Full moons mean magical meals at Chef Chai

Columns Foodie Fare

August 3, 2014

Story By: Christina O Connor | Photos by: Anthony Consillio

Full moons just got even more magical. Chef Chai now offers monthly full moon concerts with Robert Cazimero and Halau Na Kamalei, complete with a five-course meal ($75 per person).

“We want to support Hawaiian music,” says chef Chai Chaowasaree, “and Robert Cazimero is such a legend.”

And the menu? Well, that’s pretty legendary, too.

“These are our signature items,” Chaowasaree says, “and we want customers to experience a full variety of what we offer.”

The dinner certainly provides a thorough tasting of Chef Chai, which opened in 2013, and already has earned a slew of awards, including an Ilima Award.

The first course consists of Chicken Tenderloin Sate with Thai Peanut Sauce and an appetizer plate.

The appetizer platter is filled with five different appetizers, including Fresh Ahi Tartar in a Miniature Waffle Cone; Gravlax Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese and Crab Meat (“We cure the salmon overnight with lemon zest, dill, sugar and salt,” Chaowasaree explains.); Smoked Duck Taco with Spicy Mango Salsa (“The concept is the same as a Mexican taco, but we do it Asian-style using the wonton skin, so that the shell is much crispier and lighter.”); Sun-dried Tomato and Puna Goat Cheese Wonton with Pineapple Chutney; and Vongole Al Forno, Baked Stuffed Cherry Stone Clam (“It also has shrimp, scallop, crab meat, and lobster in a white cream sauce.”)

Next up is Kataifi and Mac Nut Encrusted Black Tiger Prawn and Smoked Duck Breast with Big Island Rainbow Greens and Tangerine Vinaigrette. It also is served with lotus root chips, tomatoes, poached pears, candied walnuts and golden beets.

For the main entree, you can choose from three options. The first is Grilled Beef Tender-loin with Mushroom Foie Gras Puff Mashed Potato and Asian Stir-fried Vegetables.

“This is Choice beef,” Chaowasaree says. “What is really unique, is the sauce that we use — it’s a merlot demiglace, and then we add a little bit of Chinese spice.”

Or, you can go with one of Chaowasaree’s personal favorites, Miso Fresh Chilean Sea Bass with Pickled Vegetables and Steamed White or Coconut Milk Ginger Brown Rice.

“Chilean sea bass is probably one of the best fish that you can have,” he says. “It’s healthy and it’s full of flavor.”

The third option is Vegetarian Terrine with Thai Green Curry Sauce and Steamed White or Coconut Milk Ginger Brown Rice. The dish is comprised of bell peppers, Okinawa potatoes, pumpkin, mushroom and asparagus.

“It also is very healthy,” Chaowasaree says.

The last stop on this delectable journey through Chef Chai’s menu is dessert, which provides a choice between White Chocolate Amore Truffle with Raspberry Guava Puree or Coconut Cheese Cake with Tahitian Vanilla Crème Anglaise.

The next full moon concert with Robert Cazimero — and your next chance to get this five-course dinner — is Aug. 10, followed by Sept. 8, Oct. 8, Nov. 6, and Dec. 6. Note, however, that this menu is only served inside the main dining room; space is limited and reservations are recommended. Dinner starts at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 7:15.

Contact Christina O’Connor at diningout@staradvertiser.com

Chef Chai

1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Nightly, 4-11 p.m. (Happy Hour from 9-11 p.m.)

Honolulu, HI 96814

Ilima Awards
Hawaii's Best