I'm really glad that my favorite Korean restaurant in Hilo is open again. The Cham Cham Restaurant (421 Kalanikoa Street, Suite 102) serves the best Korean food in Hilo. Some of you might be familiar with it as the old Snappy's Pizza location. I like that the facilities are clean, there is ample parking for dinner, and the main waiter speaks English. The little dishes of pickled vegetables are nice too. But what I love most is the taste of the food. Everything I have ever eaten at Cham Cham has been delicious.
Hilo almost lost Cham Cham. In early June, I went to the Cham Cham for dinner and was shocked to see the place dark and a note on the door explaining that they were closed due to unforeseen circumstances beyond their control. I thought perhaps someone was ill (turns out nobody was ill), so I went back the following week. Same sign, same dark restaurant. I was devastated. It was back to XX for my bi bim bap fix. Don't get me wrong. XX makes a decent bi bim bap, but unlike Cham Cham, XX is not the "total package".
A few weeks ago, I heard a rumor that Cham Cham was going to reopen. I went to see for myself yesterday, and sure enough, it was open! I had dinner there Friday night and Saturday night (yes, its THAT good. . . I couldn't stay away). In case you're wondering, I didn't have dinner there last night; the Cham Cham is closed on Sundays.
|I love the assortment of little dishes.|
This is a dish which competes with bi bim bap as my all-time favorite. Its a seafood pancake that is as large as the size of a dinner plate. Its served with a sesame dipping sauce. Ask for the pancake to be cooked extra crispy.
Cham Cham also does takeout plates and bentos (currently $6 for a combination bento). Call (808-961-4741) at least 15 minutes in advance. I took out a kal bi & mean juhn combination. It came with 2 mandoo, a generous bed of rice and 4 different sides: taegu, daikon kim chee, won bok kim chee, and namul.
|chicken katsu & spicy pork bento|
|Kal bi & meat juhn combination plate (take out)|