Shiro’s legacy lives on

Chew On This Digest

July 20, 2014

Story By: Michelle Lee | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

For a restaurant, there is perhaps nothing more rewarding than the sight of customers leaning back in satisfaction after ravaging their plates down to the very last morsel. Such is often the case at Shiro’s Saimin Haven, where saimin and local favorites of the highest quality dominate the menu.

Founded by “Mistah Saimin,” Franz Shiro Matsuo, the hugely successful restaurant still remains a quaint and family-friendly establishment, its walls covered in many of Matsuo’s famous poems, along with drawings from adoring fans.

“His legacy definitely remains in every aspect,” says Bryce Fujimoto, grandson of Matsuo and restaurant manager. “My grandfather started with 58 different saimin variations, and to this day, all 58 are still on the menu.”

Included in this highly acclaimed group is Seaman’s Saimin with Scallop, Shrimp, Mahi Mahi, Wun Tun, Vegetables and Garnishes ($10.10). “The seafood is lightly fried and served on the side, so customers can either eat it separately, or put it in the broth,” explains Fujimoto.

In addition to saimin, Shiro’s also offers various local dishes, seasoned and cooked to perfection. The menu’s Country Fried Noodles with Teriyaki Chicken ($9.20) is a popular request, made from marinating fresh chicken in a homemade teriyaki sauce, that’s served alongside fried noodles mixed with pork, chicken, onion, cabbage and char siu garnish. “The noodles are a meal in itself, but eating it with the tender teriyaki chicken is about as comforting as a dish can get.”

New to the menu is Fried Rice Omelette with Mochiko Chicken ($8.95), a dynamic pairing of teriyaki sauce-marinated mochiko chicken and Shiro’s classic fried rice wrapped in egg.

“For so long, people had been ordering the fried rice omelette with mochiko chicken, so we decided to save everyone some money and make it one cohesive dish,” says Fujimoto. “Our customers are our best source of inspiration.”

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.

Aiea, HI 96701

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best