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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


REVIEW: Destination Tucson: Kukai Japanese cuisine

AJ Stash Castillo

The outside of Kukai, a local restaurant featuring Japanese cuisine. 

At the end of the SunLink lies MSA Annex, an outdoor space containing shops as well as places to eat and drink. Operating since 2019, Kukai is one of the restaurants that specializes in Japanese cuisine.

I visited during its lunch hours of 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Kukai has both lunch and dinner hours during the week, except on Mondays when it is closed. The menu contains ramen, sushi and onigiri, just to name a few.

When going up to the window, the restaurant has a hanging red lantern which on the menu signifies what is being served as some items are not served daily. You can check out the Kukai website to see its full menu.

When I last went, the cashier was friendly and asked customers how their day had been before handing over a buzzer for their food.

I ordered the Hakata Ramen, which contains Hakata-style pork broth with thin ramen noodles served with chashu pork, boiled egg, ginger and green onions. I also got Salmon Onigiri, which was basically a rice ball filled with salmon and seaweed on the outside.

The wait time was not long at all; it flew by pretty quickly. The food itself is mind-blowing, especially as it was quite a windy, cold day. The ramen was filling and felt like a warm hug with all the flavors combining in the pork broth together. The onigiri was also a delicious side to the ramen.

Sitting outside eating the food was also a nice change of atmosphere than just sitting inside a restaurant or eating in the car. The atmosphere was calm and the food was warm, disregarding the cold weather.

Kukai is a must-try for all you foodies out there!

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