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Foodie Fare

Hy-Quality Five-Star Fare

Story By Christina O'Connor
June 3 - 9, 2012

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Hy’s Steakhouse has been the go-to place for fine-dining — including, of course, fine cuts of beef — in the Islands for more than 30 years. And with its elegant, tranquil ambiance and top-notch customer service, the Waikiki eatery ensures an all-around five-star experience.

Customer favorites include “Hy’s Famous” Roast Rack Of Lamb ($63.95 for a full rack; $39.95 for a half rack), which is prepared with herbs and seared over hot kiawe charcoal, Caesar Salad ($14.95; prepared tableside for two or more) and Chicken Marsala or Piccatta ($27.95).

“And, of course, our prime steaks are among the most popular items,” says Hy’s Steakhouse vice president and general manager Bob Panter. The restaurant’s prime steaks include New York Strip ($41.95 for 9 ounces; $49.95 for 13 ounces), Delmonico ($43.95 for 14 ounces; $51.95 for 18 ounces) and Filet Mignon ($40.95 for 7 ounces; $49.95 for 11 ounces) — all of which are broiled over kiawe wood. Other cuts include Bone-In New York Strip ($52.95 for 20 ounces) and T-Bone Steak ($65.95 for 28 ounces).If it’s steak you’re after, entrees include Hy’s Garlic Steak ($43.95), a 7-ounce Filet Mignon with garlic and herbs, kiawe-broiled with mushrooms, and Steak Neptune ($49.95), which features a Filet Mignon steak broiled and topped with Gulf shrimp and asparagus.

“I think what makes us different is the fact that we serve USDA prime beef, and the fact that it’s also cooked over kiawe wood,” Panter says. The USDA prime beef that Hy’s so expertly cooks up is aged and trimmed on site to create a tender, flavorful steak.

Another thing that sets Hy’s apart is its mixture of various influences. While the majority of the cuisine at Hy’s is American-European fare, the restaurant also has creatively combined Hawaiian and Pacific influences.

Take, for example, Steak Tataki Salad ($22.95). “This is kind of taken after the Japanese style of cooking to really sear the outside of the meat and keeping it rare inside,” Panter says of the dish. As pictured, the meat is peppered and the dish includes baby greens and ponzu vinaigrette dressing.

Hy’s also has an extensive seafood menu, which includes dishes such as Alaskan King Crab Legs (market price), Angel Hair Pasta with Tomato, Basil and Scallops ($10.95) and Lobster Tail (market price).

And if you have any room left over for dessert, the flambes at Hy’s are not to be missed. These include Bananas Foster ($13.25 per person, for two or more) and Chocolate Lovers’ ($13.25 per person, for two or more). These dishes are among Hy’s customer favorites. Not only do they taste incredible, but it is a joy to watch as a flambe is flamed up just for you right at your table.

On the Side

Now renowned as one of the Island’s best places to indulge in a steak, Hy’s Steakhouse was started in Calgary, Canada, in the 1950s by restauranteur Hy Aisenstat. The fine-dining venue’s popularity grew quickly, and a string of Hy’s restaurants popped up around Canada. In 1976, Aisenstat, in collaboration with a local business partner, brought his restaurant to the Islands.

Bob Panter joined the staff about a year later as an assistant busboy. Throughout the years, he steadily climbed through the ranks and now serves as Hy’s Steakhouse vice president and general manager.

While Hy’s boasts an eclectic menu filled with decadent fusion flavors that include seafood, chicken and lamb in addition to beef, you don’t want to miss out on Hy’s steaks. For the uninitiated, here is a basic rundown of the different types of steak cuts that you can find at Hy’s Steakhouse.

“The Filet Mignon is the leanest and most tender cut,” Panter explains. “The New York Strip has a firmer texture and a robust flavor. The Delmonico Steak is a boneless, highly marbled steak. The fat content in the meat gives a lot of flavor to it. For the T-Bone Steak, you have one side that is filet, and one side that is New York on either side of the bone … The Porterhouse Steak has an extended filet portion, and is very flavorful.”

Hy’s Steak House

  • Where
    • Inside the Waikiki Park Heights Hotel
    • 2440 Kuhio Avenue
    • Honolulu, HI 96815
  • Call
    • (808) 922-5555
  • Hours
    • 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Monday – Friday
    • 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Saturday – Sunday
  • Notes
    • Full bar with traditional and tropical cocktails, bottled beer and sake, as well as an award-winning wine list that will please almost any palate.
    • Live music Wednesday to Saturday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Audy Kimura, an island legend, performs.
    • Reservations are highly recommended.
    • Valet parking, gratuity only.
    • Proper attire is required (no tank tops, baseball caps or swimwear; collared shirts preferred for men).
  • Website