Partake in these platesCover Story
January 10, 2021
Story By: Don Robbins | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
The definition of tradition involves passing on wonderful things from generation to generation, and Shiro’s Saimin Haven has that philosophy as its core mission in dishing out its delicious food.
“We’re a comfort food establishment. We’re not necessarily a fast-food establishment. We take our time to do things the traditional way. It takes some time,” explains Bryce Fujimoto, vice president of Shiro’s.
Rather than cutting corners just to get food out quickly, “Our main goal is to make sure that the food is good-sized, a nice portion, tastes good and gives you that comforting feeling,” Fujimoto adds.
“Especially now during this pandemic, it does take a little longer for us to get some things out, so we really do appreciate people being patient and understanding,” he shares.
“We are very appreciative of our customers, both regular and new. We’re seeing a lot of new faces nowadays and we’re very fortunate and very blessed,” Fujimoto emphasizes.
Among the restaurant’s wide-ranging selections, Shiro’s offers its menu item No. 44, Char Siu with Wun Tun, Vegetables and Garnishes ($11.05). This hearty steaming bowl is packed with tasty items like noodles, dashi, won bok, a load of tender char siu, luncheon meat and a garnish of vibrant green onions on top. Fujimoto reminds customers that all of Shiro’s Saimin Haven’s noodles and wun tun pi (wrappers) are made fresh daily at the company’s Five Star Noodle Factory.
Patrons who are eager to sink their teeth into something extra meaty can opt for the famous Double Hula Bacon Burga ($12.10). It’s crafted from 100 percent local beef, with patties freshly made every single day.
Another beloved choice at the eatery is Shiro’s Original Cutlet with Gravy plate ($11.65). It features breaded boneless chicken, and the gravy is crafted in a time-honored method during a daylong process with drippings from roasts and oxtails.
Sometimes you’re not exactly sure what you want, but you know you’d like to sample a bunch of different flavors. For those times in life, Fujimoto suggests trying the Bento A ($12.90). It includes fried noodles, katsu, Spam, teri beef, one maki, one cone sushi and rice.
“It’s for people who can’t decide,” Fujimoto explains. “It used to be just takeout, but now in the last couple of years it’s in the restaurant, and it’s very popular,” Fujimoto adds.
Don’t forget that there’s also the Fried Rice Omelette with Pork Adobo on the breakfast menu ($11.25).
This dish revolves around the savory fried rice carefully wrapped in a thin layer of egg.
In addition, prepping the accompanying adobo is an intensive half-day process.
“It really goes well with our fried rice omelet and it’s one of our most popular items,” Fujimoto shares.
Besides focusing on the food, Fujimoto says he’d also like to help educate customers about new city law changes going into effect this year banning single-serve plastics. He explains that Shiro’s will have paper bags available, but will have to charge a minimum of 15 cents per bag. The restaurant will also have reusable tote bags for sale to customers at $1 each.
“But we really want to encourage customers to bring their own reusable tote bags. That way, they can avoid the fee, we can save on our costs and save trees in the process,” Fujimoto shares.
In addition, all utensils and condiments will be available upon request.
Fujimoto says that there are constant reminders of the effects discarded debris have on our oceans and environment, and something needs to be done to prevent further damage.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction,” he adds.
Fujimoto also says customers should make their reservations a day or more in advance.
Due to the pandemic, Shiro’s has also implemented temperature screening, social distancing, strict sanitization procedures and numerous other measures, even creating new positions to monitor safety.
“It’s a group effort between customers and us, to provide a safe, clean place to eat,” Fujimoto shares.
Summing up his thoughts, Fujimoto explains that there’s a special meaning in the fact that he and the Shiro’s staff are privileged to work and do their part during these challenging times.
“It’s not easier, but we’re not going anywhere,” he adds. “I want to thank again all our awesome employees and customers. It’s good to see this collaboration going on.”