Oritsu at the Maui Mall reminds me a little of the ramen shops in Tokyo that I ate at in my college days. There were excellent bowls of steaming noodles and veggies, a slight language barrier and lots of photos on the menus. All that’s missing at Oritsu is the hustle and bustle of the city and the plastic food replicas that all restaurants in Japan seem to display.
This place used to be called Maui Mixed Plate, but in 2013 the owners decided to rebrand as Oritsu, a ramen shop serving Japanese style noodle bowls. With the language difference at Oritsu I can’t tell you for sure how they make their broths, but I can tell you that they offer three styles with your ramen: shoyu, miso and a tan tan sesame broth. Their noodles are made by Sun Noodle in Oahu. While they get mixed reviews on Yelp, I can say that every time I’ve visited the ramen was delicious and the noodles were consistently prepared al dente. My sister loves ramen, and Oritsu is one of her favorite spots.
The dining room got an upgrade in the rebranding, and the restaurant changed to a sit-down style. They have a TV on one side of the dining room, as well as a murky fish tank.
Their menu has 12 different ramen options. Veggie and kim chee are my favorites, while my daughter likes the wakame. They also have tempura, gomoku, chicken, charsiu and seafood, just to name a few. The veggie and kim chee version come with a generous serving of vegetables and that’s what I love about them. They also offer combos like ramen with beef or chicken skewers or gau gee.
I noticed Oritsu also snuck in some of the plate style options that used to be from Maui Mixed Plate to round things out. There are katsus, bbq chicken, steak, short ribs, curry, fish and shrimp plates, all with two scoop rice and and one scoop mac salad. Entrees also include hamburgers, ramen burgers, cold noodle dishes, chow fun, soba, fried rice and dry mein. They also have New York steak teppanyaki and garlic prawns, but I haven’t tried those.
Last time I visited, my server told me the oxtail soup was really good so I tried it. It has a hint of Chinese five spice and ginger in its steeped, gamey broth, which comes with shiitake, Chinese black mushroom, bamboo shoots and big tender oxtails. It’s well worth trying.
Oritsu also has a lot of small plate side orders you can get: gyoza, skewers, tempura, egg rolls and French fries. The garden salad ($4.50) is a great value because it comes with a big plate of fresh greens, cabbage and tomatoes tossed in Asian dressing. There is also a brown rice and green salad with protein combinations for healthier dinners.
Since not all the staff speaks English, use the numbers for the dishes instead of their names on the menu when ordering. The service can be spotty, but the food usually comes out quick.
70 E. Ka`ahumanu Ave., Kahului