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Budnamujip Introduces New Marinated Pork Ribs

Budnamujip’s new Marinated Pork Ribs, BBQ grilled on lump charcoal

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 Korean Yakiniku Restaurant is loctated on Kapiolani Boulevard, next to Jack in the Box, replacing the old Flamingo Restaurant

Budnamujip main dining room (right side)

Budnamujip main dining room (left side)

Budnamujip private dining room 2

Budnamujip private dining room 1 (where our media event was held)

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

All the grilling equipment and vent systems are imported from Korea

Serving plate, Korean metal spoon, wood chopsticks and folded apron (more on that later)

Budnamujip provides clean, neatly-folded aprons at the table for each guest to protect their clothes

Media group commencing upon the Budnamujip Yakiniku Korean BBQ experience

Seafood Pancake is the very first dish served before all the bachan arrives

Our server cuts and portions out the Seafood Pancake slices to each guest at the table

Yup, I’m looking so macho and hipster with this avocado green “Mother Hubbard” apron on lol 

Pajeon Seafood Pancake slice 

Budnamujip Vice President Jennifer Lee briefly explains to the group what the new dish is about and the history of the company

All Budnamujip’s nm ingredients, except for the beef (Prime USDA) are imported from Korea

Yulmoo White Kimchi

Cucumber and Seaweed Banchan

Marinated Lotus Root Banchan

Mung Bean Jelly Salad Banchan

Cold Daikon Soup

Green Salad

Kochujang Chili Paste and Boiled Cabbage for wrapping the BBQ meats with

Dipping Sauce for the BBQ meats

Budnamujip’s unique Kimchi is wrapped up in a ball of cabbage with various components on top

The server cuts the ball of kimchi into a large bowl at the table and separates it for easy picking

The table-cut ball of Kimchi… this was honestly one of the best Kimchi I’ve ever tasted! 

Bowl of steamed rice of course

Budnamujip’s signature Yangnyeom Galbi consists of marinaded bone-in butterflied shortrib using USDA prime beef

Notice the abundant marbling of the Prime USDA beef and the slits cut into the meat to absorb the marinade… THIS is how traditional Korean Galbi is prepared properly! 

Our server briskly works the lump coal fire, making sure to evenly sear the Galbi 

Kitchen shears
 are used to cut the grilled Galbi into bite-size pieces for each guest at the table

The server divides out guest’s portions of the finished BBQ Galbi to each of the four corners of the cooking grate

Mmm… Prme-grade beef BBQ Galbi fresh off the lump charcoal grill! 

Budnamjip’s new Marinated Pork Ribs, ready to hit the grill

Grillin’ some marinated pork ribs

Our server continuously turns over the pork ribs to evenly cook and sear the meat

|The grill vent telescopes up and down to capture as much smoke as possible; it’s also very powerful with strong suction, yet very quiet

The marinated pork ribs are pau grilling, cut-up and portioned to each corner of the cooking grate

This time around I tried wrapping it lettuce with a tomato and little bit of Kochujang, then dipping it in the sauce, and it was delicious!

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! 

Sikhye Korean sweet rice dessert drink (pronounced “Chi-kay”)… I really enjoyed this lightly sweet and light in general liquid dessert! 

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! 

Jiin Lee and Sofia (Sohee) Kim of MKO Corporation (Advertising Agency) based in Yeonsu-gu, Incheon, Korea

Melissa Chang, Buzzmaster of Adstreamz, Inc with Pomai 

Jennifer Lee, Vice President of Budnamujip, with Pomai

만나서 반갑습니다! Social media influencers attend Budnamujip’s new dish preview event — with Ricky LiMark Soeda,Yumi OzakiRyan KawamotoCory MitsuiRitsuko KukonuRobert Lopaka KukonuSofia Sohee Kim, Jiin Lee, Pomai SouzaToby TamayeKelly SimekNadine Kam and Catherine Toth Fox at Budnamujip.

Budnamujip Korean Restaurant
871 Kapiolani Blvd. 
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Tel. (808) 593-8822

Twitter: @budnamujip
Instagram: @budnamujip
Hashtag: #budnamujiphi
Yelp: Budnamujip


3 thoughts on “Budnamujip Introduces New Marinated Pork Ribs

  • July 13, 2017 at 1:02 am

    Pomai – Nice write up but you did a total disservice to your readers by failing to mention the price of the food.  At nearly $40 for a plate of the galbi, it would have been nice to know how much the restaurant charges for the marinated pork ribs.  In addition, does the banchan cost extra as opposed to being gratis at the vast majority of local korean restaurants?  I realize you were comped but let’s have a little transparency in reporting, otherwise you’re just shilling for the place.

    • July 13, 2017 at 4:32 am


      I appreciate the feedback, and completely see where you’re coming from about transparency. My apologies for not including the menu and prices, which to be honest, wasn’t circulated to us at the event. I’ve since added the price of the new Pork Ribs, which are $26.95 per person for lunch, and $29.95 for dinner. That includes the basic banchan set and rice, not including the Pajeon Seafood Pancake.

      When I attend invitational restaurant events that are comped (most are), my main criteria upon reviewing it (handing out musubi ratings) is the taste and quality of the food and service, not the value; the latter of which obviously I can’t gauge fairly from a personal standpoint, even knowing its cost. I can only make a third-party “remote” opinion, in that regard.


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