The Best Saimin in Hawaii?

If you find yourself on the Island of Kauai, and you want to go to a genuine local secret, then you have to visit the Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue.

What is saimin, you ask? Saimin is a Japanese soup filled with long thin noodles, and filled with all manner of extras. The broth is typically a fish stock, or a combo stock (fish, pork, etc.). The extras typically include char siu (a sweet Chinese pork, generally red in color),ham, green onions, kamaboko (a firm fish cake), soy sauce, mustard, and other assorted vegetables and meats. It is a staple comfort food for local Hawaii Residents. If you remember the “Cup-a-Noodle” soups you ate in college, you get the general idea – however, think of a much larger bowl with freshly prepared ingredients – quite the difference.

Keep in mind that the Hamura Saimin Stand is not fancy at all…… could call it a totally unpretentious hole-in-the-wall. Of course, we all know that some of the best food comes from these kinds of establishments.

It’s a simple place, where you’ll sit on stools at a counter. A waitress will come to take your order, and everything generally moves pretty fast, so be prepared. During regular mealtimes, expect to stand in line to wait for available table space.

At Hamura’s, the noodles are freshly made and cooked on order (not frozen like you’ll find at other restaurants or at the supermarket). You won’t find many other dishes here – the Saimin is the real star. Local residents consider Hamura’s saimin to arguably be the best in the state.

The Saimin runs about $4-$6 per bowl, and is a filling, complete meal in itself. One of the best bargains around! With the low prices, they don’t take credit cards – only cash.

Oh, and if you don’t think such a place has any gastronomical “street cred”, note that it recently won a prestigious James Beard Award for “American Classics”!!!

Tip: For dessert, try the Lilikoi (Passion Fruit) Chiffon pie to go.

2956 Kress St.
Lihu’e, Kauai
Phone: (808) 245-3271
Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Sunday.
No reservations.

1 Comment

  1. ezineaerticles » Blog Archive » The Best Saimin in Hawaii? said

    am November 9 2008 @ 4:08 am

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