Shiro’s Salute to Tasty Appetizers

Columns Pupu Picks

August 19, 2012

Story By: Steve Murray | Photos by: Leah Friel

What’s not to like about Shiro’s Saimin Haven? The walls of the famed family eatery are covered with the art work of dozens of keiki who recreate their favorite bowl of steaming noodles in crayon. Next to those are the collection “best of” winners plaques and the inspirational messages that remind us we won’t be here forever, so we might as well enjoy some saimin while we still have time.

Filling stomachs for more than 40 years, Shiro’s has a menu for everyone, which includes 64 types of saimin, plate lunches, sandwiches, burgers, bentos, deserts — and yes — pupus. After all, what is a big bowl of broth and noodles without something to nibble on between or before slurps of tangy broth?

The choices are large including, Pork Adobo ($3.90), Teri Beef ($3.55), Crispy Gau Gee ($2.40) and Won ton ($2.25), Chicken Katsu ($3.55), Mochiko Chicken ($3.55) and the all-new Crispy Pork Belly ($3.90). Picking out a favorite among the list is hard to do, even for Shiro’s son-in-law, Aaron Lee. When asked, Lee picks out six of seven items that go perfectly with the dish made famous by his legendary father-in-law. You think the label is a stretch? Don’t.

Shiro Matsuo, who was a cook for Gov. John Burns, was inducted into the Hawaii Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in 2008. At the time, Gov. Linda Lingle designated Matsuo Hawaii’s Statesman of Honor.

Sadly, Matsuo isn’t with us any more. He passed away in May at the age of 93 and was fit enough to drive until February of this year. The three restaurants carry on his name and his outlook on what makes good local dining: Good food at good prices that is good for the entire family. A saimin haven? Indeed. The pupus are good too, especially with tailgating season coming soon. The Hot Dog and Spam Musubi platter costs $20, and the Chicken Platter is priced at $27 for 15 people and $45 for 25.

Shiro’s Saimin Haven

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

Aiea, HI 96701

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best