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Yakiniku Journey Pre-Concert Party

While going on a “Yakiniku Journey” sounds like a delicious trip to take, what we’re talking about here is a little Yakiniku party we had yesterday evening before heading on over to rock out with Journey, who performed their third and final Oahu concert here in Honolulu yesterday…

What made this concert tour especially exciting is that we got to see new lead singer Arnel Pineda perform. As you know, Hawaii has a significant population of folks from the Philippines where Arnel is from. So as expected, there was major Filipino pride in the house at the show, including someone who handed Arnel a Filipino flag at the stage. Very cool.

I’ll get more into the Journey concert itself in a bit. First, let’s talk grindz!

If you’ve never threw a Yakiniku party at home before, you really should. It’s so easy, yet so ono! Plus it’s interactive and very social, as everyone gathers around the grill to cook their own food.

First of all you need a portable butane grill with a Yakiniku grill top added on…

These grills and Yakiniku tops are available at supermarkets such as Daiei (Don Quijote) or Marukai, to name a few. I just bought one of the Yakiniku tops at Ward Marukai on sale for just $10. It’s made of cast aluminum with a non-stick black teflon cooking surface. The heat from the grill’s manifold blue flame is directed straight up to the grill plate, making it SCORCHING hot.

Along with that, you should have a variety of cleaned and cut veggies, whichever are your favorite..

On there is Won Bok (Napa Cabbage), Choy Sum, Egg Plant, Bean Sprouts, White Mushrooms and Green Onion. As you notice in back there’s dipping sauces, which include Coleman’s Mustard with Shoyu, Ponzu and a Sweet Sesame-Shoyu sauce. Other veggies worth considering would be zucchini, bell peppers, thin-sliced carrots, watercress, blanched asparagus and so many more possibilities.

Then of course some meat (if you like), where in the case we were treated to some beautiful cuts of Wagyu beef…

Because Yakiniku is a quick grilling method, a good quality cut of meat is the best way to go if you want it to be tender and flavorful, as it indeed was with this Wagyu. Awesome.

For seasoning, simply garlic salt and black pepper is all it needs, which you sprinkle on once it’s on the grill.

For “cooking lube”, a combination of butter and olive oil works great.

Now just go for it. Start adding your meat and veggies on there and grill away, keeping a watchful eye while turning the pieces over as they sear on each side. Add garlic salt and/or pepper to your own personal taste.

The following sequence of photos are the various combination of veggies and meat that landed on the grill during this little Journey pre-concert party of ours…

Notice in the sequence photo above, we threw some Shoyu Ahi Poke from da’ pupu platter on the grill to sear it. Whoo, da buggah’ was winnahz!

All that was needed along with the grilled veggies, steak and other goodies was some hot rice! You know da’ rules.

Of course, being a party, gotta’ get pupus…

That would be Tako Poke, Spicy Edamame, Pickled Cucumbers, Boiled Peanuts and Ahi Poke. Oooouu’right!

Getting our Dim Sum on, we also had some steamed Pork Hash…

Steamed Choy Sum with Oyster Sauce…

Like try some Choy Sum? lol

This is how the Choy Sum looks before it gets steamed-down…

And last but not least, charsiu, featuring Lum’s Charsiu Sauce…

OMG, this Charsiu was the BOMB! So ono. Tender, with an intense glazed charsiu finish. Diner J (our host) said he made it by simply marinading cuts of pork butt with Lum’s Charsiu Sauce overnight. Then to cook it, he roasted it at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours, basting it with extra Charsiu sauce several times along the way. Then just before it was done, he blasted the heat up to get some papa’a edges. Sweet.

Everything on the table was a winnah, winnah Journey pre-concert dinnah!

Now it’s off to enjoy the Journey Concert…

You’re probably asking where’s the pictures of the concert, to which I’m kinda’ bummed, as just about EVERYONE there had a camera or video camera recording the show. I guess there’s no “bootlegging” issues anymore, huh? Here I thought cameras weren’t allowed, to which I left back at our hosts’ house, but I guess they were! Darned it.

Anyhow, as for the Journey concert, it was excellent. Arnel sure has a lot of energy and pep for a 41 year old guy . He was jumping and kicking all over the place, where at some moments, I was almost concerned he’d fumble or trip over something. His vocals were right on key and accurate to every single lyric and nuance, where if you closed your eyes, you’d think it was Steve Perry.

Being a “guitar head”, Neal Schon was the highlight for me. As bluesey as ever, sounding almost like David Gilmour in his choice and speed of picking notes, using heavy sustain effects, which I love. He just hits those highs and lets it hang, bending it at just the right moments. Ya’ know? It’s what makes the “Journey Sound”.

The song set included many classics, with just a few cuts from the new album. As expected, everyone who wasn’t familiar with their new material were quiet during those song, yet once “Lights” and all the other mainstream classics were played, everyone were off their seats, dancing and singing in unison with Arnel and gang. At times it was almost spiritual, where you you could just feel everyone had a really good vibe. Especially when just about EVERYONE in the arena sang in unison along with Arnel to the likes of “Faithfully” at the part when it goes, “Oooooh-oooooh-ooooooohhhh-oohhh”. Chicken skin moment right there.

Neal did a short guitar solo towards the beginining of the concert that was “interesting”. They opened the show with “Only the Lonely“, which is one of my favorite tunes of their mainstream material. I was hoping they’d play “Girl Can’t Help It“, which is another favorite mainstream tune of mine, but they didn’t. Still, they covered all the classics just splendidly. Arnel was just belting it out with all his heart and he sounded FANTASTIC. Steve Perry should be really proud with Journey’s choice of having Arnel as their lead singer.

Sound quality wise, I thought it was lacking bass, and a little overdriven. Also the drummer was a bit “under mic’d”. Yet, those are “issues” that’s plagued the Blaisdell Arena’s architectural design since day one. In contrast, I’ve had much better concert experiences – sound-wise – at Aloha Stadium.

Want a souvenir Journey concert t-shirt? Be prepared to hand over $40. Ouch. At least it listed Honolulu on the design, so that should add value to it in case you’re gonna’ scalp it on eBay. lol

Those rather minor setbacks aside, an absolutely FANTASTIC Journey concert.

Big mahalo to our Journey pre-concert hosts, Diner J and Diner CV, who so graciously opened up their beautiful home to us and for all the ono kine grindz to enjoy. What a great time!

P.S. Check out this Maltese that was waiting at the lobby entrance at our host’s place…

14 thoughts on “Yakiniku Journey Pre-Concert Party

  • March 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    Pomai Dude Man, You cooking again.!!! Awesome spreads. My friends like satays also with other things. I made fry siu mais shrimp chips from Chinatown uncooked one. Nice chill watermelons hit the spot.

  • March 29, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Whoo-hoo, Journey rocked back then, rocks today and will continue to rock! Playing “Journey: Greatest Hits” right now, in fact. Oh, and your grindz and pics rocks also…as usal. ;)

  • March 29, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Told you many times, Lum’s Charsiu Sauce is a keeper! Check out my posts on Carsiu!

  • March 30, 2009 at 7:20 am

    Nate, I have a bottle of Lum’s Charsiu Sauce in my pantry right now, and I can’t wait to bust it out. First I gotta’ go through the Hawaiian Pride Charsiu I made just recently though. When I open the Lum’s, I wanna try making Charsiu SPAM. How you figgah going come out? That would make a perfect Saimin garnish!

    Gwyn, yes, they sounded great at this last concert. Still in their prime.

    Kimo, that’s a great idea. Next time I may make a few skewers with the veggies and meats. Although it’s kinda’ fun to turn each piece around individually using chopsticks. Gives you something to keep “busy”.

  • March 30, 2009 at 8:12 am

    I like to make satay also along with other things too. A cold sobas salad is good with watermelons at end of meal is great.

    My family names is Lum and there so many distant cousins on Oahu and many are in businesses. Lum , Linn,and Lam are from the same family tree and county back in Canton. The Lum like to travel all over the world which reason they are everywhere.

  • March 30, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Mmm, Yakiniku party… :D Your pics reminded me that I should learn to use my steamer baskets too. They’ve been sitting in the corner of my kitchen for too long.

  • March 31, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Pomai, do you wrap your meats in lettuce also? Yes that Korean but many ways in yakiniku party. I would also use it for fajita too.

  • March 31, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Pomai – check out my grill plate on my blog.

  • March 31, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Amy – I am a Lum. From the village of Sai Gong Li outside Canton. I am of the 24th recorded generation.

  • March 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    That great! See you at the Lum Sai Ho Tong which many generations of Lums, Lim, Lin and Lams attended for social events.

  • March 31, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Amy – Was once VP of Lum Sai Ho Tong before I came to Okinawa.

  • April 1, 2009 at 11:13 am

    My mom makes shoyu spam for soup and sushi, so I think char siu style would probably be good!

    In 2007 I went to the sumo tournament held at Blaisdell Arena, where I had a li hing mui margerita. Man, that was so tasty! Even though it was just one of those ice cream machine style margeritas, the sprinkling of li hing put it over the top. I still dream about it.

  • April 4, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Put back Steve Perry, and den you goin’ have some “no mo bootlegging” issues. I’m sure there’s some blog somewhere with loads of photos from the concert though.


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