Battle of two legendary oxtail soups

Kapiolani Coffee Shop or Kam Bowl: Which one mo' bettah?
Oxtail Soup Kapiolani Coffee Shop Kam Bowl

Q: These old-skool diners built their reputations on oxtail soup. So which one mo’ bettah? 

Legend has it that Kapiolani Coffee Shop and Kam Bowl share da same legendary oxtail soup recipe. Something about one divorce and da secret recipe as part of da settlement. All those rumors add to da mystique behind this restaurant rivalry, but in da end all da backstory stuff’s not really that important. What’s important is how these oxtail soups taste! 

Kam Bowl

Kam Bowl in Kalihi is neither one Chinese restaurant, nor one bowling alley.

So on da day I went to Kamehameha Shopping Center I urged my friend Chad Takara for try da oxtail soup with me too, cuz I no could believe he grew up hea, but his whole life he never tried oxtail soup, not even once. And not like he young or anyting.

I tink I might’ve had Kam Bowl’s oxtail soup once long ago, but I forget how it tasted, so it wuz going be like new for both of us. I told Chad if he tries ’em with me, den we can be Oxtail Bruddahs! I figured this would be one good place for show him how good oxtail soup is since Kam Bowl’s menu hyped it up as being “Home of The Best Oxtail Soup Since 1965” and “World Famous Oxtail Soup” and “Locally Voted Hawai’is Best as you know.” 

I told Chad Takara if he got da Oxtail Soup too then we could be Oxtail Bruddahs! Das us spelling out Ox. Lol.

After all that convincing I got Chad for agree for eat ’em. And if you know Chad das really one big deal, cuz Chad no eat dinner. For long time now he been on his strange diet. It can make for awkward dinner conversation sometimes.

Chad: “So how’s your Wendy’s burger, Lee?”

Lee: “Not bad Chad. Your water good? You had for pay for da cup o’wot?” 

I had never seen Chad eat dinner before, but I found out that he would eat if it’s one real special occasion or if get someting really good like crab legs or prime rib. Lol. So I guess after listening to me talk it up, he decided oxtail soup must be someting really good!

Kam Bowl’s Oxtail Soup stay so good-looking.

Cost: $16.50
Size: Regular
What get inside: Oxtail, peanuts, green onion, Chinese parsley. And comes with two scoops rice on da side.
Get meat: No nuff. And tuff.
Broth: No mo taste.
Tip: I no use grated ginger for my oxtail soup, but if you do, da ting never come with. So I guess if you like, you gotta ask.

Kapiolani Coffee Shop

Though it’s called Kapiolani Coffee Shop, actually stay in Aiea now.

I knew this place in Waimalu Shopping Center supposed to get good oxtail soup, but this wuz going be my first time getting it. And das only because they also offer pig feet soup. So if given a choice, I normally take da pig feet soup only cuz it’s more harder for find. Lotta places get oxtail soup, but only a handful might offer pig feet soup and if they offer it I betchoo da owner gotta be Okinawan das why.

On top da cover of da menu they hype up their oxtail soup too. It says “Serving Hawaii’s Best Oxtail Soup Since 1949.” On da menu it also lists their sister restaurant as being Asahi Grill on Keeaumoku. Just FYI.

Kapiolani Coffee Shop’s oxtail soup comes with ginger on da side.

Cost: $17.50 
Size: Regular
What get inside: Oxtail, peanuts, green onion, Chinese parsley. And I guessing had star anise, cuz das how you get da trademark taste. And comes with two scoop rice and one small dollop of grated ginger on da side. 
Get meat: Planny tail
Broth: Classic oxtail soup broth
Tip: If you just jonesing for da soup, they sell just da oxtail broth. One regular oxtail broth bowl for just $6!

A: Kapiolani Coffee Shop is da winnah!

Hea what dey get in common:
Basically da same ingre-da-ments.
Both get one longtime local following. 

How dey stay different:
Preparation. To me, da Kam Bowl one wuz no nuff cook, das why da Kam Bowl meat wuz hard and da soup wuz akin to water. Whereas da Kapiolani Coffee Shop one, da meat just slid off da bone and had depth to da flavor for da broth cuz da ting wuz cooking for so long. (But like any restaurant, it all depends on who da cooks is on that particular day. Yet, I nevah expect these two soups for taste so drastically different.)

To sum it up:
If you like know what classic Hawaii oxtail soup supposed to taste like, go Kapiolani Coffee Shop; dey set da standard. I not saying theirs is da bestest in da universe, cuz nowdays get some fancier kines and I tasted some pretty mean homemade kine oxtail soups too das really, really great. But if you one home chef and you like know how yours stacks up, then Kapiolani Coffee Shop’s one is da one to beat.

So den, I felt really bad for forcing my friend Chad for try da junk Kam Bowl oxtail oup. I wuz pretty sure that he wuz never gonna eat oxtail soup again. Or for that matter, listen to any of my food recommendations ever again. But da funny ting is Chad said he said he actually enjoyed Kam Bowl’s oxtail soup. I asked if he’d eat it again and he said, “Yeah!”

So I just shook my head and I told ’em, “Next time I take you go get some real oxtail soup! What you had wuzn’t oxtail soup, that wuz oxtail water, brah!” (Thinking about it sa’more, maybe that’s why Chad liked it so much. Because it tasted like his favorite dinner. Water.)