Food Review: Hokaben Japanese Kitchen Maumelle

Hokaben is the new-ish Japanese place for take-out here in the Maumelle. It replaced the Captain Express Hawaiian BBQ place, which originally replaced Dominos Pizza. While we have plenty of Japanese food options here in Maumelle (2 food trucks and 1 full restaurant), this new addition has a few items no one else has…and I’m loving it!

MENU

The expansive menu can be found on their site. There are plenty of appetizers, a ton of sushi options, poke bowls, bento boxes, and then the typical hibachi dinners with one exception: you can get noodles instead of rice!

While I haven’t tried one yet, the bento boxes are supposed to be so good! I just can’t bring myself to not order those hibachi noodles!

FOOD

OMG Roll: $12.
Description: Sushi rice, spicy tuna, crab stick, avocado, topped with crunchy, sriracha aioli, eel sauce, scallion

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I’m a sucker for a fried sushi roll, so this is easily delicious! Even though it was packed hot, it was still plenty crunchy at home.

Spicy ahi poke bowl: $11.50

Source: https://hokaben.square.site/

This was such a great surprise. While I love making my own poke bowl so I can add to it what I like, this had just about everything I could want!  There was salmon in a spicy sauce, seaweed salad, avocado, onions, roe, wasabi, scallions, and more on top of a bed of rice. It was spicy! If you want a fresh, healthier option, go for one of these poke bowls. They are quite large, as well.

Hibachi Shrimp with Noodles: $10.25

While I love fried rice, these noodles are even better! So saucy and flavorful, plus they give you extra yum yum sauce to use as you please. I just dumped all of it over the noodles, veggies, and shrimp and mixed it all up. Absolutely delicious!!! These made for amazing leftovers, reheated in the microwave, as well….for days. This is a HEAVY box, full of more food than you would ever expect.

Hibachi Chicken with Noodles: $9.75

Everything I said about the shrimp holds true here. The chicken was perfectly cooked and so tender and flavorful. There was a lot more chicken here than there was shrimp in my shrimp box, so I’m going to stick to the chicken hibachi from now on.

Side Order of Grilled Vegetables: $4.75

I always order extra veggies to put with my leftovers so I’m not just eating noodles only for lunch.

Overall, you can’t go wrong here. There’s still so many things I want to try on the menu, but I’ll always have to get those hibachi noodles! I’ll get a bento box soon, though!

Food Review: Fujiyama on the Wheels, What a Deal!

I have seen this new, somewhat randomly placed, food truck in Morgan, on Hwy 365, right next to the Kum N Go. I finally decided to see if there were any reviews of the place yet, and there could only be a few found on their Facebook page. Though, all of the 27 FB reviews rated it 5/5. So, I had to get dinner there. Here’s the breakdown:

The Truck

The people were extremely nice and they got all the food I ordered (3 meals, including sushi) out in about 12 minutes. That is pretty fast! So, the experience here was great.

The Menu

I was pleasantly surprised by how affordable everything was. At a regular hibachi restaurant, hibachi chicken would be well over $10 dollars ($14.95 at Maumelle’s only other Japanese restaurant). I was also pleased that there was actual sushi! Though with all of it being cooked sushi, and most of it fried, it isn’t very authentic. However, it seemed cheap, so I had to try some.

The Food

California Bite Roll ($2.99)- top
Description: Deep fried California roll with 3 special sauces.

I was surprised at how much fried sushi I got for only $3!!!! The five pieces were very large and they sliced the sushi BEFORE frying it. So each piece was fully coated in tempura batter and deep fried. Then, it was covered in three sauces, though I could only detect two: spicy mayo and eel. It was good, though hard to eat, because it was so large. Nothing special, except for what a bargain! And if you love your sushi really fried, you will love this.

Seafood Special Roll ($7.95)- bottom
Description: Tuna, crab, shrimp, with yummy sauce deep fried with 3 oshin sauces. (all cooked)

The 8 pieces of this sushi roll was even larger than the California roll. They were packed full of the seafood filling, which mostly tasted of yum yum sauce, not that I’m complaining. The fry on this roll was different, it was crispier than the tempura batter as it appeared to be made of “crunch” and other breadcrumb breading. (If you know Arkansas sushi, you know what “crunch” is.)
I definitely liked the crunchiness of this roll. And there were definitely three sauces on this one, one being sriracha. So, I liked the sweet and slightly spicy combo of the sauce and seafood filling. It was definitely better than the California roll, but $5. But still, $8 for a huge sushi roll? I don’t hear of that anywhere else either. Still cheap!

Hibachi Vegetables ($5.95)

Holy moly, this was a ton of food! The entire to-go container was ¬†packed. The fried rice only consisted of rice and a bit of egg, and it was very bland. Though, it was the perfect texture, not overcooked like many others. The veggies included broccoli, onion, carrots, and zucchini. These were still very al-dente and also weren’t swimming in flavor. However, a cup of yumyum sauce also accompanies each entree. This $6 “meal” (more like 2-3) may be the best deal in Maumelle.

Hibachi Steak ($8.95)

While this again, was quite a deal compared to other places, this was the most disappointing item I bought. The steak was ordered medium-rare, though it was a little overcooked and there wasn’t much flavor. There also wasn’t much of it, period.

With the rice and veggies needing a little extra, I took both hibachi entrees and put them into my larger skillet, added four eggs, soy sauce, and the yum yum packets and made a very delicious fried rice with the veggies and steak mixed in.

While Drew and I ate some suchi, we couldn’t finish it all. We only had a few bites each of the rice and veggie mix. So, now we have those two to-go containers completely full of delicious leftovers. This will easily equal three- four more meals. WHAT A DEAL!

Overall

I am so glad to have this addition in Maumelle! Cheap, heaping amounts of Japanese food? Yes, please! I would order the shrimp hibachi entree instead of the steak. The reviews on that are it is delicious and perfectly cooked. I would definitely get the hibachi vegetables again, even if I have to mix them up and add soy sauce, big deal? And while it will be pretty darn hard to pass up $3 sushi, I may go with trying a couple of the other rolls. Their $5 crunchy shrimp is temping, and I heard people in line saying how good the Maumelle roll is. Will I be back? Definitely. And then I’ll eat for days.