Budnamujip is Hawaii’s top choice for high-end Korean barbecue. Featuring a menu of authenic Korean barbecue and prime meats, the restaurant is popular for its ‘yakuniku’ style dining options and Korean favorites like its yangnyeom galbi.
Also unique here is their use of lump hardwood charcoal to grill at each table, which compared to gas offers a higher temperature for searing meats, and cleaner, better tasting results.
Enhancing their already extensive menu of prime cut meats and traditional Korean barbecue sides, Budnamujip is now introducing marinated pork ribs. Called Daeji-Galbi, these St. Louis style pork ribs marinated in their special sauce are $26.95 for lunch, and $29.95 for dinner. That price includes a banchan set of various vegetables & kimchee and rice.
Budnamujip is originally from South Korea, where open since 1977, they have four restaurants there, including three locations in GangNam, and one in InCheon, GyeonGI. Their newest location on Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu is operated by Vice President Jennifer Lee, who is the daughter of the owner of the Budnamujip company.
The name “Budnamujip” is unusual to say, let alone remember for a Korean restaurant, unlike something like, say, Sorabol. Or Choi’s. Or Arirang. Or easier yet, Yummy’s. In fact, what Budnamujp means is “Willow Tree House”, a nostalgic folk name familiar with older generations of Koreans. To help you out, it’s properly pronounced “buh-doo-nah-moo-jeep.” Again, “Willow Tree House”.
Budnamujip restaurant is on the property that was formerly Flamingo Restaurant, where some might confuse was where Columbia Inn was. However Columbia Inn was further down the street, Ewa-bound, next to the old Honolulu Advertiser property. Flamingo Restaurant, now Budnamujip is further up, Diamond Head-bound, next to Jack in the Box, on the makai side near the corner of Kapiolani Blvd. and Ward Avenue, kitty-corner to the Blaisdell Center. Interestingly, they didn’t raze the Flamingo restaurant building, but completely gutted and renovated it, transforming it into how it looks today. Really nice job!
Folks in the local media were recently invited to an exclusive special preview of the new dish, also getting to sample the entire Budnamujip Yakiniku experience, where along with the Marinated Pork Ribs, we were treated to their Yangnyeom Galbi, as well as their entire spread of unique Banchan side dishes.
That all said, following is a pictorial play-by-play of this exciting media preview luncheon that took place June 29, 2017, with again the highlight being the new Daeji-Galbi Marinated Pork Ribs. Enjoy. ;-)
Budnamujip is the only Korean Yakiniku restaurant on Oahu to use lump hardwood charcoal, for super high heat and a cleaner, better flavor; note Gyokaku Japanese Restauarant also does this with special lump coal imported from Japan
Kitchen shears are used to cut the grilled Galbi into bite-size pieces for each guest at the table
Mmm… Prme-grade beef BBQ Galbi fresh off the lump charcoal grill!
Grilled Marinated Pork straight-up over rice is always nice
The fattier part of the grilled pork, with some of that sliced onion dipping sauce… excellent!
And? Wow, what an incredible meal! From the seafood pancake, to all the banchan, including the best Kimchi I’ve ever tasted, the dipping sauces and condiments, to the Galbi and new Marinated Pork Ribs, everything was absolutely delicious and at the top of its game!
For me, the ultimate seal of the deal was the fact they use lump hardwood coal vs. gas for their grills, which I think is the biggest selling point, not to mention the quality of the cuts of meats. The personalized service where they grill the food at the table for you is cool, however I would be just as happy doing it myself, even at this higher price point.
I honestly would have needed to eat more of the Marinated Pork Ribs than the few morsels I tried to have a better assessment of its flavor profile, but from what I’ve tasted in the few bites, I honestly enjoyed it as much as their amazing Prime Beef Galbi, which says a lot!
Up until now, I’ve never experienced Korean Yakiniku taken up to this level of attention to detail and quality of ingredients, not to mention the impeccable service from start to finish. Of course this was a private media event, so we were obviously going to get the ultimate “red carpet” treatment. But still, I’m sure they do that will all their guests, as this place is known to be on the pricey side, so patrons will expect only the best. And I think Budnamujip delivers that.
Huge mahalo to company Vice President Jennifer Lee and the entire staff at Budnamujip for holding such a successful presentation. Also huge mahalo to Jiin Lee and Sofia Kim of MKO Corporation out of South Korea for coordinating this event, along with Melissa Chang and Eliise Fujii. You all rock!
만나서 반갑습니다! Social media influencers attend Budnamujip’s new dish preview event — with Ricky Li, Mark Soeda,Yumi Ozaki, Ryan Kawamoto, Cory Mitsui, Ritsuko Kukonu, Robert Lopaka Kukonu, Sofia Sohee Kim, Jiin Lee, Pomai Souza, Toby Tamaye, Kelly Simek, Nadine Kam and Catherine Toth Fox at Budnamujip.