Still ‘wowing,’ even after all these yearsA La Carte Columns
November 8, 2015
Story By: Jaimie Kim | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
There’s something to be said about a chef whose creativity never dwindles. Chai Chaowasaree is exemplary of this, despite having been in the business for quite some time now.
Just recently, he quietly celebrated the soft opening of Chai’s Waikiki Hawaiian Fusion. With a new menu (though loyal diners will recognize some items from his restaurant at Pacifica Honolulu), each dish illustrates his effortless talent for Asian-fusion and Hawaii Regional Cuisine.
Among the restaurant’s tapas offerings, which Chaowasaree points out is the best way to sample a little bit of many things, is Roasted Parker Ranch Beef Tenderloin Salad ($15). It begins with chilled Parker Ranch beef that is thinly sliced. Then, lemongrass garlic vinaigrette is added, along with mangoes, tomatoes, cucumber, Aloun Farms onions and roasted peanuts.
It’s a visually stunning dish, with bright and light flavors to match, and each component adds texture to every bite.
Equally photogenic (and delicious, too) is Ho Farms Heirloom Cherry Tomato Burrata Caprese Salad ($12). Chaowasaree elevates this classic dish with the use of burrata (which essentially is mozzarella filled with cream cheese), and details like the addition of a carrot-ginger gelee.
Ultimately, Chai’s Waikiki is about giving customers a modern and contemporary dining experience in a quietly elegant atmosphere that showcases Hawaii’s flavors.
And he’s giving Dining Out readers a little extra treat, too. This week only, mention Dining Out while making a reservation (by calling 941-9200 or visiting chaiswaikiki. com) and receive a 25-percent discount. So really, it’s the perfect excuse to check out Chai’s Waikiki now.
Chai’s Waikiki Hawaiian Fusion
1910 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu
Daily, 4-11 p.m.