Dine in styleCover Story
July 4, 2021
Story By: Ginger Keller | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
It’s not all that common to find a café and hair salon in one. That’s why chef/owner Cyrus Goo was seriously onto something good when he opened The Café at Dada earlier this year.
“Actually, it was Richie (Miao), owner of the salon, who noticed that, in Asia, most of the salons have a café or some type of food service for their clients. I thought, ‘What a great idea,’” says Goo.
Situated on Ala Moana Hotel by Mantra’s third floor next to chic hair studio Dada Salon, guests can expect a blend of European and American fare.
“We try to offer a little bit of Europe in our menu offerings — menu items that you don’t see nowadays, such as veal schnitzel and pork shank — and American comfort food.”
Goo describes the veal, which is of German origin, as “a classic jägerschnitzel with mushroom.” Priced at $28, it’s served with spätzle, braised red cabbage and German rye bread.
Meanwhile, the Orange Duck ($34), another innovative plate for a café environment, is Goo’s take on Duck à l’Orange. The pan-seared poultry is cooked to perfection and presented alongside haricot vert, orange sauce, and wild rice and faro.
“Our offerings are something you would not find on other menus,” says Goo. “We try to set ourselves apart from the normal restaurant/café fare.”
The esteemed chef — who previously owned and operated Café Laufer — has a favorite item on the menu in the Hot Pastrami Sandwich ($17). Voted No. 1 on the Pacific West Coast, the gourmet lunch offering features Swiss cheese and “dijonaise” on German rye bread.
Fans of Goo’s work will be happy to hear that the Chinese Chicken Salad ($17) was brought over from Café Laufer’s menu. Expect a medley of grilled chicken breast, romaine lettuce, green onions, almonds, Chinese parsley, wonton chips and oriental dressing.
Meanwhile, the all-American aspect shines through with the Cheese Burger ($18), in which a hearty patty meets two slices of cheese, lettuce and tomato on a toasted bun. All sandwiches and main courses include soup and a salad.
To that end, the menu also features coffee options galore.
“All of our coffee is brewed to order, where the beans are ground for each coffee drink and brewed espresso-style,” explains Goo.
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., The Café at Dada offers a number of specials, which vary from main entrées to sandwiches. Visit dadahawaii.com/cafe for more information.