Veggie-Filled Soups Sizzle

A La Carte Columns

February 5, 2017

Story By: Caitlin Basilio | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

"Dear Hearts" Vegetarian Saimin No. 43 ($8.75)

“Dear Hearts” Vegetarian Saimin No. 43 ($8.75)

Shiro’s Saimin Haven is best known for its comforting bowls of classic soups filled with char siu, noodles and the works, but the eatery’s extensive menu also is home to many vegetarian-friendly menu items.

Take one of the newer entrees, Asian Vegetarian Saimin No. 16 ($9.20) with won bok, for example. According to general manager Bryce Fujimoto, aburaage and shiitake mushrooms give the dashi broth an earthy richness. (As a note for strict vegetarians, Shiro’s broth is prepared with fish flakes and clams.)

Shiro’s local comfort foods have been winning over the hearts of diners since the eatery first opened in 1967 as Shiro’s Hula Hula Drive In. It was founder Franz Shiro Matsuo’s dream to open his own restaurant, and the family business has stood the test of time since moving to its current location in Waimalu Shopping Center in 1969.Though Matsuo has since passed on, his legacy remains as his family members continue to run create tasty dishes and a welcoming atmosphere for patrons.


“Dear Hearts” Vegetarian Saimin No. 43 ($8.75) is one of the restaurant’s original saimin recipes that was created for veggie-lovers. It features tofu, button mushrooms, beansprouts and won bok. Similar to founder Franz Shiro Matsuo’s “Dear Hearts” poems that line the walls throughout the restaurant, guests are sure to fall in love with this large bowl of saimin.

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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