My sister gave me a call knowing my husband was out of town, on her way to Wailuku for her Orchid Society meeting. She wanted to go out to dinner. Of course I am always up for dinner, but I always have an alterior motive up for food. I wanted to explore. Was she up for it?
A week ago I had posted about Korean food, and where the best was to be found. While clever answers like “my neighbor” werent very helpful, a name did come up that I was curious about, and that was Ohana Karaoke Cafe and Grill. This place replaced the old Fran’s Island Grill on Lower Main. I had heard it was Korean food and was hoping someone had dined in here and was going to tell me about it. No such luck.
However my sis is always up for a good reconnasaince mission when I am buying. At Ohana we both agreed it had a fantastic makeover since being Fran’s. The dining room is beautiful, orchid plants in the windows, white walls, and dark wood tables and booths. The booths have nice reupholstered fabric.
We started with gyoza, they were handmade and fried crisp. The dough was delicious and the filling inside was minced to perfection with garlic and scallion.
There was only one server working, and an older lady in the back cooking. It was early, around 6 pm and we were the only ones in the dining room this evening.
I asked for a korean pancake – Haemul Pajeon, it wasn’t on the menu but I took a chance knowing most Korean cooks know how to make it. Unfortunately this woman was not willing to make it, she said no. That was fine, since my sister won’t eat it, I would have had to devour it myself. Our server brought out plenty of delicious ban chan so we were happily nibbling on that while we waited for our entree dishes.
Our banchan was the traditional cold parboiled bean sprout salad, a watercress salad and seaweed salad. They also brought a dish of pickled daikon and cabbage kimchi.
For entrees we decided to order kalbi and bi bim guksu, deciding those would give us a great picture of what their food was like. The kalbi was incredible. Perfectly sweet and salty, crusted on the grill till just done. The meat was tender under the crunch of the grilled bits. The flavor was so good you had to lick the bones clean and the portion was generous.
The bi bim guksu was also delicious. The long noodles were coated perfectly with the cook’s special sweet and spicy sauce that contained gochu jang, some vinegar, sugar and roasted sesame oil. She had cucumber julienne and asian pair and hard boiled egg among the veggies, and a chopped grilled pork in there too. The bi bim guksu is a great dish for leftovers too, it travels and stores in the fridge well. I pulled my leftovers out the next day to eat and they were just as good.
The place got high marks from us, and it wasn’t that expensive. We spent about $40 for the three of us. We plan to come again and I am going to try to get the cook to make me pajeon one way or another.
check out the yelp on this one here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/ohana-karaoke-cafe-and-grill-go-hyang-jip-wailuku
740 Lower Main St
Wailuku, HI 96793