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‘Soup-erb’ Cuisine wins at Korean Hot Spot

Inside Feature

April 15, 2018

Story By: Kyle Galdeira |

Steamed Kalbi Soup ($17.95); file photos

Those craving stellar Korean entrees and sides, and delicious yakiniku combinations prepared freshly at the table, should head to Seoul Garden Yakiniku, which serves up nothing but the best meats and vegetables in an inviting, relaxed environment.

For nearly 15 years, Seoul Garden’s convenient Kapiolani Boulevard locale, which resides within walking distance of the Hawaii Convention Center and Ala Moana Center, has dished out delicious Korean yakiniku and shabu shabu-style cuisine for lunch, dinner and late-night meals. The restaurant offers up high-quality meats prepared with special seasonings and marinades to bring out all the popular flavors in each bite.

Pork Belly ($23.95 as a yakiniku entree)

Seoul Garden offers a host of popular meats that can be cooked via tabletop grills, including fresh Pork Belly ($23.95 as a yakiniku entree), which resembles a thick-cut bacon with the same salty notes and rich fat content that create unbelievable flavor profiles. The dining experience also is enhanced by Seoul Garden’s assortment of complimentary side dishes, which pair perfectly with one’s favorite yakiniku set or entree. Owner Yun Hee Im explains that diners receive seven-to-eight of the side dishes that are rotated daily and include such favorites as steamed broccoli, bean sprouts, kimchee, mushrooms, steamed egg or potatoes served in a savory, sweet marinade.

“We offer great quality and value,” says Im. “Hawaii has really embraced Korean cuisine in recent years, especially the last decade or so. Ever since Seoul Garden first opened, we have made it our mission to produce authentic Korean dishes at the greatest possible value for our customers.”

Beef and Octopus Pot Stew ($49.95)

Whether one is looking for a hearty entree, or a pick-me-up on a cool day or evening, Im recommends Steamed Kalbi Soup ($17.95), a delicious concoction that is served piping hot in a traditional stone bowl.

“This soup is made for the royal family in Korea,” Im says of the scintillating soup that includes thick, tender pieces of short ribs, carrots and potatoes simmered in a savory broth. “There really is no better way to enjoy Korean food.”

Stone Pot Rice and Bulgogi + Soup ($21.95)

Another favorite of regular diners is Beef and Octopus Pot Stew ($49.95), which includes marinated beef and octopus that can be fried or boiled in the two-in-one cooking station along with rice noodles and vegetables such as enoki mushrooms, green and white onion, and carrots.

Multiple lunch specials (available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) also satisfy any appetite with selections including Stone Pot Rice and Bulgogi + Soup for $21.95.

The dish features a vibrant vegetable medley of cucumbers, shiitake mushrooms, bean sprouts and carrots along with thinly sliced beef and egg, which cook in the hot stone pot, and a soup selection to complete the supple meal.

Seoul Garden provides an ideal setting for family-style dining, business meetings and simple gatherings with friends. The restaurant serves up its popular favorites from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

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