Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mini Travel Dish: Yummy Korean BBQ (Honolulu)

Korean Fast Food Done Right

Whenever I get Korean food at a mall's food court in San Francisco, I always think fondly of my favorite spot for Korean fast food in Honolulu, and that's Yummy Korean BBQ. No fast-food Korean counter in the San Francisco Bay Area can rival the delicious meats and large variety of vegetable sides available for your choosing at Yummy.

So when I was back home for a vacation, I had to make a stop at Yummy's for a plate of BBQ chicken and some excellent panchan (the vegetable sides offered at Korean restaurants). In San Francisco, the Korean joint at the San Francisco Centre only offers two sides with your order, and it's typically just steamed broccoli and clear noodles. But at Yummy, you get a choice of four panchan.

My favorite is the sweet and sour cucumber. It's so crunchy and sweet, I could eat a whole jar of it. Yummy was started in Hawaii but now as locations throughout the state and in Japan. I typically go to the Yummy in the food court of Ala Moana Center because I'll go swimming in the morning at Ala Moana Beach and then walk over to the food court at the center for some Yummy.

The downside to Yummy is that it is a bit expensive. Their large plates are now close to $9. But I think they've realized that can be a big chunk of change for some people so they started offering a mini plate for about $6. (But with the mini plate you only get a choice of two panchans. I'd buy the big plate just for the choice of four panchans.)

Another thing is that the service can be a bit brusque. It was like that when I lived in Hawaii and it didn't seem that much different when I visited during this trip. Still, if you know the system and place your order efficiently and know which panchans you want, then you'll move through the line swiftly.

Since I've been speaking so much about the panchans, here are just a few of the yummy selections:

And here's my actual order of chicken barbeque. The chicken was so tender and slightly sweet, which I like (some mainlanders might not like that). It was juicy and so satisfying. The four panchans I got was, of course, the cucumber, and then bean sprouts, kim chee and macaroni salad. So Hawaii yeah?

Yummy Korean BBQ, various locations throughout Hawaii. Web site.


Anonymous said...

omg what I would give to have that plate right now! I'm so hungry! I wish we had one of those nearby...

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if you knew the recipe for the long rice vegetable they serve at Yummy's Korean BBQ. I LOVE it but don't have money or time to buy it all the time. I'd rather make it myself. You can email me at THANKS!