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Noodle Club in Waimea Serves Up Oodles…

August 5, 2016, 10:28 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:22 AM
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To slurp or not to slurp, that is the question.

At the Noodle Club in Waimea, locals gather around tables surrounded by whimsical décor to talk story and slurp up their favorite noodle dishes.

Owner Edwin Goto opened the Noodle Club in October 2015 with the goal of bringing one of his favorite dishes North Hawai‘i.

“I love noodles and I didn’t think Waimea was serving any good noodles,” said Goto. “So when people encouraged me to open the restaurant, I thought it was a good idea.”

Goto got his start in the restaurant business in the late ’70s, working in free-standing restaurants and hotels in Waikīkī . The Noodle Club is his first venture in owning a business.

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“This is the first time I’ve been a business owner of a restaurant, so it’s kind of exciting,” he said. “From Waikīkī, I went to San Francisco and worked for five years. Then I came back to Hawai‘i and worked at the Mauna Lani Hotel. Today, I just want to serve really good food in a fun environment.”

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The environment is indeed fun. Decorated with vintage toys and retro super heroes, Goto brings a whimsical flare to his establishment.

He discovered his interest in toy collecting on the Mainland, when he would visit antique road shows. He became intrigued with toys of yore, and his collection now graces the walls of the Noodle Club.

The restaurant has a fresh, contemporary look, expertly designed by local architect Paul Donoho of Honoka‘a.

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The menu at the Noodle Club is exclusive, yet satisfying.

For starters, the mouth-watering Bao Buns are akin to Asian tacos filled with pork belly, pickled vegetables and siracha mayonnaise (a vegetarian option is also available).

Noodles are, of course, plentiful. The All Things Pork Ramen is brimming with short rib, chicharon, bacon tare, nori, pea tendril and oyster mushroom.

The Big Pho King Bone is a carnivore’s dream, with rice noodle, bean sprout, sweet onion, cilantro, thai basil, and of course, a huge beef bone cut in half to expose the marrow. It’s very tasty, but probably not something to eat in front of your vegan friends.

If you want something a little different than a noodle dish, #22 Sun Noodles are fried noodles tossed with a ginger, garlic, scallion pesto, oyster mushrooms and pork shavings. It’s as good as it sounds.

It’s also worth saving some room in your belly for the Almond Milk Panna Cotta served with fresh seasonal fruit.

According to Goto, the Noodle Club has become a gathering place for people to meet up with friends.

“That’s all I want—someplace fun,” Goto said.

The Noodle Club is located at 67-1185 Mamalahoa Highway, A106, in Waimea.

It’s open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays.

#22 Sun Noodle

Noodle Club’s #22 Sun Noodle. Karen Rose photo.

Noodle Club’s All Things Pork Ramen. Karen Rose photo.

Almond Milk Panna Cotta

Noodle Club’s Almond Milk Panna Cotta. Karen Rose photo.

Noodle Club’s Bao Buns. Karen Rose photo.

Noodle Club’s Big Pho King Bone Noodles. Karen Rose photo.

Noodle Club Interior

Noodle Club interior. Karen Rose photo.

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