‘Inn’ troducing Barbecue Worthy of a Pint-Sized PrincessFeatures Order of the Day
April 27, 2015
Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo
Strolling up to Sadie’s BBQ Inn, conveniently situated in Pearl City Shopping Center, the door swings open wide and we are greeted with an immediate welcome by none other than the owner herself, Chungae Chung. With a brisk and bustling gait, Chung ushers the Dining Out team to our seats and quickly — like a ninja — moves to make sure that we have all we need: Menus? Check! Drinks? Check! And off she goes again, leaving us time to decide among a vast variety of authentic Korean eats.
Going through the myriad of delicious choices from the menu makes our mouths water and our stomachs gurgle. We glance up from our cheery red booth to see the handwritten dry-erase board doodled with “Today’s Specials” tempting us further, as Chung’s husband and co-owner, Soonkil Chung, approaches the table with a ready smile and winning personality.
He shares with us about how this popular Pearl City eatery came to be. “We first opened in November of last year,” Soonkil says, before explaining to (or showing us, rather) just how special the name of the restaurant really is. We watch as Soonkil slowly slides his phone out of his pocket, proudly passing it around for us to see — an image of a bright-eyed baby girl with pigtails and a precocious grin spanning the entirety of her cherub cheeks. “Our Sadie,” Soonkil beams with a smile reserved only for the most smitten of grandpas.
As we finish oohing and ahhing over his adorable pint-sized princess Sadie, Soonkil explains to us how, although some people confuse Sadie’s with the previous barbecue restaurant that existed for years before at the same locale, “We are a completely different business, with different owners and both food and service that is very different and much better — it’s important everyone knows that!” And if we didn’t know it before, as the food arrives, the taste is a testimony itself to the truth of Soonkil’s statement.
If flavor is what you’re after, Spicy Garlic Chicken ($12.95) satisfies, with chunks of chicken slathered in a vibrantly hued, tangy and tempting, garlic-tinged sauce. Garnished with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, green onion and chili pepper, the dish delivers just the right amount of heat without sending smoke out of your ears.
Sadie’s Special ($19.95) is an entree of epic proportions, showcasing a smattering of King Kalbi, Barbecue Chicken, Meat Jun, Fried Shrimp and Mandoo, served with two scoops of rice, soup and a smorgasbord of rotating assorted banchan.
Sizzling and aromatic, we hear and smell the savory signals of Sadie’s King Kalbi ($21.95) before we even see it. Slide-off-the-bone slabs of juicy Kalbi are brought to the table on a skillet, making for one mouthwatering meal that is hot, hot, hot.
Perhaps the most popular of the bunch, Butterfish ($20.95) provides a generous portion of lean fish, flavored according to the customer’s desire with either shoyu or miso marinade. Light yet satisfying, this dish is swimming with succulent taste.
Whether you are on your way to work before the break of dawn (Sadie’s opens at 5 a.m. with Okazuya options), or looking for a lunch or dinner out, Sadie’s BBQ Inn’s ohana offers the hungry a home away from home.
Sadie’s BBQ Inn
850 Kamehameha Hwy., Pearl City
// Daily, 5am-9pm