Horiuchiʻs Fried Noodles
Submitted by Letitia Lavoie
I have yet to come across any place that comes close to the best-fried noodles I have ever tasted in my life. My parents and grandparents would often take my older sister, my brother, who was too young to remember, and me to a place on Depot Road in Waipahu located directly across what used to be the entrance of the O‘ahu Sugar Mill Plantation.
This place was well known by the plantation workers as Horiuchi’s or the H-Saimin Stand. It was a hole in the wall place with booths for people to sit and eat or they could sit up front on the fountain chairs up front. Despite what it looked like the tables were clean, the service was good, and the food was delicious. It was the best place to go and eat saimin, won ton mein, barbeque stick, or fried noodles for a reasonable price.
It was a family business run by a nice couple. Mr. Horiuchi you would hardly ever see because he was usually always in the back cooking unless it was slow and he would pop in front to help out. The other half was Mrs. Horiuchi who would greet and take your order; no matter how busy she was she made sure she did not keep you waiting long at all. In the busy restaurant, water had been brought right away and the table had been set with utensils needed for our food after we placed our order. She was always so jolly, I remember her as the always-smiling Chinese lady at Horiuchi’s.
The food was prepared in always-record speed. I could always smell the aroma of the grilled barbeque meat and taste the fried noodles as soon as we were in the vicinity of Horiuchi’s Saimin Stand. They had the best-fried noodles in town.
There is no place that I have come across since then that has that kind of taste. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Horiuchi were ready to retire the family business. This happened back in the early 70s. Since then, I have been chasing that taste of their delicious fried noodles ever since. I long to have their fried noodles once again but I have yet to find it. The only thing I could think was to cook my own fried noodles and that is what I did. It is not anything like Horiuchi’s but I am satisfied with the outcome. Now I make it whenever I want and for my family too.
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