Shiro's Saimin Haven is a saimin restaurant with over 60 types of saimin on the menu! They also offer great local food including fried saimin, teri cheeseburgers, and mochiko chicken.
Shiro's Saimin Haven
Welcome to Shiro's, where the saimin menu is enormous, the service is friendly, and you can satisfy all your local comfort food cravings. Shiro's is a family business that opened in 1969 (read more about the family history here).
Shiro's is opened from 7am to 10:30pm daily (11:30pm on Friday and Saturday), and it is always packed. Packed with couples, packed with families (with lots of kids), and groups of friends. It's always busy in here.
The most notable thing about Shiro's is the giant saimin menu. Most places have just one saimin on the menu. Places that specialize in saimin might have 5-6 saimin options. But Shiro's has 64 saimin options on the menu. 64!
It ranges from the classic saimin (order this on your first visit), to a combo saimin-udon dish, to lumpia saimin, mochi saimin, Spam saimin, and even saimin with lau lau! The menu is mind boggling and fun to read.
What Is Saimin?
First you must read this post about saimin in Hawaii! It covers everything you need to know about Hawaii's iconic noodle soup dish. Saimin is a creation that stemmed from Hawaii's plantation era. This noodle soup dish is a true blend of many cultures (Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino).
Saimin includes a dashi broth and wheat noodles. The typical saimin toppings include green onion, egg, and ham (or char siu), and kamaboko (fishcake). People often compare saimin to ramen, but saimin is much more lighter and delicate. I prefer it over ramen ^_^.
You can find saimin all over Hawaii (think Zippy's and even 7-Eleven Hawaii) and several restaurant specialize in this dish. There is Hamura Saimin on Lanai and Sam Sato’s on Maui. On Oahu, we have Shiro’s Saimin Haven and Shige’s Saimin Stand. Oahu is extra lucky because both Shiro's and Shige's makes their saimin noodles in-house, fresh daily!
Where Is Shiro's Saimin Haven?
Shiro's has two locations: Aiea and Ewa Beach. We prefer the original location in Aiea. With many Hawaii restaurants that have multiple locations, the original is often best.
This Aiea location is located in a strip mall with lots of other local food. Make sure to walk around before/after you meal, you'll get a neat look at lot of other local foods we love in Hawaii.
What To Order At Shiro's Saimin Haven
Stick to the classics and you can do no wrong! Here's what we like to get at Shiro's:
The classic, with housemade saimin noodles. Can you believe Shiro's has over 60 different saimin options on their menu? It's nuts (in a good way)! If it's your first time, stick to the classic. It comes in three sizes. If you want to branch out, you can also add wontons, gau gee, and even kimchee. I still like classic the most. The dashi broth is so good, and don't forget to make a side dipping sauce of hot mustard and shoyu...makes all the difference.
The fried saimin here is great, and the portion is quite large. You can order it "plain" (which comes topped with char siu, egg, and green onions) or chose from any number of toppings ranging from teri beef stick (more on that below), pork adobo, char siu, and my personal favorite...mochiko chicken.
We'll do a mochiko chicken post soon, but it's basically dark meat chicken, cut in small pieces, marinated in a batter of mochiko flour (the same flour used for butter mochi), sugar, shoyu, garlic, and ginger. Then deep fried!
Teri Beef Stick*
It's an unspoken local rule that if you order saimin, you have to order a teri beef stick and teri burger to go with the saimin. Those three items go together like a neat trio/full meal. It's also a lot of food, so ideal if you can split the burger with a friend.
*Teri is short for teriyaki. You'll hear the word "teri" all the time in Hawaii, but rarely does anyone call it "teriyaki."
You can get plain burger or teri burger. When in Hawaii, get the teri burger. I also always add cheese to make it a teri cheeseburger. I love how the burgers are the smaller three-ounce size (like the ones at Shige's Saimin Stand). These burgers are made to be a side or accompaniment to the saimin, so this size is perfect.
Shiro's Saimin Haven: Insider Tips
- Shiro's has two locations (Aiea and Ewa Beach). We prefer the Aiea location, it is the original.
- Aiea location is in a strip mall with lots of free parking.
- They have a daily "Old School Special" which I love because it allows you to try a bit of everything. It includes a small wonton saimin, burger, fries, and a soda float. It's priced at: $12.95 from Monday-Tuesday, $13.95 from Wednesday-Sunday.
INFO: Shiro's Saimin Haven | 98-020 Kamehameha Hwy, Aiea, Hawaii 96701 | 808-488-4834 | shiros-saimin.com
PRICE: Saimin ranges from $4.60 (small classic) to $21.55 (with oxtail), Burgers are $7.55-11.35, Fried Saimin is $9.30-11.20.
HOURS: Monday-Thursday: 7:30am-10:30pm, Friday-Saturday: 7:30am-11:30pm, Sunday: 7:30am-10:30pm
Sunday 3rd of May 2020
Shiro’s is one of the restaurants we try to hit twice during our weeklong visits (the other is Helena’s). Love their saimin with so many choices! A big bowl of heaven with some chili peppa water and mustard. 😋 The late night hours are a bonus! I need to try the teri burger next time.
Monday 4th of May 2020
Hi Nancy! Between HWAK and Helena's and Shiro's...you know all the good spots!! Feel like we got similar tastebuds :) - Kathy
Saturday 21st of March 2020
What I fun restaurant. I loved reading the menu...Big Brah haha. There are so many offerings that I'd have to study the menu before going in or I'd annoy the wait staff. Every new post of yours brings about new questions from me. What's gau gee and what's oh gee gee gau gee? You're never going to run out of topics to write about! And how do you like your saimin… rare, medium or well done? It's like a noodle steak lol.
Take care during this time over there! Hope it passes soon.