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Fatboy’s Flavorful Local Food For Au

Story By Kelli Shiroma Photos By Nathalie Walker
May 27 - June 2, 2012

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Fatboy’s – currently established in four locations island-wide – has been serving locals Hawaiian-style gourmet plate lunches since 1999. The business recently opened its newest location in Koko Marina Center May 15, according to Fatboy’s founder Carroll Ung.

“I would say we’re the most crowded (at the Koko Marina location) between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m,” Ung says. “It’s (the turnout) been phenomenal here; we’re probably doing about 500 meals a day … just way beyond what we expected. So we have four locations right now and we’re working on the fifth one.”

Fatboy’s began as a small business among Ung, his father and a few friends. Ung, who was born and raised in Hawaii, worked at several upscale hotels in high school and college and became familiar with the culinary scene. This – coupled with an accounting degree and his father, who had about 30 years of cooking experience in a hotel – proved to be invaluable.

“I’m a local boy; I understand the culture, I understand the food of Hawaii,” Ung says. “I’ve also been exposed to the fine dining scene and I’m just trying to blend both together and keep prices reasonable. We really try to promote aloha, the spirit of Hawaii and friendliness at Fatboy’s.”

When asked about the vision behind Fatboy’s, Ung elaborates on his concept of a plate lunch. The eatery’s popular plate lunch options include North Shore Style Saute Garlic Shrimp ($10.99), Surfing Turf ($14.95) and more.

“Basically everybody in Hawaii knows what a plate lunch is,” he says. “I try to give you a little bit of starch, but give you hotel restaurant-quality food (meat-wise) in a plate lunch setting. We expose people who don’t normally go to fancier restaurants to that kind of food. The way we keep a plate lunch aspect to it is by keeping a small local menu -that has the favorites such as katsu, garlic chicken and teriyaki beef – but every day we supplement that with about three different specials.”

These specials can range from Seared Ahi Sashimi with Lilikoi Butter Sauce to Coca-Cola Braised Pork Spare Ribs. The eatery’s most popular dish, however, is Garlic Chicken ($8.99 regular, $6.99 mini).

“It’s bite-sized pieces of chicken that’s marinated, breaded, deep-fried and then we toss it in a garlic shoyu sauce,” Ung shares.

The eatery’s various Bento Box Lunches also are popular. This includes Alii Bento ($8.99) and Fatboy’s Bento ($7.99), comprising garlic chicken, teriyaki beef, fried fish, hot dog and Spam on a bed of rice with furikake.

“We probably sold close to 1 million bentos since we opened in 1999,” Ung says. “We do a lot of those (bentos) for fundraisers.”

Ung says that Fatboy’s not only provides its customers with a diversified plate lunch menu, but with catering menus as well. Items on the catering menu are similar to those found on the regular dine-in/takeout menu, including Crispy Fried Chicken ($8.25), Roast Pork or Kalua Cabbage ($7.95) and Meat Jun ($8.50).

Although the eatery just opened in Koko Marina Center, Fatboy’s fanatics can anticipate yet another location coming up soon.

“The new location is the Pali Golf Course,” Ung says. “We just took over the concession so we will be taking over the clubhouse and turning it into a sit-down version of Fatboy’s with service and a bar. We’ll also run the banquet room, which seats about 250 people. With the banquet room, we’re doing a bunch of buffet menus – if people want to do weddings, birthday parties and class reunions – and also possibly a Sunday brunch.”

Fatboy’s

  • Where
    • Koko Marina Center
    • 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy. #C110
    • Honolulu, HI 96825
  • Call
    • (808) 394-2373
  • Hours
    • Monday – Thursday
    • 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
    • Friday – Saturday
    • 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Sunday
    • 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.