Palace Saimin was the vision of a young entrepreneur, Kame Ige, who immigrated from Okinawa in 1924. Mrs. Ige started her restaurant in 1946 and named it after "Palace Theater" that stood on the corner of Ke'eaumoku and Beretania Streets a few doors down from our original location. In 1950 the restaurant moved to Kalihi next to the current location of Tamashiro Market, and a few years later Mrs. Ige moved it to its current location. In 1980 Mrs. Ige sold the restaurant to her trusted waitress, Setsuko Arakaki, who ran it until 2010, when her daughter Susan Nakagawa took it over with husband Scott.
The recipe for the dashi was carefully documented by Susan and Scott as they measured every ingredient, timed every process and learned each technique from Setsuko to ensure it came out just right. Setsuko and late waitress of over 40 years, Yoshiko Takahashi, would taste each pot and provide their candid feedback as Susan and Scott continued to perfect the soup. Finally after 4 months of brewing multiple pots per day, Setsuko and Yoshiko gave the thumbs up and the recipe and brewing instructions were finalized to ensure consistency and quality.
Our mission is to keep the tradition alive. Although the changing times and economy have presented challenges to keeping this special place open, we appreciate the Palace community and workers who support our mission. We hope you have the opportunity to experience this old school, simple and humble place and food. Mahalo to all who support us as we push forward.
In 2024 we have decided to change our hours to Tuesday thru Friday from 10 am - 8 pm. Susan continues to work morning and night to keep us going, but
Scott insisted she take time to enjoy life outside of Palace. We apologize for the reduced hours and hope that you can still make it to our humble establishment.
We would love to train someone to manage the business and allow us to increase our hours of operation. If you know of anyone who has the desire to learn, and grit to work their way up, please have them contact us using the link on the page.