Take Taste Buds To ‘New’ HeightsCover Story
September 9, 2018
Story By: Caroline Wright | Photos by: Anthony Consillio
Salads for supper are all well and good. But if you and your ohana are ravenous for a hearty, satisfying meal from a menu filled with a planet’s worth of culinary styles, check out New Eagle Cafe.
Just seven minutes from the airport, this landmark eatery has been a fixture in the community for years, thanks to a menu filled with delicious, reasonably priced comfort food.
About 60 years ago, Eagles Cafe — the restaurant’s original name — was bought by George and Teruko Teruya. Located at the old Blaisdell Hotel at the intersection of Fort Street and Chaplain Lane, the eatery became known for its veal cutlets and other home-style meals.
After adding “New” to its name, the Teruyas moved their restaurant to the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and North Pauahi in 1976, and then to Nimitz Center in 1988. Ultimately, their son, John, assumed ownership. Oahu native Tae Im eventually bought New Eagle Cafe in 2012.
“We renovated the entire restaurant,” remembers Im. “We invested about $150,000 in renovations and equipment, and we changed the menu a little bit as well.”
It may have changed some over the years, but New Eagle’s menu always has been filled with a great mix of comfort food, representing a variety of culinary influences.
Offerings here range from akule to yakitori, with flavors from near and far simply bursting from the menu.
Appetizers include island favorites like Fried Mandoo ($8.50), handmade in-house, and generously stuffed with vegetables and pork. The luscious dumplings are deep-fried and served with house-made, shoyu-based dipping sauce.
Spicy Pork ($16.50), a delectable Korean-style marinated pork entree, dramatically arrives on a sizzling platter, accompanied by rice. “My wife, Young Sun, came up with the recipe for the marinade,” says Im. “It’s made with hot pepper paste and sugars.”
New Eagle’s prime rib, expertly slow-cooked and beautifully marbled, is right-fully famous. Try some of this wonderful beef in Roast Prime Rib Sandwich and Soup ($15.25). Served with your choice of fries, tossed salad or mac salad, this satisfying sandwich is served on a po’boy roll with au jus, accompanied by the soup du jour — a house-made selection that rotates between minestrone, corn chowder, chicken curry, and other favorites.
The restaurant also is known for its classic Oxtail Soup ($15.50). Accompanied by rice, tsukemono, Chinese parsley, mustard cabbage, ginger, and a beverage of your choice, this generous bowl contains plenty of rich oxtail and will please even the hungriest traditionalists.
A mainstay in the heart of Honolulu, New Eagle Cafe has served thousands of meals to guests from all over the island. “The majority of our customers are regulars,” says Im. “Probably 90 percent are local, and a lot of regulars stop by on the way to the airport.”
With a short but sweet list of early bird specials available from 3 to 5 p.m., a roster of desserts and pies made from scratch each morning, and a kids’ menu with plenty more than just macaroni and cheese, this eagle continues to soar.