Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and Shave Ice at M. Matsumoto’s Grocery Store

Oahu – Day 2 – Part 6

After a long morning at Pearl Harbor and the Dole Plantation, we headed out for a late lunch at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck and a quick dessert stop at Matsumoto’s Grocery Store for their famous shaved ice.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck
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Ordering our food at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. No line, No wait.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck is the probably the number one thing recommended to me by my friends when I asked what I should do and eat in Hawaii. There are two Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck locations in Oahu; both in the North Shore. I went to the one that is on our way from the Dole Plantation to North Shore beaches. I’m also told that you still can’t go wrong with any shrimp truck in the North Shore; but I’d say Giovanni’s is the one to try first.

Giovanni’s Shrimp Trucks still operate in trucks, but they seem to be permanently parked at their current locations. They have tables set up around, along with facilities for you to wash your hands after peeling the shrimp. If shrimp is not your thing they also have a Jumbo Garlic Hotdog on their menu or check out other food trucks parked nearby.

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Shrimp Scamp. “This garlicky delight has made Giovanni’s famous world wide. A dozen shrimp marinated in olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, and lemon butter, served with two scoops of rice all drizzled with a garlic lemon butter and caramelized chunks of tasty garlic.”

Their menu is simple. They have three flavors of shrimp to choose from: Shrimp Scampi, The ‘No Refunds’ Hot & Spicy Shrimp, and Lemon Butter Shrimp. Each for $13. The Jumbo Garlic Hot Dog is $3.50. Everything is served with two scoops of rice.

We got the Shrimp Scampi and the Lemon Butter Shrimp for the four of us to share (we technically never stopped eating since Pearl Harbor). According to their menu is the Shrimp Scampi is what “made Giovanni’s Famous World-Wide!” and therefore was a must try for us. I personally loved this dish, I didn’t think the garlic was too overpowering at all. It was just finger licking yummy! They cut the shrimp along the top, making it relatively east to peel which makes me happy. I consider myself a bit of a lazy eater, it takes some really good food for me to want to get my hands dirty.

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Lemon Butter Shrimp. “Anything Sauteed in butter, lemon sauce is good, but when it’s Giovanni’s dozen beautiful shrimp, it’s great. Sauteed shell-on to lock in the creamy sauce and served with two scoops of rice.”

As for the Lemon Butter Shrimp, this was my Dad’s absolute favorite (as in the best thing he had all through our trip). The Lemon Butter Shrimp was simple and the flavors are light. The best thing about the Lemon Butter Shrimp is that you can taste how fresh the shrimp is. It’s prepared perfectly with with the perfect crunch with each bite.

I don’t know if it was because we got there at an awkward time (about 2 or 3 pm), their was no line or wait but more and more people started trickling in as we were eating.

M. Matsumoto Grocery Store / Matsumoto’s Shave Ice

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Before finally making it to the beach we had one more place to stop at; it was also on the way anyways. For it’s location and building, I think I would have completely missed it if it was not for all of the people outside the store with their shaved ice. They also have plenty of signs pointing you to where you can park.

Although the place is called a “grocery store”, the place is dedicated to shave ice and their logo merchandise. I guess that’s how you know they’re pretty famous.

The line was out the door, but went by pretty fast. About half way into the store, you order your shave ice and she will write your order on a cone along with a tray. And when you get to the counter, you give them your tray with empty cone, pay, get a number and wait for them to fill your empty cone.

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I got a small Hawaiian Combination (pineapple, coconut, banana flavors), with ice cream and beans. The ice cream and beans are served in the bottom of the cone with all of the ice packed on top, and flavors over the ice. I started out by scooping the ice and waited a little bit to stick the straw in started sipping. I’m not a big fan of the beans in general, but it was good with the ice cream and flavors.

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This was the only time we got shave ice in Hawaii, mainly because I’m the only in my family that actually likes it and unfortunately I just can’g finish the whole thing by myself.

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The line is out the door! They also have benches outside for you to sit down and enjoy your shave ice.

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One comment

  1. This post makes me miss Hawaii so much- I went there a few years back and had the exact same foods!!

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