Boiling Up Wailana’s Best Flavors

Columns Ethnic Faves

January 28, 2012

Story By: Dining Out Team |

Omelettes and pancakes, burgers and fries, milkshakes and sandwiches — these seemingly have been the standards of the “old-school” American diner, those traditional 24-hour hangouts where the aroma of coffee hits your nose upon entering the eatery.

  • Oxtail Soup ($10.50)
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At Wailana Coffee House, which opened in 1969 in the former home of Kapiolani Drive Inn, all your favorites are on the menu as well as a few ethnically customary items, which separates Wailana from the rest. Exclusively on Thursdays, Wailana serves its Oxtail Soup with homestyle care that brings comfort to the senses. Priced at $10.50, the soup goes through hours of preparation and meticulous phases before it is ladled into each bowl.

“First we use a whole oxtail, we trim the fat and then brown it with salt and pepper, getting rid of all the excess oil. The next day we boil it for about four hours adding red dates, five star seasonings, peanuts, salt, ginger, chicken base and shiitake mushrooms — that then becomes the stock which helps the meat cook and taste good,” says owner Kenton Tom, who has been serving oxtail soup at Wailana Coffee House for more than 20 years. A variety of Chinese vegetables top off the soup before it is served.

Guests of Wailana go out of their way on Thursdays to get a bowl full of this scrumptious soup.

“This is one of the best on the island, and this is according to some people who know their oxtail soup,” says longtime customer Norbert Enos with a laugh, who wishes he could come by every Thursday for the soup.

Wailana Coffee House

  • Where
    • 1860 Ala Moana Boulevard
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 955-1764
  • Hours
    • Open daily 24 hours.
  • Notes
    • Closed from 10 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday./li>