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Chew On This

Shiro’s recipes stand the test of time

By Michelle Lee Photos By Anthony Consillio
October 19, 2014

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After nearly five decades in operation, Shiro’s Saimin Haven boasts a menu that reads unlike any other. With nearly 70 different types of saimin alone, the eatery offers truly endless options of local favorites. Founded by the late Franz Shiro Matsuo, known by locals simply as “Mistah Saimin,” Shiro’s invites all to try the classics that have kept the family-run business going strong.

“Although our menu is constantly expanding, most of the dishes we offer have been around since we opened,” says restaurant manager Bryce Fujimoto. “He (Shiro) was a very meticulous person in the kitchen, and always made sure the flavors were perfect.”

Case in point, the diner’s famous Spam Saimin with Wun Tun ($7.95) is a crowd favorite. Served with generous portions of char siu, Spam, egg, green onions and cabbage, the saimin pays homage to a variety of cultures with ingredients commonly found in Chinese, Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine.

“People love coming here for saimin because we use fresh ingredients and make our noodles in-house, which we never freeze,” says Fujimoto. “While our signature broth is made from kelp and bonito flakes, customers also can choose our special hot and spicy broth for just $1 more.”

For those craving noodles of a different kind, Shiro’s Country Fried Noodles with Pork Adobo ($9.50) is a sure winner, served with char siu, green onion and egg alongside tender pieces of pork adobo.

“While our pork adobo still remains loyal to Shiro’s original recipe, we recently updated (the recipe) to allow the meat to tenderize and absorb more flavor,” explains Fujimoto. “The cooking process is a bit laborious. We broil the meat for a minimum of four to five hours to get it just right.”

In addition to its dine-in offerings, Shiro’s Saimin Haven is available for take-out and catering service.

Shiro’s Saimin Haven

Waimalu Shopping Center
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea
488-8824
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m.