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Oahu 2015 – Day 6 Part 2: Fumi’s, Turtle Sightings, Matsumoto’s, The Alley

This is Day 6 Part 2 of our November 2015 Oahu Vacation.

After our smoothie tour at Kahuku farms, we wanted to hit up a shrimp truck because no visit to the north shore would be complete without one. Our usual go-to is Romy’s but we had heard great things about Fumi’s so that’s where we went on this trip.

Fumi’s Kahuku Shrimp

Ordering at Fumi’s 

It wasn’t that crowded which was great as once we had to wait 45 minutes for food at Romy’s – and we were starving too! Here at Fumi’s we waited about 15 minutes. I ordered the spicy garlic shrimp and DH got the lemon pepper shrimp. It’s served with 2 scoops of rice, side salad, and slice of pineapple.

Delicious and garlic-y with a spicy kick

I don’t seem to have pictures of Steve’s order though but I liked my spicy shrimp more than the lemon pepper, which tasted like store-bought seasoning. But the shrimp were good and tender, and the addition of salad and pineapple were nice. I’d probably go back to Romy’s next time but I’d recommend either place.

Are these the shrimp farms in the back of Fumi’s? 

After our satisfying lunch from Fumi’s shrimp truck in Kahuku we continued our North Shore crawl. We stopped by Sunset Beach for a bit to watch the waves. It was really pretty although it would be sunny and then cloud up quickly and rain for a few seconds…then the sun would peer out again.

Looks like these folks found the perfect spot to lounge on Sunset Beach

The beautiful waves on Sunset Beach

We drove further but did not stop at our usual turtle sighting beach because it looked really crowded and there wasn’t any parking. I still wanted to see some turtles and someone on the photography tour had told me about another place so we continued on to Haleiwa. There is a beach park there called Haleiwa Ali’i and apparently it was the new it spot for basking turtles. It was our first time at this beach and we didn’t realize how big and spacious the park was. They were setting up for broadcasts of the Triple Crown at the main beach area.

Prepping for the Triple Crown surfing competition at Haleiwa

We ventured from the more populated area to a rather empty but rockier beach off to the far left – and there was a big turtle taking a nap in the sand! There was hardly anyone around too. Hopefully it will stay that way!


We ventured further from the sandy area into rockier territory…

…and we found this little fella!

He/she looks so content in the sand!

We spent some time wandering around the beach park. It actually got sunny again so it was really nice although the beach in some parts had lots of rocks and pebbles so it was hard to walk into the water.

The beach is rocky one in the water. Must be a nice place for sea life though!

We couldn’t leave Haleiwa without a stop at Matsumoto’s Shave Ice. It was here I realized how it underwent a huge transformation. Gone was the old general store and in its place…a brand-spanking new “complex” of stores. Matsumoto’s is still there, of course, but it’s been renovated and is now much larger.

Matsumoto’s! A must-do on the north shore of Oahu.

Revamped Matsumoto’s General Store

There is also better management of queues – most of the Matsumoto queue snakes around indoors as opposed to lining up outside before. The renovation was done really nicely but it still kept a bit of the vintage wooden crate vibe. There was still a general store section where you could buy Matsumoto and North Shore t-shirts. I loved all the original t-shirt designs. As for the shave ice…well, it’s still good! But gone are the cone-shaped holders. It’s now served in bowls. Other than that, it was still the same shave ice, although at this time a warm rain started again and my shave ice melted quickly.

The shave ice is still the same…although I miss the cone holders. The bowls make it more ordinary.

There’s other stores and more parking as well. In fact the whole complex looked new. It was now called Haleiwa Store Lots.

Haleiwa Store Lots

It had been a long but fun day on the North Shore and we were getting tired so we headed back down to Waikiki. It also started to pour at this time. I had initially had plans to go to Japanese restaurant Nanzan Jiro Jiro for dinner but after dining out at nice restaurants for the past few days we were actually kinda tired of going out to eat. I think we just craved something comforting and simple for our last night in Hawaii so we cancelled our reservation earlier that day. As we drove down the H2 then the H1 highways we were deciding where to get dinner…and I realized that we’d be passing through Aiea…and that meant we could get dinner from Aiea Bowl!

It’s very interesting how an old-school bowling alley can have some of the best comfort food in Oahu. The Alley at Aiea Bowl has been written up many times especially for its Hawaiian-style oxtail soup and plate lunch offerings. I heard their desserts like the lemon crunch cake are also extremely popular. It was still raining on and off and when we arrived there was no parking in any of the stalls. Rather than sit and wait for one to open up, we just ordered from their takeout window and took it back to the condo to eat. We hit some traffic on the way back (it was rush hour after all) but finally we were home and looking forward to our dinner! I had ordered their famous oxtail soup and a plate lunch of mahi mahi and loco moco.

A delicious and comforting dinner on a rainy evening.

Everything was delicious and hit the spot on the rainy evening! The oxtail soup is served with grated ginger and cilantro on the side which you can put in the soup itself but I like to drizzle some soy sauce (shoyu) in it and use it as a dipping sauce for the meat. The mahi and loco moco were also really good and were prepared really well – the fish was not dry and had lots of flavor and the gravy on the loco moco was very tasty! It’s too bad Aiea Bowl is not that close to Waikiki or I’d get takeout from there more often. I feel like the quality and preparation is better than Rainbow Drive-In. I will definitely return when passing by Aiea, it’s a great option for some yummy and cheap local food.

The next day was our last day but we pretty much had a full day since our flight was to leave at 9pm. We were packed up and ready to leave the next day. Coming up, our last day and one of the nicest surprises ever!

Read more about our November 2015 Oahu Vacation!

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