A hearty holiday mealCover Story
December 12, 2021
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
Chef Chai Chaowasaree continues to amaze guests by crafting diverse and flavorful holiday menus at his popular Chef Chai restaurant.
There’s still time to reserve seats for Chef Chai’s New Year’s Eve dinner menu available on Friday, Dec. 31. As is the case with the sold-out Christmas Eve dinner, the New Year’s Eve offering is expected to fill up soon, so guests are encouraged to make reservations now to ensure a spot.
At Chef Chai, situated on the ground level of the Pacifica Honolulu building on Kapiolani Boulevard across from the Neal Blaisdell Arena, gift cards are also available as perfect holiday gifts with no expiration date!
The New Year’s Eve dinner ($85 per person, add $19 for Veuve Clicquot Champagne by the glass) begins with a choice of appetizer, including the Combination Appetizer Platter (minimum two people) with Fresh Ahi Tartar in Mini Waffle Cone, Smoked Duck Taco with Fresh Mango Salsa, Gravlax Salmon Roulade with Cream Cheese and Crab Meat, and Kataifi Macadamia Nut Crusted Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns.
Diners may choose from entrée selections, including Grilled Beef Tenderloin Wellington with Duxelle Mushrooms (add $10) with mashed potatoes, haricot vert, sundried tomato and baby carrots; Braised Kurobuta Pork Osso Bucco with five-spice demi and steamed rice; and Chinese-Style Roasted Duck with natural duck jus and garlic noodles (add $10).
As a special entrée on the New Year’s Eve menu, guests may indulge in the exquisite Grilled Certified A-5 Japanese Wagyu (add $90) as the succulent 8-ounce beef tenderloin from Japan offers impeccable marbling and flavor alongside roasted Hamakua mushrooms, haricot vert, baby carrots and mashed potatoes.
“The A-5 is the best of the best, and the beef is so tender, it’s like eating butter,” says Chaowasaree. “The cattle are fed with milk, wine and olives to enhance the fat content, and a good, whole A-5 Wagyu cow can sell for upwards of $80,000! Not many restaurants in Hawaii serve this special cut, and at Chef Chai, we only serve this once a year for Christmas and New Year’s dinners.”
For dessert, diners may select from multiple sweet treats, including Chef Chai’s iconic Heart-Shaped White Chocolate Gelato Truffle with fresh raspberry guava puree;Waialua Chocolate Lava Cake with fresh berries; and Frankie’s Nursery Honey Cream Pineapple and Mango Sorbetto.Visit chefchai.com to check out the full New Year’s Eve Dinner menu and to make reservations.
Guests are also encouraged to order Chef Chai’s Christmas WikiWiki Dinner Box ($130 for two people, $260 for four people including a complimentary bottle of wine) for pickup or delivery on Friday, Dec. 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The special dinner box, which is great for those who want to enjoy a meal at home or are apprehensive about eating out, can be ordered by calling 808-585-0011 or securely online at chefchai. com.
The Wiki Wiki Dinner Box contains multiple appetizers including Naked Jumbo Prawns Cocktail and Roasted Kabocha Pumpkin and Lobster Bisque with crème fresh and chives; entrées of Braised Boneless Beef Shortribs and Stuffed Salmon with Shrimp and Crab Mousse in fennel leek cream sauce; and Chocolate Yule Log Cakes with fresh berries for dessert.