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Early Birds Fly High at Chef Chai

By Michelle Lee Photos By Leah Friel
December 1, 2013

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Fine dining need not cost an arm and a leg, as Chef Chai’s new early bird dinner menu goes to show. The namesake restaurant, which has garnered much praise for its exquisitely prepared Euro-Asian cuisine, welcomes all to try the mouthwatering four-course meal, retailing at $40 per person.

“With the holidays approaching, the early bird special is great for groups or for people who want to eat dinner a little earlier, perhaps before attending a party,” says Chai Chaowasaree, the restaurant’s executive chef and owner. “The courses really capture the essence of our menu’s flavor profile, incorporating local dishes made from the highest ingredients with an elevated Asian flair.”

To begin, the menu starts off with a savory Chicken Sate with Thai peanut sauce, cucumber salad and Asian flat bread. “The sate is like our version of the bread basket, which has just the right amount of protein to get the palate ready for the next course,” says Chaowasaree.

Next on the menu is the restaurant’s famous Combination Appetizer Platter, comprised of Fresh Ahi Katsu with Wasabi Curry Sauce, Kataifi and Mac Nut Encrusted Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns, Gravlax Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese and Crab Meat and a Roasted Butternut Squash and Lobster Bisque Shooter.

For the entree course, customers may choose between three classically prepared dishes. The first choice is the popular Spicy Lemongrass Oxtail Soup, with flavors so unique that many have dubbed the dish the island’s best oxtail soup. “Our version is truly one you cannot get anywhere else,” says Chaowasaree. “We use a combination of Kaffir lime leaves, Thai ginger and Thai shoyu to give the broth a lot of zest.”

Seafood lovers will appreciate the menu’s Grilled Fresh Wild New Zealand King Salmon with Kabayaki Sauce and Spicy P i n e a p p l e . Farm-raised and completely hormone-free, the dish is packed with flavor underneath a marinade of ginger, shoyu and sesame seeds.

The last entree option, Vegetable Terrine with Thai Green Curry Sauce, offers a medley of mashed potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, pumpkin and bell peppers.

Ending the meal on a sweet note, the finale course is Heart Shaped White Chocolate Gelato Truffle with Raspberry Guava Puree.

Winner of this year’s Ilima Award for Best New Restaurant as well as the American Society of Interior Designers’ Award of Excellence, Chef Chai embodies the quintessential fine dining experience with its impeccable menu and chic decor.

In addition to indoor and patio dining, customers may also request the use of the restaurant’s private room.

Chef Chai

Pacifica Honolulu
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
585-0011
Nightly, 4-11 p.m.
ChefChai.com
Note: Reservations are recommended.