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Get up in this grill

Columns What's Cooking?

October 19, 2014

Story By: Rachel Breit | Photos by: Rachel Breit

In one of his songs, Jimmy Buffet sings, “I was hungry and went out for a bite.” Anyone with an empty stomach should heed his words. And Camellia Buffet, the all-you-can-eat Korean yakiniku restaurant tucked off McCully, is just that haven for the hungry.

The buffet certainly boasts a multitude of ingredients. There is a variety of sliced meats and vegetables fit for the grill, an assortment of house-made toppings and garnishes, from kimchee and pickles to miso sauce and whole cloves of garlic. You’ll also find hot items ready to be dug into right away: fried rice, orange chicken and more.

The best part? The DIY nature of grill-at-your-table yakiniku means it’s all about you. “You can go up anytime you like, choose what you like, and take how much you like,” explains the restaurant’s general manager Kelly Park.

If you’re keeping an eye on your sodium or sugar intake, try the unseasoned Boneless Kalbi. Even though the spare ribs aren’t marinated, the cut’s marbling ensures tenderness.

Another unseasoned option is Pork Belly. “It’s better plain,” states Park. Although some diners favor cooking it crispy like bacon, Park suggests enjoying it when it’s still soft, wrapped up in a piece of lettuce with chili paste and grilled garlic.

Park has a couple more tips for making your grilling experience that much better. First, place the meat on the grill right away. No oil is used, so putting the meat on the cold grill prevents sticking when it comes time to flip. Second, in regards to flipping, the key is to do it frequently. “It’s better to turn the meat often, so it won’t burn,” says Park. Don’t quite have the hang of it? Friendly staff is on-hand to help.

When it comes to getting your fill, the buffet is a bargain for lunch ($17.95 for adults, $13 for children 4 to 8) or dinner ($25.95, $15). As Jimmy Buffet would say, “I know that I just can’t go wrong.”

Camellia Buffet

930 McCully St., Honolulu
951-0511
Daily, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. (lunch) 2:30-10 p.m. (dinner)

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