A Feast for All FathersCover Story Features
May 29, 2016
Story By: Ali Resich | Photos by: Chef Chai
Following the success of a sold-out Mother’s Day program, Chef Chai is gearing up to offer the same beloved spread to Oahu’s families with a Special Father’s Day all-you-can-eat Lobster and King Crab Legs Buffet the evening of Saturday, June 18, as well as for brunch and dinner Sunday, June 19.
The holiday feast fit for Dad’s hefty appetite is brought to diners’ taste buds by the culinary creativity of renowned chef Chai Chaowasaree, who has become a restaurant-industry veteran, having opened multiple successful eateries over the years and maintaining his current role as executive chef for Hawaiian Airlines.
Chaowasaree is known for bringing healthy Asian fusion cuisine into the spotlight at Chef Chai, and when it comes to his Father’s Day buffet, guests will dine on a well-rounded menu offering a little bit of everything — from seafood and chicken to beef and vegetarian options.
“When we do a buffet, we want to make sure the menu offers enough variety for all guests. Even if they don’t eat seafood, they’ll still have something to eat — whether you’re gluten-free or have a nut allergy, there will always be something for everyone,” says Chaowasaree, noting that the Father’s Day spread sold out in one day last year.
The centerpiece of the Father’s Day buffet will be Steamed Alaskan King Crab Legs with drawn butter, spicy sambal lemon and spicy garlic dipping sauce, as well as Grilled Lobster Tails with drawn butter and sambal lemon sauce. Both items are cut in half, making the juicy meat easily accessible. “There aren’t many buffets where you can get crab leg and lobster already cut for you. Here, everything is already cut and ready to eat, so your hands don’t even have to get dirty,” says the chef.
To supplement the star-studded seafood, the buffet will abound with soups, salads and appetizers, gourmet entrees and top-notch desserts, with a few surprises along the way. Among the many starters are Fresh Oysters on ice with spicy lemon grass garlic mignonette, Gravlax Salmon with lemon dill cream and caper berries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Lobster Bisque — just to name a few.
Chef Chai carefully designed his buffet to have plenty of variety, but no unnecessary fillers. Some of the many fine entree choices from the selection are Mongolian-style Lamb Chops with brandy demi-glace, Miso Seabass with miso cream and pickled vegetables, and Braised
Boneless Beef Short Rib with kabocha pumpkin. Vegetarian diners can delight in Vegetarian Stir Fry with Tofu, while those who attend the Sunday brunch will get a special treat of Crispy Bacon, Sausage and Scrambled Eggs.
You may be tempted to fill up on all the savory selections, but do save room for your sweet tooth. Chocolate Decadence Mousse Cake, Chocolate Marble Cups with cheesecake and fresh raspberry, Green Tea Tiramisu and French Macarons are just a sampling of the treats that await you.
Chef Chai’s Father’s Day buffet is priced at $79 per person, with a 50 percent discount for children under 12. Dinner seatings Saturday and Sunday are at 4:30, 5:30 and 7 p.m. or after, while brunch seatings on Sunday only are at 9-9:30 a.m. and noon or after. Reservations are filling up fast, so call 585-0011 to reserve your family’s spot.
Singing, Dining in Perfect Harmony
If you used to frequent Chai Chaowasaree’s former restaurant, Chai’s Island Bistro at Aloha Tower Marketplace, then you remember the many nights of live music patrons adored.
The chef and restaurateur is now bringing some entertainment to his current restaurant Chef Chai in June, with a series of evenings with world-famous tenor opera singer Keith Ikaia Purdy.
Guests will be serenaded by the local boy who has been hailed as “one of the brightest stars in the tenor heavens,” all while dining on an Italian menu created to match the opera theme of the evening.
The multi-course dinner will include a Baked Brie starter served in a phyllo cup with Manoa honey and berry compote; a family-style appetizer sampler featuring Roasted Beet and Puna Goat Cheese Bruschetta, and more; A choice of entree from a selection that includes Roasted Chicken with Linguini Creamy Leek Pesto and Asian Style Braised Kurobuta Pork Osso Buco, among others; and a dessert of your liking.
Originally planned for June 3-4 only ($95 per person, dinner 6 p.m., show at 7:15 p.m.; call to reserve), the series has been extended to Thursday, June 2 as well, due to popular demand.
1009 Kapiolani Blvd.
Nightly, 4-11 p.m.