Nestled in a quaint spot located in Wailuku at the tip top of Happy Valley is King’s BBQ. It’s on the former site of a tiki themed bar. King’s still uses the same facade and unfortunately it doesn’t make for a comfortable lunch environment. The wait staff was very friendly, but a language barrier prevented us from asking questions about the establishment and the menu without difficulty. Once we were able to straighten out our order procedure we dove into making lunch decisions to fairly grade King’s BBQ.
We both started off with two different bowls of saimin. One was a simple saimin and broth with spam and the other was a teriyaki beef saimin. Both bowls of ramen were excellent. The soup base had a familiar flavor with green onions and the noodles tasted fresh and not reconstituted with water. We then proceeded to order our main courses. I ordered the katsu curry, my partner ordered a roast duck & walnut shrimp combo plate and we ordered the a la carte Mongolian beef dish to sample the Chinese side of the menu. The katsu curry was a flavorful lunch dish. Any local guy or girl would appreciate the flavor of the wonderful curry.
The katsu curry should also be recognized for thickness and cut of the breaded chicken. Recently at local food establishments, the portions and the cuts of chicken keep getting thinner and thinner. Here they don’t give into stinginess.
My partner’s roast duck & walnut shrimp dish was a combo you don’t see often. Normally both entrees come a la carte at other restaurants, but here both were offered in one dish. My partner and I agreed that the walnut shrimp was a weak entree. It tasted as if it was fried in a fryer with oil that hadn’t been clean lately. The walnut sauce had a more mayonnaise based taste and it was a bit off putting. The roast duck on the other hand was fantastic. The duck was moist and its natural juices shone through making it an exceptional entree. Finally, the Mongolian beef dish was a spicy beef dish with onions, bell peppers, and chili flakes that was fiery and delicious. One issue that I have had with Chinese beef dishes for a long time is that they steam the cuts of beef before they fry them making them soft and rubbery. This issue still exists here, I’m just not sure why this steaming technique is used rather than just frying the beef. I can only assume that it’s the grade of beef that’s used.
King’s BBQ doesn’t separate itself from other like restaurants enough, but what it does well is give you a timely lunch meal at an extremely reasonable price with adequate portions and they even provide proper plates and utensils as opposed to eating on Styrofoam plates with plastic utensils . There are many places like King’s BBQ across the island that serve similar dishes. it’s just unfortunate that although good that I can’t point to King’s BBQ as the must go to eating spot during your lunch hour.