HOME > Chowhound > Hawaii >

Saimin anyone?

KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2008 11:57 AM

check out the discussion about saimin in the general chowhounding topics. does anyone have recommendations for where to get great saimin?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c
    curiousgeo RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2008 12:35 PM

    Just the usual places for me, Palace Saimin, Boulevard Saimin, Shige's in Waihiawa, Sekiya's and Like Like Drive In. There is a small hole in the wall on Kinau Street in back of the furniture stores that front Beretania Street, the name escapes me at the moment, haven't been there for years but I know it's still there.

    I always thought saimin was a combination of Japanese soup base and Chinese mien, maybe a plantation fusion from way back. Sai can mean small in Chinese, so I also thought it could mean small or plain noodles, unlike wor won ton mien with its dumplings, meats and vegetables, since saimin is usually just noodles, soup and some garnishes. Maybe some food historian has the answer and can share it with us.

    1 Reply
    1. re: curiousgeo
      leo_k RE: curiousgeo Jan 12, 2014 02:59 AM

      Great to see an old thread dug up.
      Even though I am no food historian, I would still like to chime in a little.
      My grandpa loved Saimin, but it wasn't until he's in his fifties he discovered that he loved Won Ton Mien even more. He was a man of Japanese decent and made his first trip to Hong Kong in the 80's, had his first bowl of genuine Won Ton Mien and instantly felt in love. If he was still alive today he would probably call us crazy for liking Tonkotsu or spicy miso soup based ramen so much nowadays or god foribid, shoyu butter, because for him, Won Ton Mien with them ping-pong sized wontons was where it's at, just straight-up umami.
      I've done a fair bit of googling in his honor to try and make an authentic Won Ton soup, but where can one find some dried flounders?

    2. Eat_Nopal RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2008 07:04 PM

      Thanks KM.... the Saimin described on that thread sounds so much better than the McDonald's stuff... I am very excited to try a superior version!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Eat_Nopal
        KaimukiMan RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 14, 2008 08:24 PM

        I'm sure you will enjoy it. I was really surprised how good the one at 49er fountain was. Shiros is a trip, 101 varieties or some such thing, ranging from the plainest most traditional to the most outrageous. Look forward to reports on your explorations. Is there a "traditional" noodle soup in Mexican cooking?

        1. re: KaimukiMan
          Eat_Nopal RE: KaimukiMan Oct 14, 2008 08:37 PM

          Yes... that would be the various Fideos dishes... I actually just made the "Dry" version using bundled Vermicelli that I purchased at Don Quijote... and about the write it up in the Cooking in Mexican in Hawaii thread.

          There are a few very interesting Mexican noodle dishes that I know of. One comes from my dad's podunk town.... Tomato based Broth, toasted vermicelli, topped with fried bananas.... I kid you not. The other interesting variation from my dad's town is a dessert dish... noodles fried in butter, simmered with fresh cow milk, ceylon cinammon, and dark sugar.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal
            akq RE: Eat_Nopal Oct 15, 2008 04:05 PM

            Very interesting. I only knew of the word "fideos" from Spanish noodles. It would have never occured to me that there are "traditional" Mexican noodle dishes, which, in hindsight, seems kind of silly.

            I am so envious of you all who get to eat at these yummy saimin joints. I'll have to wait until next summer when I get back to HI.

            1. re: akq
              Eat_Nopal RE: akq Oct 15, 2008 04:30 PM

              Ah yeah, check this out: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5566...

      2. DriverPhil RE: KaimukiMan Oct 26, 2008 12:28 PM

        Get the Special Saimin at Hamura's, Lihue Kauai. Finish your meal with a slice of Lillikoi pie.

        1. KaimukiMan RE: KaimukiMan Jan 9, 2014 07:28 PM

          went to Jane's fountain earlier this week. enjoyed it. posted about it here:


          saimin for dummies

          2 Replies
          1. re: KaimukiMan
            indelibledotink RE: KaimukiMan Jan 9, 2014 07:49 PM


            1. re: indelibledotink
              KaimukiMan RE: indelibledotink Jan 10, 2014 11:22 AM

              very much my experience except that not everyone in there had grey hair. LOL. Is it great? No. Is it going to win an award? No. Was it a true example of an old fashioned saimin stand? Pretty Much.

          2. s
            socal boy RE: KaimukiMan Mar 2, 2014 01:17 PM

            New favorite at Shiros- Won ton saimen with lau lau.

            1. c
              Clinton RE: KaimukiMan Mar 17, 2014 05:58 PM

              A subject dear to my heart Kman. Still haven't found that special taste I've been searching for yet? Tin Tin and Fong Fong HAD the best "Chinese" saimin while the elusive "Japanese" saimin had all but disappeared with the old mom-and pop okazuyas of the past. Oh well...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Clinton
                indelibledotink RE: Clinton Mar 17, 2014 08:16 PM


              Show Hidden Posts