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These weekly meals are full of flavor

A La Carte

August 16, 2020

Story By: Ginger Keller | Photos by: Chef Chai

Grilled Prawns with Penne Pasta and Macadamia Nut Pesto

Innovation has been a key term in the restaurant world as of late, and Chai Chaowasaree, owner of Chef Chai, knows this to be true. That’s why he’s introduced a new concept: Wiki Wiki Dinner Box, a weekly meal service that includes four entrées, a salad and dessert.

“During this challenging time for everybody, we wanted to offer our guests a great meal for a reasonable price, and by doing that, we’re able to keep our employees working,” he says. “When the number of COVID-19 cases rose, we noticed that our dine-in customers dropped, and the only way we could keep our employees is to come up with something new.”

Guests can choose between a small box, which offers two servings of each dish for $120, or a large box, which contains four servings of each item for $200. Orders must be placed on Sunday for a Tuesday evening pickup.

Chef Chai’s special Wiki Wiki Dinner Boxes

Even better, the restaurant, which is located on the ground floor of the Pacifica condo, offers delivery, and cost varies depending on location. For drop-off in Honolulu, it’s $12, while those living elsewhere (Kaneohe to Ko Olina) pay $15.

Creating the menu, meanwhile, was an easy task, and the inspiration behind this venture is a personal one for Chaowasaree.

“Being at home every day, you’re looking for something different to eat. When I first quarantined, I was tired of my own cooking,” he says with a laugh.

Although the menu items differ each week, one thing is promised: There’s a little something in it for everyone.

Panang Beef Curry

This week’s menu, for example, comprises seafood (Grilled Prawns with Penne Pasta and Macadamia Nut Pesto), chicken (Grilled Chicken with Fresh Pineapple Granny Smith Apple Relish), pork (BBQ Pork Ribs with Hoisin Lilikoi Sauce) and beef (Panang Beef Curry with green peas, bell pepper and kaffir lime). Each entrée (except for the pasta) comes with a side. The salad flourishes with veggies, and all is finished with Hawaiian Sweet Bread Pudding with Roasted Pineapple. Drooling yet?

“When I create a dish, I like a lot of flavor,” notes Chaowasaree. “I want to have a little bit of acidity, a little bit of sweet, a little bit of salt, and also texture and color.”

BBQ Pork Ribs with Hoisin Lilikoi Sauce

A sneak peek into next week’s menu (orders due by Sunday, Aug. 23) includes a Grilled Fresh Catch, Thai Yellow Chicken Curry, Braised Pork, Braised Beef Shank, a Baby Greens Salad and an assortment of French Macaroons.

To view the full menu, check out Chef Chai’s Instagram (@chefchai) or Facebook (facebook.com/ chefchai). Orders can be placed by calling 585-0011 or visiting chefchai-catering.hrpos.heartland.us/menu.

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