Indulgences for the Sweet ToothColumns Jus' Desserts
September 22, 2013
Story By: Nicole Kato | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
The unveiling of Chef Chai at Pacifica Honolulu has proven beneficial for those who make their way around town. With an amazing happy hour, great Thai-inspired food and (of course) desserts perfect for any sweet tooth, chef Chai Chaowasaree is looking forward to sharing some treats with Dining Out readers.
“The location is much better than Aloha Tower,” he says. “People drive by, they’re going to see it, and at least keep it in mind.”
Creme Brulee Sampler ($9) features a trio of flavors that represent Hawaii. Tahitian vanilla, Thai tea and Kona coffee showcase the journey Chaowasaree has taken in his culinary adventure.
“It represents who we are,” explains Chaowasaree, who hails from Thailand.
While vanilla is one of the most popular creme brulee flavors, Chaowasaree also has added Kona coffee (from Kau on the Big Island) and Thai tea, which he says resembles the vibrant, popular drink.
“The coffee flavor, after dinner, is the perfect balance,” he further explains. And while many think that coffee has a bitter taste unbecoming of a dessert, Chaowasaree does it right.
The most famous dessert at Chef Chai is Heart Shaped White Chocolate Gelato ($8), which also is served on some Hawaiian Airlines flights.
Textures meld together with a hard white chocolate coating and strawberry sorbet center. And this dessert wouldn’t be complete without raspberry sauce, made with fresh raspberries and guava concentrate.
“Normally when people make raspberry sauce, they use raspberries, add butter and sugar, and they cook it,” Chaowasaree says. “We don’t use any butter.”
There’s also something at Chef Chai’s for the chocolate lover with Chocolate Crunch Bar ($9).
The bittersweet chocolate creates the perfect harmony, and the fresh fruit and tea cookie adds texture and color to the dish.
Perfect for after dinner, Chocolate Crunch Bar is light, yet flavorful.
“If you whip the cream a bit longer, it makes it lighter, but the flavor is different,” Chaowasaree explains. “This is just like a chocolate mousse. We don’t whip it that much.” Despite the lack of whipping, the texture is still as light as ever.
Pair Chocolate Crunch Bar with the house-made raspberry sauce and you’re in heaven.
All desserts are made in-house with the freshest ingredients with the exception of the Heart Shaped White Chocolate Gelato due to its high demand by Hawaiian Airlines. Furthermore, Chaowasaree says that the restaurant aims to “cut fat as much as possible.”
“But when making desserts, it’s hard to be super healthy,” he adds with a smile. “Then, it’s just not a dessert.”
For this week only, patrons who choose to dine at Chef Chai are in for a real treat. Mention this Dining Out article and receive a complimentary Heart Shaped White Chocolate Gelato! Even more of a reason to dine at Chef Chai.
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Nightly, 4-11 p.m.
Note: Reservations are recommended.