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A World of Cuisines

Cover Story Features

July 2, 2011

Story By: Dining Out Team |

As your neighborhood one-stop shop for all of your wants and needs, McCully Shopping Center caters to just about everyone. This month, the center will mark its 25th anniversary and the Fourth of July with a special annual promotion titled “A World of Cuisines.” The 35,290-square-foot complex offers a one-of-a-kind culinary experience for locals and tourists alike, with a wide selection of ethnic restaurants all in one setting, such as Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, local plate lunches and fast food establishments.

  • McCully Shopping Center's marketing director Terri Hansen presents sophisticated entrees available at center restaurants.
  • So Gong Dong's Bibimbap ($15.95)
  • Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant's Live Maine Lobster ($10.99)
  • Beef Pho with bean sprouts ($7.99) from Pho 777
  • Phuket Thai Restaurant's Yellow Curry with shrimp ($11.95)
  • Soondubu Tofu Soup ($8.25) from So Gong Dong
  • Seafood Risotto ($14.95) with shrimps, mussels, clams and calamari in a light cream sauce from Banana Leaf Pasta Cafe
  • So Gong Dong's famous Koreann Seafood Pancake ($13.95)
  • Coco Ichibanya Curry House's Chicken Katsu Curry with Cheese ($7.96)
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Dining Out recently caught up with McCully Shopping Center’s marketing director Terri Hansen over a spread of entrees exquisitely prepared by top-notch chefs from the center’s many restaurants, where we explored the many facets of culinary magic that spans all continents and cultures.

DO: McCully Shopping Center was founded in August 1986, and throughout the years has served as an integral gathering place in our community, wouldn’t you agree?

Hansen: Yes, when the shopping center came into fruition the concept was to service the community. We have various services here that cater to nails, hair, makeup, waxing, body boarding, etc. We’re not just restaurants, although restaurants eventually began opening one after the other — and we’ve always kind of been known for our many restaurants. All of them are top-grade restaurants where customers frequent over and over again. Our restaurants here basically offer any cuisine that you can think of and it’s not hard to appease everyone.

DO: “A World of Cuisines” is celebrated throughout the month of July and is an anniversary celebration for the shopping center. What can people expect?

Hansen: Well, McCully Shopping Center is a hub for what we call “A World of Cuisines,” a variety of different restaurants to service you from all over the world. We want to entice your taste buds by traveling the world with our many restaurant selections, including Curry House, Fook Yuen, So Gong Dong, Regal Diner, Phuket Thai, Yotteko-Ya (one of the best ramen you’ll find in the state), Banana Leaf Pasta Cafe, Bistro Ah Un, Taco Bell, Pho 777 and our newest addition, Hot Pot Heaven, where you can order anything from a Thai broth, to a Hawaiian broth, to a vegan broth.

DO: There’s also going to be a prize drawing for an amazing trip as part of this promotion. Can you elaborate on this?

Hansen: This is a promotion that we’ve been doing for the past six years, and every year McCully Shopping Center sends a lucky winner and his/her companion somewhere around the world. This year we’re sending two lucky winners to Las Vegas. Customers may enter to win one of two round trips for two to Las Vegas at any participating McCully Shopping Center merchant. The giveaway includes a six-day, five-night package, including three meals daily through Vacations Hawaii. You must be 18 years or older to enter and only one entry is accepted per household.

DO: Wow, that’s exciting! There’s definitely a melting pot of flavors at the many restaurants here. Can you give an example of the specific entrees that some of these restaurants are known for?

Hansen: For starters, Banana Leaf Pasta Cafe is known for its Italian food, specifically its Seafood Risotto ($14.95), an Italian-style rice simmered with shrimps, mussels, clams and calamari in tomato sauce or a light cream sauce. Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant offers up Live Maine Lobster ($10.99) in four different styles: garlic and butter sauce, ginger and green onions, black bean sauce or with salt and pepper. Yellow Curry with Shrimp ($11.95), Red Curry, Green Curry and Peanut Curry Sauce can all be found at Phuket Thai Restaurant. So Gong Dong Korean Restaurant features a great Seafood Pancake ($13.95) with seafood, squid, onion, carrots, green onions and egg. So Gong Dong also is known for its Bibimbap ($15.95) and Soondubu Tofu Soup ($8.25). Six to seven side dishes are included with every order as well. As for Coco Ichibanya Curry House, it’s known for its Chicken Katsu Curry with Cheese ($7.96). Finally, Beef Pho with bean sprouts ($7.99) is a must-have at Pho 777.

DO: Hawaii is well known for its exotic blend of cultures. Do you believe this is highly represented in McCully Shopping Center’s variety of food establishments?

Hansen: Yes. I want to say there’s not another place on the island that has as many restaurants as we do in such close proximity of each other. I mean, literally, you can go out one door and into another restaurant. Not only are we a world of cuisines, but most importantly, we’re convenient — we have ample parking downstairs in our basement — and we’re here just to service the community. We also have a few more eateries, such as Coffee or Tea and Snow Factory, which also are quite popular.

DO: Do you think it’s the restaurants that draw in the majority of your customers to McCully Shopping Center?

Hansen: Oh yes, our restaurants definitely draw in the majority of our customers. Without the restaurants, I think the center would have a totally different look and feel to it. We cater to everyone — locals and tourists, and we’ve gotten a big influx of college students since the University of Hawaii is just down the road as well. And the diversity of customers from UH really helps with the ethnic flair here.

McCully Shopping Center