Escape the heat with lighter fare

Chew On This Digest

September 13, 2015

Story By: Lindsey Appleton | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Hot, humid days and heavy meals do not make the best combination, and can leave us feeling lethargic — especially when getting through rush-hour traffic. To help its customers fill up and satisfy their taste buds, yet not feel “gravy-loaded,” Shiro’s Saimin Haven is serving up weekly specials that opt for more vegetables and lighter sauces, but still pack a flavorful punch.

“We’re lucky to have customers who have an opinion,” laughs restaurant and catering manager Bryce Fujimoto, grandson to the famous Franz Shiro “Mistah Saimin” Matsuo. “We really listen to them and try to give them what they want. Lighter, healthier dishes are something our regulars have been asking for, and so our chef has been coming up with our newest specials.”

Stick your fork into Asparagus and Tofu ($8.95), featuring large pillows of fried tofu stir fried with asparagus, carrots, celery and bell peppers in a yummy black bean and oyster sauce.

Then, enjoy succulent Shrimp with Mushroom and Vegetables ($8.95), stir-fried with broccoli, red bell peppers and zucchini.

These savory specials are served with two scoops of starch and vegetables.

“Our chef got excited and created these specialty items,” says Fujimoto. “Along with our 65 different styles of saimin and our popular comfort dishes like the Hamburger Steak and Lau Lau, our customers can always expect quality, local-style food from us.”

A big part of Shiro’s appeal is its familiarity with local customers. The business has employed almost the same servers for 30 years, including beloved Ofie who sings as she serves, greets customers by name and knows their regular orders by heart. Hand-drawn pictures cover the restaurant’s walls, accompanied by Mistah Saimin’s framed “Dear Hearts” poems.

Keep an eye out for the Shop and Dine on the Line special, which is currently an Adobo Omelette Sandwich for only $1.95.

Shiro’s Saimin Haven

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

Aiea, HI 96701

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