Lunch Service Returns to MillionFeatures Inside Feature
February 2, 2014
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Following numerous inquiries from customers, the friendly folks at Million Restaurant have answered the call for lunch service at one of Hawaii’s original authentic Korean dining hot spots.
After a brief respite, the restaurant again will be open for lunch. Starting Feb. 3, the popular dining destination will serve its traditional and local-style Korean fare from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
Million Restaurant makes it a point to welcome customers as if they are coming home to enjoy a freshly prepared meal with family and friends. As it turns out, the eatery is adept at treating its guests like kin because the restaurant is run by multiple generations of extended family members. Million has served up popular Korean dishes out of its convenient Sheridan Street locale since 1989, and offers a wide variety of choices including more than 80 entree and side dish selections. Diners may choose from yakiniku sets, which are prepared on gas grills located at each table, as well as a slew of side orders, soups, noodle dishes, grilled and fried entree options, in addition to mixed rice and special plates.
“This is a family restaurant, and we’re all involved,” explains manager Diana Paik, one of five siblings who have kept Million Restaurant going strong for more than a quarter of a century. “Customers will notice the friendly atmosphere. They are encouraged to order their favorite dishes and share them family-style at the table.”
Diners clamor for house specials such as Spicy Chicken Wings ($11.95 full order, $7.95 side order), a plentiful portion of juicy chicken wings that are coated with Million’s blend of mung beans, egg and a pinch of salt before being fried to a crispy golden goodness. After the wings are fried, the tantalizing morsels are tossed in a tangy sweet-and-spicy sauce that permeates the meat to enhance each bite.
Beef and Kimchee Fried Rice ($11.95) is another local favorite that can be enjoyed as an entree or starter, and includes a hearty portion of kimchee-infused rice coupled with tender sliced beef topped with a light, fluffy egg.
Million Restaurant also serves up favorites, such as Meat Jun Plate ($13.95), the ultra-popular Korean specialty regarded by Paik as “No. 1 in Hawaii,” which features thin slices of beef battered in flour and egg, and lightly fried to encompass the tender meat. Baby Chicken Soup ($11.95) is a perfect option during this stretch of cool, windy weather making its way through the Island chain. Local photojournalist and frequent Million Restaurant customer Lawrence Tabudlo calls the savory dish “The ultimate chicken noodle soup,” which also draws comparisons to Hawaiian-style chicken long rice by incorporating long rice, green onions and turnips in a refreshing broth packed with plenty of chicken.
Paik also recommends another popular Korean specialty found only at the establishment: Pigs Feet and Jellyfish mixed with Mustard Sauce ($16.95 small, $23.95 large). The unique blend of flavors include tender, thinly sliced pigs feet and jellyfish atop a bed of mixed greens, bell peppers and sliced cucumber, accompanied by a “secret” house dressing packed with zesty garlic and plenty of spice.
For those looking to get grillin’ yakiniku style, the restaurant offers menu sets that include ample portions of meat, rice, seaweed soup and a variety of Korean side dishes. The sets are available for $54.95 apiece and feed two people with a variety of meat options, including seasoned short ribs, marinated and seasoned beef, beef brisket, barbecue chicken and shrimp. Diners may also choose from additional meats to grill, such as Shoyu Marinated Chicken ($21.95), Shrimp ($24.95), Sliced Beef Tongue ($24.95) and Beef Outside Skirts ($26.95). Diners may opt to forgo the sets and instead order the individual meat selections to prepare on the grill, and in this case, a minimum of two such orders is required when cooking at the table.
“We have a lot of regular customers, and when people come to try our food, they leave happy and keep coming back again,” Paik says. “We’re very thankful to our loyal customers!”
Diners are treated to convenient free parking behind the restaurant, and may park at the metered stalls fronting the eatery as well.
626 Sheridan St., Honolulu
Open daily, 11 a.m-11 p.m. (new hours go into effect Feb. 3)