A Meat-Lover’s ParadiseFeatures Inside Feature
September 16, 2012
Story By: Nicole Kato | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
At Camellia Buffet on McCully Street, you get the best of both worlds: a great selection of fresh raw meat for all you meat-lovers, and the sheer pleasure of cooking it to your liking.
These qualities make Camellia a great alternative to traditional buffets, in which food often sits out for a long time.
Manager Kelly Park notes that the most popular dishes are the kalbi during lunch and the sirloin steak during dinner. And the keiki enjoy the orange chicken.
“But recently, people have been asking for shrimp, and they also like our oil sauce (served with salt and pepper at night),” she adds.
Is quality more important than quantity? Or is it the other way around? At Camellia, which has been serving Korean food for almost 30 years, it doesn’t really matter because you’re sure to be getting the freshest all-you-can-eat cuts of meat and vegetable selections.
The establishment features main dishes such as kalbi, beef, chicken and pork, 25 different types of side dishes (including kim chee, macaroni salad and kim chee cucumber), soups (miso and seaweed), fruits and more.
Items such as shrimp, sashimi, flap-meat sir-loin steak and frozen yogurt are only available during dinner.
Not a total meat-lover? That’s OK, because the buffet also features a vast array of veggies, including carrots, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms and bean sprouts.
And the restaurant takes its customers into consideration. Every so often, Camellia Buffet likes to switch up the more than 50 items available in the buffet so patrons won’t get bored of the same ol’ thing.
In addition, Camellia makes its own mandoo (dumplings). And the sauce on those spicy chicken wings? That’s homemade, too. (And yes, the kim chee also is made in-house. After all, it wouldn’t be a Korean-owned restaurant without homemade kim chee, right?)
If you’re wondering why you can’t get enough of the marinated meats, that’s probably because the taste of Camellia’s secret sauces has a strong hold of your taste buds and simply won’t let go.
Lunch costs $17.95 for adults and $13 for children, ages 4-8, and is served from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner costs $25.95 for adults and $15 for children, ages 4-8, and runs from 2:30 to 10 p.m. seven days a wee. That’s right, you can eat all you want every day of the week.
If you don’t have the time to sit down and grill your own meat, that’s OK. Camellia has a takeout menu (with already-cooked food that’s ready to eat): kalbi ($11.95), bulgogi ($9.95), spicy pork ($9), chicken ($9), combination ($11.95), fried mandoo ($9), bibim bap ($10) and bibim kooksoo ($10).
Since Camellia Buffet is often busy, especially around dinnertime, reservations are recommended. And with so many food choices, Camellia is the perfect place to bring the whole family or large group of friends.
Make sure you bring a hearty appetite when you visit Camellia so you can sample a little bit of everything.
930 McCully St., Honolulu
Open daily, 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.