Here Comes Sweet, Savory Homestyle Goodness

Digest Lite Bites

April 28, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

As a working mother of two young children, dinners are often picked up on the way home. Then there are the numerous potlucks and family gatherings where everyone brings their own specialty dish.

For me, my specialty usually ends up being a la takeout. But thanks to restaurants such as Shiro’s Saimin Haven, I can still bring a home-style cooked menu item, but without the time-consuming prepping, cooking and cleaning.

Founded in 1969 by Shiro Matsuo, Shiro’s is known for its long list of saimin combinations, including a new Asian Vegetarian Saimin ($7.50) with aburage, shiitake mushrooms and vegetables. But the family-friendly restaurant (and a perfect place to take Mom for Mother’s Day) also offers a wide variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including burgers, sandwiches and Hawaiian food. Add great prices and a friendly staff to the mix, and it’s no surprise that the eatery continues to be a local favorite.

As for its personalized catering service, the selections are endless as well. There are different types of chicken, beef, pork and seafood dishes, including barbecue short ribs, pork adobo, shoyu pork, garlic shrimp, fried noodles, sushi platters, bentos and more.

A popular choice, especially for “soccer moms” or any sports event, is the Hot Dog & Spam Musubi Platter ($20), which includes 16 small Spam musubi and 10 small hot dog musubi made with an original in-house teriyaki sauce. Another possibility is the Chicken Platter ($27 for 15 people, $45 for 25 people), which includes three choices of chicken (mochiko, garlic, lemon, Korean, yakitori, katsu or Buffalo wings).

“Our lemon chicken is different from other places in the fact that we use locally grown lemons, tangerines, oranges and other different citrus flavors such as calamansi,” says Bryce Fujimoto, catering manager. “It’s sweet and savory. Also, our Korean chicken is just a little spicy; it has just enough bite to it.”

Large orders require three days’ notice, and individual orders need only one-day notice. Limited delivery also is available on orders for 50 people or more.

During my most recent visit to the Waimalu restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised to see Shiro himself sitting at a booth enjoying breakfast. “He still makes it a point to come every morning,” explains Fujimoto, noting that his grandpa just turned 93.

While Shiro is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, his heart remains at the core of everything, including the walls, where you’ll find inspirational poems he’s composed for more than 30 years.

Shiro’s Saimin Haven

  • Where
    • Waimalu Shopping Center
    • 98-020 Kamehameha Highway
    • Aiea, HI 96701
    • Ewa Beach
    • 91-0919 Fort Weaver Road
    • Ewa Beach, HI 96706
    • Waipahu
    • 94-256 Waipahu Depot Road
    • Waipahu, HI 96797
  • Call
    • (808) 488-8824 (Waimalu)
    • (808) 689-0999 (Ewa Beach)
    • (808) 676-2088 (Waipahu)
  • Hours
    • Waimalu:
    • Sunday – Thursday
    • 7 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
    • Friday – Saturday
    • 7 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
    • Ewa Beach:
    • Sunday – Thursday
    • 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Friday – Saturday
    • 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
    • Waipahu:
    • Monday – Friday
    • 6:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Saturday
    • 6:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • Sunday
    • 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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