About 200 hopeful and hungry people were lined up in Kakaako this morning to get a chance to buy the original Ramen Burger, brought to Hawaii for the first time at the pop-up venue Taste by New York chef Keizo Shimamoto.
The hamburger sandwiched between two ramen "buns" was one of the nation’s biggest food crazes in 2013. By the time doors opened at 11 a.m., the line along Auahi Street had turned the corner and stretched down Keawe Street.
First in line was Jean Sumait and her boyfriend, Allen Campbell, who arrived in Kakaako from their Windward Oahu home at 8 a.m. Right behind them was Jeanne Hill of Honolulu. The two women said they saw the burger being prepared on a local morning news show yesterday and then dreamt about eating it.
"It looked so good on TV I just had to come," said Sumait as she took her first bite. "It’s very juicy and the ramen is like cake noodles. I love it. It was definitely worth $10 to try."
Shimamoto slated 700 burgers for sale today. Each customer was allowed to purchase up to three burgers. Another burger for purchase was a ramen pork burger crafted by local chef Mark Noguchi, who oversees Taste.
Shimamoto, a former computer programmer who gave up his career to study ramen making in Japan, created the dish in August. Since then, the burger has been a hit in major U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Jose. It also caused a stir in Brazil.