Flavorful Additions To Chef Chai’s MenuFeatures Inside Feature
August 7, 2016
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: L. TABUDLO
A popular saying suggests that when one door closes, another opens.
This concept rings true throughout the restaurant industry. Fortunately for local diners, when world-renowned chef Chai Chaowasaree closed Chai’s Waikiki Hawaiian Fusion Aug. 1, the culinary craftsman decided to add some of the restaurant’s popular items to his robust menu at Chef Chai.
When he’s not jetting to one of Hawaiian Airlines’ 20-plus kitchens around the globe as the airline’s executive chef, Chaowasaree can be found perfecting his iconic island fusion cuisine at the aptly named Chef Chai, located on the ground level of Pacifica Honolulu Building on Kapiolani Boulevard (across from Blaisdell Arena).
The restaurateur continues to “wow” diners who delve into the unique dining experience at Chef Chai, which also offers award-winning interior design. The restaurant serves up a contemporary look and feel, features a private dining room and also offers seating at the spacious full bar as well as on the outside patio.
As an inside scoop for Dining Out readers, beginning today Chaowasaree will incorporate some of the popular items from Chai’s Waikiki Hawaiian Fusion into the menu at Chef Chai.
“It’s the perfect time to try our restaurant out, especially for the regulars who get to enjoy some new items,” Chaowasaree explains. “When we had two locations, we tried not to duplicate items on the menu; now, you can enjoy the best of both at Chef Chai.”
Ho Farms Heirloom Cherry Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad with Roasted Big Island Beet and Aged Balsamic Reduction ($13) is one of the new additions to Chef Chai’s menu. The “non-traditional” take on Caprese features burrata cheese, which is similar to mozzarella but softer and creamier.
Grilled Parker Ranch Beef Tenderloin Salad with Lemongrass Garlic Vinaigrette ($14) is one of Chaowasaree’s favorite dishes and offers bold flavors and textures via a composition of mango, tomatoes, cucumber, Aloun Farms onions and roasted peanuts. Diners also will enjoy Foie Gras Chawan Mushi ($18), a chilled foie gras custard served with blackberry ohia lehua honey compote and toasted brioche.
For dessert, Chef Chai now serves Waialua Chocolate Wonton with Ube Haupia Sauce ($8). Chaowasaree explains that Waialua chocolate is some of the best in the world, and the dessert is paired with the “creamy and crunchy” combo provided by a rich sauce and wonton wrapper.
Chef Chai is open nightly for dinner, and customers can take advantage of happy hour pupu and drink specials available from 4 to 6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to closing.
“Our happy hour is very popular and includes half-priced appetizers and drink specials,” says Chaowasaree, whose restaurant has been honored for excellence by multiple food-and-travel specialists. “For our local guests who don’t want to drive into Waikiki, Chef Chai is conveniently located on Kapiolani Boulevard.”
1009 Kapiolani Blvd., Honolulu
Nightly, 411 p.m.