Korean Eats in the LimelightColumns Who's Counting?
September 15, 2013
Story By: Jaimie Kim | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
A visit to Seoul Garden Yakiniku may increase your chances of dining in the same room as a Korean “hallyu” star. (“Hallyu” is used to refer to Korean pop culture.)
If you need proof, all you have to do is look to a wall in the restaurant adorned with photos that capture moments owner Yun Hee Im has stood alongside the likes of Korean entertainers such as Yoo Jae Suk from the popular Korean show, Running Man.
While you’re waiting in excitement at the possibility of someone famous walking through the door, funnel that energy into a meal that features an extensive menu of Korean favorites.
The Kalbi Plate ($12.95), BBQ Chicken ($8.95) and Bulgogi ($11.95) are often in demand.
“It’s very popular,” Im says.
All three are prepared the same way: soaked in the restaurant’s marinade for 24 hours before it is cooked and brought to your table in a sizzling iron plate.
Another protein option with some spice is the Spicy Pork ($11.95).
Customers may also request a combination of two meats ($11.95-$12.95).
A longtime favorite among locals, the restaurant also serves Meat Jun ($8.95) and Fish Jun ($8.95). Both are battered with an egg and flower mixture before they are cooked.
Of course, the best part about Korean meals are the banchan (side dishes) and other accompaniments. Meals at Seoul Garden Yakiniku come with a bowl of rice, (choice of tofu, kimchee or miso soup) and seven banchan.
Here is a trick to keeping your indulgences under control: you don’t always have to think big.
With seven different banchan to sample from, you have more than enough of a variety of textures and flavors to sample from. Plus, most of it is healthy vegetables.
If you would like to throw caution to the wind and pig out, Seoul Garden Yakiniku also has all-you-can-eat meat options available during the day and for dinner.
Look for a coupon in Dining Out (on page 20) that may be used during its dinner service.
Seoul Garden Yakiniku
1679 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Daily, 9:30 a.m. to midnight