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.
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