‘Stuffed’ on Asian-fusion cuisine

Columns Who's Counting?

November 4, 2013

Story By: Jaimie Kim Farinas | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

One of my favorite food indulgences is fine dining photogenic food paired with glamorous ambiances that establish a convivial mood. It’s really a no-brainer.

But like many people, the price tag attached to this extravagance can be a deterrent.

Fortunately, Chef Chai’s at Pacifica offers everything anyone could ever enjoy about fine dining, along with a friendlier check and a chic environment. Happy hour prices are available from 9 to 11 p.m. and an early-bird special offers a four-course meal for only $40 (usually $65).

The restaurant has been open since March and already has won the Ilima Award for Best New Restaurant.

Additionally, owner and chef Chai Chaowasaree has your wellness at heart.

The fish the restaurant cooks with is high in Omega fatty acids. And aside from desserts, the eatery does not use butter in any of its dishes.

“Just imagine if every chef on the island stopped using butter for a month, you would see a difference no matter what,” he says.

Three items available as appetizers reflect the restaurant’s Asian-fusion cuisine and is only a preview of what’s to come.

The Stuffed Baked Quail with Portobello Mushroom, Sun-Dried Tomato and Foie Gras ($19) is a combination of rich flavors. After the quail is de-boned, it is stuffed with portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes and foie gras. The quail is wrapped with prosciutto and thin strips of potato. It is baked and served with a Merlot demi-glace.

The Crispy Asian Taco with Smoked Duck Breast, Avocado and Spicy Salsa ($13) is a mixture of textures. The smokiness of the tender duck breast pairs well with a spicy tomato mango salsa.

Finally, the Kataifi and Macadamia Nut Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns with Organic Baby Greens ($13) features vibrant flavors. Kataifi, the Greek word for shredded filo dough, surrounds the prawns that are deep-fried on skewers. The organic greens — which are held with a baked tortilla, as well as the citrus sauce and pineapple that holds the shrimp — make for a bright dish both visually and for your palate.

A secluded party room with equally stunning decor is available.

Chef Chai

Pacifica Honolulu 1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Daily, 4-11 p.m.
Reservations are recommended

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best