Korean Plate Lunch & Shave Ice at Ward

Today I woke up and it just felt like one of those days. You know, one of those days? The kind of days where you just need, need MUST HAVE plate lunch? Yah, it was one of those days. Oh man, whenever one of THOSE DAYS hit me in NYC there was nothing I could do because the only kind of plate lunch that would satisfy was a 12 hour flight away.

But today was different. I could actually do something about it! So I hopped out of bed and straight to the Don Quixote location of Yummy’s. Everyone has their favourite place for Korean plate lunches, be it Gina’s, Palama Market or Yummy’s. Yummy’s is the most corporate of the three. But it’s also pretty tasty, and you can’t argue with that. When I crave fish jun or meat jun I go to Palama Market, but when I just want meat meat Yummy’s is the best choice.

The hard part was deciding just which meat I wanted: kalbi, bbq chicken or teriyaki beef? Too hard to pick. So I got them all in the form of a combination plate. It’s gorgeous huh? You can’t see the bbq chicken in this photo, so let’s look at this one below…

Oh goodness, you see that, soooo beautiful. The bbq chicken here is awesome, tender charred meat, always on the salty side (but that’s how I like it). Piles of sweet teriyaki beef layer on top and kalbi to finish it off. Now that’s a proper lunch. The plate comes with two scoops of rice (like every good meal should) – I like to pile the meat on top of the rice so that each and every white grain soaks up all the juices/fat/major tastiness.

You get a choice of four sides which you point and pick right after you place your order. My usual four sides = kimchee, long rice, shoyu potatoes, and mayo potatoes. But apparently I’ve gotten so fat since my last visit home that no one in my family can recognize me! Good golly! According to my relatives I must go on a diet. Bah! I compromised though, replacing my beloved shoyu potatoes and mayo potatoes with the rolled omelet and seaweed. Not quite the same, but I was still a happy camper.

Dad and I went to Marukai in the afternoon to buy poke and sashimi for dinner. While shopping around I had sudden itch for shave ice. After all it was such a lovely day, so why not? Last summer, my friend Radford showed me this place hidden in the Ward Farmer’s Market just steps from Marukai. Unfortunately it was closed at the time, and I never had a chance to return before moving to NYC. I made a mental note to return, and today was the perfect opportunity.

The “storefront” (more of a booth) was empty when we arrived. Lights off. No humans to be seen, just a lone shave ice machine and a mini fridge. A sign said, “Please Ring Bell for Service.” I rang once. And twice. And then once more. And waited a bit longer. A friendly voice cheered from behind the curtains, “I coommmmiiingg!” And out came a lady, every bit as friendly as the voice would have led one to believe. She took out a block of ice and turned on the machine. She made dad’s order first, a li hing mui and pineapple combination.

I had li hing mui and lilikoi, the most fantastic combination ever (unless you’re allowed three flavours, in which case the third should always be lychee). It’s so hard to describe how refreshingly delicious shave ice on a warm day (and when it is ever not warm here? ;) tastes, the best way to find out is to come taste it yourself. Finely shaved ice doused in li hing mui syrup, see, click for this photo here, those dark red speckles are li hing mui powder…sooooo ono! The fruity lilikoi, a sweet summery yellow, is the perfect offset to li hing mui’s tart pucker.

I ate the shave ice at that once long bench outside Marukai with dad and it felt like I was on vacation. Which I guess I am. Funny to think of it that way.

Yummy’s Korean BBQ

801 Kaheka St.

Honolulu, Hawaii 96814

Stanley’s Chicken Market

(yes, you can get chicken and shave ice in one place!)

Ward Farmer’s Market

(808) 593-9989

  • anonymous
    May 28, 2008

    Gina’s! Gina’s! Gina’s!I like Yummy’s, but their plates are getting really expensive. Gina’s has a place in my heart because I went there every other week during college.

  • K & S
    May 28, 2008

    man, I hope that shave ice place is still there on my next trip home (heard that area will close down…)

  • Front Studio
    May 28, 2008

    drooling! more reasons to go to hawaii.

  • kathryn
    May 28, 2008

    Why is it always “shave ice” in Hawaii, and never “shaved ice”? Where did the mysterious “D” go?!

  • shann
    May 28, 2008

    ahhhh shave ice! i could have used some the other day, so humid here! can’t wait to get back to the tradewinds :o)glad you finally got your korean bbq!shave ice, not shaved ice! it’s all about dropping endings in pidgin hahaha. unless you come from neighbor islands, then you go ‘ice shave’

  • Noelle
    May 29, 2008

    mmm i never tried the li hing/lilikoi combo. gotta do that next trip home. awesome pictures!don’t some places on the big island say “shaved ice”? i thought i read that someplace

  • Kathy YL Chan
    May 29, 2008

    Hey Marvo!Hehehe, I like Gina’s a looot but I think my heart lies with Yummy’s, hehehe ^_^Hey Kat!Oo yah, my dad mentioned something about that in passing the other day…something about building new condos in the area? -_-Yen & Michi!heheh, and there are many more to follow that! :)Kathryn!Ooo see Shann’s response below – she knows better than I! ^_^Shann & Noelle!haha, I was all in the dark about this stuff till today. OMG so good the bbq – I think I gotta go get fish jun tomorrow! o_O

  • KirkK
    May 29, 2008

    Oh my….Gina’s…I’d even take Yummy’s in a heartbeat. Nothing close to that here in San Diego!

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