Saimin Says with or without Power

Taking a Culinary VacationA recent power outage prompted our staff to seek out a restaurant (with power) for lunch. One staff member was hungry for Hawaiian. So using an iPhone we studied Yelp reviews and phoned the top rated restaurant to check if they were open and had power. We were in luck so we piled into cars and took a trip to Saimin Says in Kent, WA.

The restaurant’s name is a pun on the name of the children’s game, Simon Says, and a popular Hawaiian dish, Saimin.

The size of our group allowed us to sample a good portion of the extensive menu. The entrée options include the eclectic mix of island fare, ingredients from the sea, Asian spices and preparations and continental U.S, iconic foods such as Spam and hamburgers that make up authentic Hawaiian cuisine. From Macadamia Nut Pancakes to Kalua Pig & Cabbage to Chicken Katsu to Curry Saimin there are many pleasing options to satisfy your taste for Hawaiian food.

Each entrée was generously portioned, hot and filling – just the kind of comfort foods that native Hawaiians expect. The Fried Rice Omelet is pretty much what it sounds like. Did you know fried rice was a breakfast food? Could it be because Hawaii is in a later time zone?

Sumo Sumu is one of Saimin Says’ specialties. This dish has everything under the sun. Mix beef, chicken, wontons, kamaboko, Spam, shrimp tempura, char siu, boiled egg & veggies with a pound of noodles and you have a Saimin Says favorite. This steaming entrée is more than enough to feed two, but most customers choose to eat it solo in one sitting.

Moco Loco is a Hamburger with a Hawaiian twist. In the continental U.S. most burgers come with fries, but that is a little different at Saimin Says. An order of Moco Loco gets you a hamburger with an egg and homemade gravy, and instead of fries the burger is served with a side of rice.

While serving us these Hawaiian fares, one of the owners, Ken, shared the Saimin Says story with us. The owners opened their first Saimin Says restaurant 17 years ago. Laughingly, Ken explained that for some time his wife was the face of the business, whereas he had to hide in the back. Native Hawaiians didn’t think the white guy behind the counter looked like he could cook authentic Hawaiian food. But, in short time he proved his authentic Hawaiian style as chef and even the natives are happy to refer their family to the restaurant. Their new location in Kent is doing quite well. We highly recommend a visit even when you have power at home!

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