Nori’s is definitely a hole in the wall. With address and GPS in hand, I still couldn’t locate this place. I called the restaurant only to find I was next door. Nori’s is in the middle of a little strip mall, and trying to find this place at night only made matters worse. It was definitely worth the treasure hunt though.
The restaurant is small. As you enter, there is a long hallway with a few booths on one side. Pictures and accolades adorn the wall. I noticed a picture of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto along with a few other Hawaiian celebrities.
Noted for their saimin, this was a must especially after going up to Mauna Kea to see the sunset and the incredible view of the stars. Situated at 9,000 feet the observation center gets mighty cold and windy. If you head to the summit at 14,000 feet you will see snow during the winter time. One of the cool things about the
The Hilo-style wonton saimin is what I ordered. The Hilo-style noodeles are curlier then normal is what I was informed. All noodles are made in house, and they make 16 differenet varieties of saimin. They don’t skimp on the noodles here, as there is little room for broth with the amount of noodles that are given. The saimin is served with the usual char sui pork, komoboko and green onions. The wonton are fairly big and have a good amount of pork filling inside. The wonton skins are thick enough not to fall apart while swimming in the saimin, but delicate enough not to become gummy or overly chewy. The noodles themselves are cooked al dente and have a nice chew to them. As a bonus two chicken skewers are served with the saimin. They are grilled with a nice char on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside.
They also make a chocolate mochi cake and mochi cookies. The mochi cake is sort of like a cross between chocolate cake and a brownie. It is very dense and moist, but has a fairly delicate mouthfeel. It sort of has a dobash (chocolate pudding) texture and taste, but a little chewier due to the mochi.
For the best saimin on the island, go to Nori’s. It’s definitely worth the "hunt".
Nori’s Saimin & Snacks