Nori's Saimin & Snacks - Hilo, Hawaii
It's hard for me to visit Hilo without visiting some of my favorite places to eat. Nori's is one such place. Located away from the main shopping area, on what can be considered a "back road", Nori's can be hard to find if you haven't been here before.
Stepping through the door, there's a long narrow walkway that leads to the main dining area. As you walk towards the cashier station and the main dining area, you'll notice several booths off to the side. The decor here is nothing to write home about, but this is what casual, island dining is all about.
My initial choice was my favorite, the seaweed won ton min. Unfortunately, they were sold out. Instead, I ordered the New Hilo-style saimin with won ton (small special US$6.60).
A few minutes later, a steaming hot bowl of saimin was delivered to my table. From what I was told a long time ago, Hilo-style noodles are "curlier" than normal. I never really noticed that, but maybe because I was always too hungry. The noodles here were cooked perfectly with the right amount of "firmness" to them. The won ton had thicker than normal skins, but with a huge mouthful of juicy pork filing. The only downside to this bowl of saimin was the broth. It was much saltier than usual, rendering it "undrinkable" - definitely not what I was used to.
Here are the chicken sticks that were included with the small special that I ordered.
Two bamboo skewers covered with marinated and grilled teriyaki chicken. The plump morsels of chicken were just a little too sweet this time, and I wish they had grilled them just a little while longer as I really like those crispy, charred bits.
And if all of that wasn't enough (!), I also had a Nori burger (US$3.50 ?).
Topped with a tiny square of nori, which didn't have much to contribute to the overall flavor of the burger, the teriyaki flavored burger was juicy and had a nice balance of salty and sweet flavors. Simply dressed with pickles and lettuce, the bun was moistened with just the right amount of mayo-mustard dressing.
Nori's Saimin & Snacks
688 Kinoole Street