The perfect place to ‘meat’ up

What's Cooking?

August 25, 2015

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Living in paradise has its perks, but residing in the Aloha State also brings with it a pretty hefty price tag. That’s why Camellia Buffet, a McCully Street establishment known for its Korean cuisine and yakiniku-style dining, offers patrons its all-youcan-eat buffet daily. Filled with local favorites, the buffet is available for lunch ($18.95) from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and dinner ($27.95) from 2:30 to 10 p.m., with children ages 4 to 8 receiving discounted rates of $14 (lunch) and $17 (dinner).

“If you love meat, you can get an all-you-can-eat buffet for under $30, and at most restaurants, you can’t even order a single steak for that amount!” says general manager Kelly Park.

And for those who may not be big fans of meat? Park says not to panic. “We also have a lot of things that vegetarians can eat.”

Bringing our attention back to carnivores’ delights, Park brings out a plate of Spicy Pork, ready to be cooked (then gobbled) up. “We use traditional Korean peppers and chili paste, with no artificial flavors,” explains Park. “It’s flavorful and spicy, and the texture is also nice, with a bit of crunch.”

Kalbi keeps things classic, with Korean-style marinated short ribs made in a traditional shoyu-based sauce. Park says the secrets to the meat’s undeniable goodness are marinating and timing. The eatery’s chefs painstakingly marinate the meat overnight to allow it to soak up every savory seasoning. And the timing? “Too short, and the meat is tough … too long, it’s almost like a jellyfish … not good!” Park chuckles.

Camellia’s version of Fried Chicken is different — and delicious. Rather than the huge, batter-drowned drumsticks one might expect, these bite-sized servings of poultry more so highlight the meat. “We marinate the meat before frying it, which brings more flavor … and we also use much less batter, so the coating doesn’t overpower the meat.”

After sampling these three dishes, patrons will be sold on Camellia Buffet.

Camellia Buffet

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.)

Honolulu, HI 96826

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Hawaii's Best