Hamura's Saimin (and several others)
Ramen by any other name would not be served in such delightful weather -- nor would it contain spam. The night we arrived in Kaua'i we went directly to Hamura's Saimin, both because it sounded AWESOME in the guidebook and because it was about the only place still open at that time of night.
The place was jammed with locals, and we probably looked like the worst sort of fresh-off-the-plane tourists, pasty white and studying the menu with wide eyes. Well, maybe not the *worst* sort, but you get the idea. We got a regular and a wonton saimin, plus some BBQ chicken. (BBQ chicken is hawaii-speak for yakitori, a pleasant discovery.) The regular is in the back and the wonton is in the foreground, wonton being a bit of a superset of the regular, containing meaty wontons and roast pork slices in addition to the spam matchsticks, green onions, and fishcake shreds.
All this arrives on top of well-textured wheat noodles in a rich and savory pork broth. Tallasiandude eats his plain, but I found I prefer the addition of a bit of spicy chili vinegar, just as i prefer my pho with lots of lime. There's also hot sauce, shoyu, and chinese mustard on offer, and we saw all of them used liberally, though the shoyu & mustard was primarily for dipping wontons & pork.
On our return trips, we ordered the special saimin, which comes with everything the wonton comes with, but with a few of the wontons swapped out for a hardcooked egg and some mustard greens. (We saw the guy next to us order this the first time, yummy.)
We had some other saimin on on our trip, and all were good, varying slightly in their toppings and broth but always containing rich pork soup with spam, kamaboko and noodles, a reliable comforting dish. But for pure pleasure, and with special style points for dive-ness and laconic waitresses, Hamura's does take the prize. We can't wait to go back.
Posted by foodnerd at January 29, 2008 12:23 PM