Super BowlsCover Story
April 5, 2020
Story By: Nicole Monton | Photos by: File photos
Despite all that’s been going on in recent weeks, the aloha spirit is alive and well in the islands. Residents are shopping local and doing their best to support their neighborhood small businesses, and these entrepreneurs, in turn, are doing their part to keep Hawaii fed and safe.
“There’s just so many good things going on right now,” says Bryce Fujimoto, vice president and catering manager of Shiro’s Saimin Haven. “We are getting overwhelming support for our customers and our partners in the food industry. Everyone is really just helping each other out, and it’s really refreshing to see.”
Shiro’s, for its part, has been whipping up its staple dishes for locals wanting comfort food favorites to enjoy at home. Both the Waimalu and Ewa Beach locations are going through extreme lengths to sanitize and update procedures to ensure that their delicious meals are prepared in the safest way possible. As with other restaurants around the island, Shiro’s (as it’s affectionately known by locals), is pointing its efforts solely toward takeout orders.
“And we encourage you to call in your order ahead of time to keep the crowds down,” Fujimoto chimes in.
The restaurant is, of course, focusing on its bread-and-butter for which its aptly named — saimin — and is also doing its best to keep the majority of its full menu available for customers.
Those who don’t know what to order, or want to try something new, can opt for the famous signature soup: Dodonpa, The Ultimate King of Saimins ($12.15).
“It has everything but the kitchen sink,” says Fujimoto with a laugh.
But he’s not totally wrong. In addition to handcrafted noodles and a tasty broth, the Dodonpa has Chinese roast pork, char siu, roast beef, myriad veggies, mushrooms, luncheon meat, imitation crab, eggroll, garnishes and a piece of fried shrimp on the side. Nowhere else in the world can you get your hands on this gloriously scrumptious saimin, and it’s a dish truly fit for a king — or queen!
Local eats are up for grabs, too, and those perusing the menu can look for dishes that have Japanese, American, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino and Korean influences. First up on the popularity list is the Loko Moko ($9.15) that comes with all the fixings like two island eggs, homestyle gravy and mac salad accompanied by a patty that’s made with 100 percent local ground beef.
“It never leaves the island,” explains Fujimoto of the meat. “It’s grown, packaged and produced here.”
The noodles that make Shiro’s saimins shine brightly is the star of the Fried Noodles with Pork Adobo ($10.25), which comes mixed with chicken, pork, white onion and cabbage, and garnished with char siu, lunchoen meat and green onions. Where does the pork adobo fit in? Right on top, where a loaded helping of the Filipino classic awaits hungry diners.
Hawaiian plates are always a fan favorite, and Shiro’s does its Lau Lau with “Local Boy” Beef Stew plate ($12.35 ) right. The taro and ti leaves are purchased from Wong’s Farm on the Windward side, and each lau lau is made fresh at the restaurants. What sets this Hawaiian food mainstay apart from the rest? It comes with a combination of pork butt, pork belly and butterfish collar — yes, all three — in a perfect pairing of flavors and quality meats.
It’s served alongside the restaurant’s “Local Boy” Beef Stew, which is another one of Shiro’s big sellers, which means you have yourself a top-notch dish that’ll fill you up and put a smile on your face.
You might have noticed that Shiro’s specializes in classics with a twist, and its Club House Sandwich with French Fries ($10.95) is no different. Ham and bacon are accompanied by roasted turkey (that Shiro’s does in-house) and served along with tomatoes and lettuce for the crunch everyone expects out of a classic club.
See, we weren’t kidding when we said Shiro’s has good eats, and during a time when life is a little unpredictable and uncertainty rules the day, it’s nice to know that you can expect consistently good homemade meals from Shiro’s no matter what you’re craving.
Helping our health care heroes
Shiro’s Saimin Haven is known for its great eats that have satis~ ed customers around the island since 1969, and in its ~ ve decades of serving the community, it’s made a name for itself with all the good it does for Hawaii’s people.
Just last week, it donated food to health care workers at Pali Momi Medical Center and ˚ e Queen’s Medical Center —
West Oahu, and in the weeks and days to come will continue to pick more public workers and facilities to feed.
“We’re going to help with the food donations for as long as we possibly can,” says Bryce Fujimoto, vice president and catering manager. “They’re on the front lines of this, and they’re rising the most and sacrificing the most.”