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All Roads Lead to Shiro’s

By Phoebe Neel Photos By Anthony Consillio
January 11, 2015

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While the new year just barely has begun, it may be difficult to find reprieve from the inconvenience of roadwork, the cold weather and the threat of illness. In the midst of construction along Kamehameha Highway is longtime local favorite Shiro’s Saimin Haven. Since 1969, this local favorite has been doing its part to feed the masses tasty Hawaiian eats for cheap. Restaurant founder Franz Shiro Matsuo has elevated saimin to its own art form, while also offering patrons a variety of affordable plate lunch and sandwich options.

Lately, Shiro’s Saimin Haven has been affected by the roadwork just as much as commuters. “The major road-work almost is directly in front of us, and people have been struggling to get here,” says restaurant manager Bryce Fujimoto. “We really appreciate customers taking the time and trouble to get in here, especially our regulars, who have to take the back roads to reach the restaurant.

“We’re trying extra hard to cater to our customers and give them the best service that we can.”

Many know the best offense against the chilly weather, stressful commutes and the flu is a big bowl of saimin — and it’s worth the extra trouble to obtain.

Shiro’s devotion to the art of saimin means the establishment uses noodles shipped daily from its own factory on Dillingham, forgoing the common frozen or dehydrated noodles.

“Also, the broth is clean. We make it from bonito or kelp,” says Fujimoto.

Two delicious standouts among the restaurant’s 60 different saimin options are Miso Ono Clam Saimin ($9.95) and Spam Saimin ($7.95). “There’s a bug (flu) going around, so a lot of people also are ordering Boneless Chicken Saimin ($7.80),” notes Fujimoto. There’s a make-your-own-saimin option as well, where you can add anything from poi to pork adobo atop your noodles. In addition to its famous saimin, Shiro’s offers patrons a full menu of Hawaiian and local-style entrees, from Shiro’s Original Hula Hula Chicken (“Teri-yakking good!”) to Shiro’s Original Crispy Chicken (“Kachikachi crispy!”).

Fujimoto is overflowing with gratitude for all who have supported Shiro’s from the beginning. “We’re all in this together,” he says. “(Shiro’s) is happy to be here to provide a bit of warmth and aloha. I’d also like to thank our hard-working employees, who continue to provide excellent service and help make things run smoothly on a daily basis.”

Shiro’s Saimin Haven

Waimalu Shopping Center
98-020 Kamehameha Hwy., Aiea (also located in Waipahu and Ewa Beach)
488-8824 for restaurant and catering 488-8834 for takeout
Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
ShirosSaimin.com