In our family, we have our very own Miss Aloha Korea: my sister in law (#4). A second generation Korean American girl from Los Angeles, this ambassador loves to share her passion for Korean food and culture, and has taught me pretty much everything I know about it. Ducky’s is the restaurant of choice for her and her husband (aka my husband’s brother) and we’ve shared many meals, shots of soju, and funny childhood stories of “the boyz” there. The owners have even taken her in as their adopted daughter of sorts.
Located in beautiful Manoa Valley, Ducky’s has an unassuming exterior (there are no visible signs from the street) and an open air interior that reminds you of dining in a garage at someone’s home. The simple menu consists of various yakiniku meats, and like any Korean eatery, everything is served with an assortment of side dishes. Also, don’t forget to bring your own soju – the restaurant is B.Y.O.B.
We had the Ducky’s Special ($85.99 feeds 4-6 people) that includes:
- Pork Belly or Kal Bi
- Assorted “leaves” for wrapping
- Assorted Side Dishes
- Soybean Paste Soup
- Spicy Sea Bass Soup, Monk Fish Soup, or Spicy Octopus (which we substituted for Kimchi Jigae)
We also enjoyed Kimchi Jun, a spicy pancake.
My favorite thing about Ducky’s is the huge assortment of fresh lettuces and various leafy vegetables they bring you to wrap your meat. Their basket of veggies includes not only lettuce but wonderful aromatic herbs and leaves I’ve never even seen or tasted before. They are so fresh I swear they were picked from a garden just before arriving at the table.
Korean yakiniku is all about wrapping whatever you like (meat, rice, kimchi, grilled garlic, etc.) in lettuce and seasoning it with your choice of ssamjang (soybean paste) or sesame oil and salt. I think this is the secret to keeping a meal of fat-dripping BBQ meat healthy: to take a small piece of meat and wrap it with lots of vegetables so you’re eating more vegetables than meat.
Here’s some pork belly wrapped in a mystery leaf with ssamjang…
And wash that down with some drinks… (Tonight we had Korean soju and an assortment of exotic beers).
PRICE RANGE:Family style, $17.99-$37.99 for yakiniku meats, $9.99-$29.99 for soups and stews (serves 2-3)
MY BILL: $20.00
Ducky’s Korean BBQ
(Past Manoa Marketplace, in the same strip mall as Bangkok Chef)
2955 E. Manoa Road
Honolulu, HI 96822