Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Wolfgang’s SteakhouseRestaurant Insider
December 3, 2023
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANNE LEE
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse was created on Feb. 26, 2004, by Wolfgang Zwiener and his son, Peter. It began as a small corner eatery at 4 Park Ave. in New York. In the 17 years since then, it has become the premier steakhouse globally focusing primarily on USDA Prime dry-aged beef. The brand expanded to 10 different countries (U.S., Japan, China, Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cyprus) and three continents.
Since opening in Honolulu in February 2009, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener at Royal Hawaiian Center continues to be raved about for its phenomenal food and exceptional service.
I spoke with general manager Masahiro Kido to learn what’s in store for the holidays.
AL: Tell me about your history of restaurants here in Hawaii.
MK: I’m originally from Japan. I moved to Guam when I was 23 and worked for WDI International, a restaurant group that has the sole mission to bring the world together through dining culture. I have always wanted to move to Hawaii, and I was given the opportunity and was transferred here last year.
AL: The holidays are right around the corner. Do you have a special holiday menu item?
MK: We have an 8-ounce dry-aged filet mignon and 8-ounce lobster tail. It comes with a glass of sparkling wine for toasting, a side of mashed potatoes and our famous creamed spinach. It’s $135 and available Dec. 24-31. In addition, we will be offering our full menu.
AL: The restaurant was recently remodeled. How many additional rooms are there?
MK: We added a total of four private rooms, totaling 150 seats. The back area also has a private entrance should you wish to have privacy. Some of our famous guests prefer to dine this way.
Right now, we have maximums around 500 seats including the lanai area. If you prefer to dine outdoors, that area is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
AL: How does a guest request a private room?
MK: We don’t have a room fee, but we have a minimum charge. Dinner minimum would be $1,500 for the smallest room. It makes sense that if you’re going to have a small intimate gathering. It’s a very inexpensive way to do a small party.
We have a lot of business meetings for lunch. We usually do not seat the back area during lunch, but if a guest requests it, we can accommodate a private room for them. This is a popular choice as the minimums are discounted about 40%. We have actually equipped a lot of these new rooms with state-of-the-art types of electronic equipment in order to do presentations and things like that.
AL: Wolfgang’s won an Ilima Award for the best wine program. What was enhanced in the wine program?
MK: We always want to focus on what customers want. We have a lot of great high-end California cabernet. We have a lot of kinds of wines here, but very popular is the California wine. We have also a rare specific type of champagne: Dom Perignon. We have a large collection of champagne. We do offer wines that you don’t necessarily see at other restaurants, especially Dom Perignon P2 Rose, which is kind of very rare.
AL: Tell me how the steak is prepared.
MK: We are known for our aging room. Our steaks are from Nebraska and they ship it every week — fresh, never frozen — and after we receive it, we put it in our dry aging room and dry age it for 28 days. Our steak is also only Prime — very good steak — which is 2% of steak in the United States, so very good quality.
AL: Is there anything else you want to talk about?
MK: We are one of the only steakhouses that serves breakfast. We also offer happy hour at 3-6:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays which features our popular Taste of New York ($83.95).
We have had many requests for catering, but the quality and the consistency of your meat cannot be achieved without the broilers that we have in our kitchen that creates the char on the top and inside is very juicy.
If you want to make reservations for New Year’s Eve, we recommend doing so now, as we are almost filled with some big reservations already.