Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Chef Chai’s

Restaurant Insider

July 7, 2019

Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Anne Lee is ready to chow down on chef Edmond Orpilla’s four-course Dining Out Special Menu ($48) that is available at Chef Chai, July 7-14.

ANNE LEE speaks with executive sous chef EDMOND ORPILLA

The award-winning culinary creations of Chef Chai have been pleasing palates for many years at its elegant location on Kapiolani Boulevard. Executive chef and owner Chai Chaowasaree presents a new member, Edmond Orpilla, who is just as excited to keep the tasty times rolling at the restaurant.

“I’ve been with Chai’s restaurant for a month, but worked with him 20 years ago at the original Chai’s Island Bistro,” shares Orpilla. “I recently came back to take over the executive sous chef position.”

With a new chef kicking things up in the kitchen, there also is a new menu starting today and available through next Sunday, July 14. The four-course meal will heighten senses as it offers diners delicious and aromatic flavors across cultures including, Filipino, local and Eurasian cuisine.

Orpilla shares more about the exclusive menu and what to expect when dining at Chai’s:

AL: Can you explain your special menu?

EO: It is my Dining Out Special Menu ($48 per person). I tried to keep a lot of this with my roots — little bit of my Filipino flair in there, local ingredients and also Eurasian cuisine.

A closer look at the Dining Out Special Menu with main entree New Zealand King Salmon at center

The first course is the Caprese Salad with cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese. We use yellow tomatoes, which have a different flavor from the red tomatoes — we aim to make different varieties and we also want to incorporate all the items from local produce from around the islands.

Then, the main entree on this Dining Out Special Menu is New Zealand King Salmon with roasted garlic balsamic glaze. It also comes with an appetizer and very delectable dessert, the Leche Flan with Caramel Dome and Fresh Berries.

AL: What are some other unique offerings on the regular menu? EO: Lamb chops. Chai has had this on his menu for years and is one of the reasons why people come back to Chai’s. Furthermore, the Kabayaki Salmon and Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Foie Gras Puff is another favorite.

Chai’s also has a lot of amazing desserts. They can really make your night when you finish off with White Chocolate Amore Truffle (the famous white heart) or the chocolate mousse.

AL: What is the restaurant’s goal to customers?

EO: Chai and I have the same attitude, which is to make our customers happy and that’s why he’s been here for this long. It’s my job to partake in this situation and it’s an easy task for me, since he has paved the way. I always think positive as well as stick to Chai’s quality and standards.

AL: Lastly what is your favorite food to eat?

EO: I really love everything on this menu and could eat it every day, but I also love my dad’s adobo and my mom’s pancit.

Leche Flan

• 1 can condensed milk
• 2 cans evaporated milk
• 14 egg yolks
• 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons of white cane sugar

Melt sugar on the bottom of a baking mold. Blend the remaining ingredients using a blender or mixer. Pour mixture into the baking mold. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 365 degrees.

Honolulu, HI 96814

Hawaii's Best
Hawaii's Best