Lili’s BBQ

Digest Step Up to the Plate

September 21, 2014

Story By: Alana Folen | Photos by: Anthony Consillio


Lili’s BBQ in Kalihi marries aspects of Southern barbecue with localand Asian-inspired barbecue. Owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Filipo and Sue Maiava, the clean and spacious eatery opened its doors to eager diners last December, offering dine-in, takeout and catering selections.

“Everything that we serve incorporates longtime family recipes and is made from scratch,” says cook Sue Maiava.

“My goal is for patrons to associate our food with mama’s home cooking. Our portions are big, but it’s always quality over quantity. I want each dish to have its own unique ‘wow’ factor.”

Through trial and error, Sue perfected the macaroni salad. This scrumptious local favorite consists of macaroni, carrot, egg and mayonnaise.

Of course, Country Chicken isn’t Country Chicken without a generous slice of corn bread infused with buttery sweetness. “We follow my sister-in-law’s cornbread recipe. It’s so good,” says Sue.

Born and raised in Korea, Sue is a pro at preparing authentic kimchee, which she makes fresh every other day.

Good ole’ home cookin’ is the premise of this dish. The Maiavas’ friend, with roots in Texas, shared his family recipe, and just like that, Country Chicken became a permanent item on the menu.

The gravy is thick, dense and savory, made with milk, heavy cream and a slew of secret spices. “Customers love it, along with the fact that the meat is so tender with a crispy exterior,” says Sue.

Two boneless, skinless chicken thighs equate to more than 12 ounces of meat that’s sprinkled with salt and pepper, coated in flour and pan fried.

A bed of white rice is the first layer of this feast, followed by a tender slab of chicken smothered with white gravy and another piece of chicken and gravy on top of that. Can we say, “Winner, winner chicken dinner!”?

Lili’s BBQ

2300 N. King St.
Monday, 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Honolulu, HI 96819

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