -- at least not how I remembered it growing up. Instead of being that light, airy batter, it was a dense, harder shell of fried food (made even denser since it was cooled down). To be fair, it had some crispiness. I just feel the tempura must be served freshly fried, hot out of the oil, for that ideal fried experience. I was hoping to see shrimp tempura in there, but no dice here -- maybe it was ground up with the shredded tempura veggies?

The beef had good flavor, but was a bit of a disappointment because I saw tons of stringy fat throughout my portion, with very little meat. While many people could probably just eat the fat without much fuss, I'd rather bite into some lean meat than fatty strings any day of the week. As for the red pickled ginger...sorry, I just never acquired a taste for that. Just too bitter for me.

Yajima-Ya has a spicy cold noodle dish that looks quite appealing. But for now, this was merely an average experience. 5.25/10

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