Taste is Always in BloomFeatures Inside Feature
January 27, 2013
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: Leah Friel
As Camellia Buffet ushers in its 30th year of serving Hawaii, the popular establishment continues to thrill diners with quality Korean-influenced cuisine prepared Yakiniku style at each table.
The eatery, which is appropriately named after a stunning flower that remains in bloom through all seasons, is situated conveniently at 930 McCully St., and offers plenty of free parking. The bountiful buffet is available daily for lunch (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (2:30 to 10 p.m.).
The all-you-can-eat buffet remains affordable for the whole family, and offers an enjoyable experience for all patrons, whether it’s dinner for two or a large birthday party or gathering. The lunch buffet is available for just $17.95 and $25.95 at dinner, while children ages 4 to 8 receive discounted rates of $13 and $15, respectively.
“When you say Yakiniku, it refers to the Japanese term for table-top cooking, but we offer a wide range of traditional Korean-style dishes,” explains manager Kelly Park. “Some people like their meat cooked a certain way, and with the grills at each table, you go to the buffet, pick what you want and prepare each item the way you like it. And, you can keep going back for more — eat as much as you like for one price. You really get your money’s worth.”
More than 50 selections grace the buffet line at Camel-lia Buffet, including Kalbi Short Ribs, Barbecue Beef, Barbecue Pork, Spicy Chicken, Korean Pancake, Teriyaki Chicken and multiple Kim Chee varieties. The dinner buffet also includes Flat Steak, Fresh Shrimp, Spicy Fried Chicken and various desserts, including ice cream from the eatery’s self-serve machine.
Camellia Buffet also serves up local favorites including Fried Rice, Orange Chicken, and Mandoo — all of which are made fresh and in-house, and have grown in popularity, especially among children.
“The fried rice and mandoo are very popular with the kids, and you can taste the freshness because it’s all homemade, not store bought,” says Park. “We also make our sauces with traditional Korean recipes and flavors that we pass on through many generations. We use high-quality meats. Customers will tell me that they can taste the difference, and they say, ‘You guys are the best,’ and keep coming back.”
The buffet lineup also features an array of side dishes that add unique flavors and textures to the dining experience. Customers may select from fresh and hot soups, including Seaweed Soup, Miso Soup and Red Bean Porridge, as well as a host of additional offerings such as Pickled Onions, Cucumber Kim Chee, Soybeans, Green Salad, Seaweed and Macaroni Salad.
The eatery also offers beverages from its full bar, and customers can indulge in Korean Sweet Tea, a popular after-meal drink made fresh and served daily.
“If you’re looking for a different kind of dining experience, I would ask customers to come in and give us a try,” Park says. “If you haven’t been here in a while, we have some new items on the buffet in addition to the original favorites. We’ve been able to keep our prices low without sacrificing the taste — that is very important to us and our customers.”
In addition to its vast assortment of buffet selections, Camellia Buffet also offers a takeout menu. Diners may choose from an assortment of local favorites, including Kalbi ($11.95), Bulgogi ($9.95), Spicy Pork ($9) and Bibim Kooksoo ($10), a popular spicy cold noodle dish.
Stop by Camellia Buffet and get grilling today!
930 McCully St., Honolulu
Open daily for lunch (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and dinner (2:30 to 10 p.m.)