A taste of paradiseCover Story
March 12, 2023
Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO
With the introduction of the latest culinary sensation crafted by world-renowned chef and restaurateur chef Chai Chaowasaree, the local-centric fine-dining experience found at KALO: Hawaiian Food by Chai’s took root after the chef saw a need for quality Hawaiian and locally inspired cuisine in Waikiki.
Situated conveniently in the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach (the location previously occupied by Spada), KALO: Hawaiian Food by Chai’s is a welcoming locale for a relaxing meal with friends, or a special occasion destination to enjoy with family.
“The concept is all about educating guests, especially our visitors who have never had true Hawaiian food before,” Chaowasaree says. “It’s best to let them try a small portion and tell them about the history of the dish so they can understand and appreciate the food even more.”
Entrée selections available during dinner service (4:30-10 p.m.) include the epic Hawaiian Platter ($45), which features pipikaula, kalua pork, chicken long rice, lomi salmon, salad and steamed rice. The Short Rib Pipikaula ($26 a la carte) is available on the sampler and as a standalone dish, and remains a big hit with local diners and fans of traditional Hawaiian cuisine. The beef is marinated and air dried for 12 hours at 140 degrees to tenderize and bring forth the intense flavors.
“A bite of the pipikaula will hook you and have you craving more!” Chaowasaree says. “The Hawaiian Platter is the best way to sample traditional Hawaiian dishes all on one plate.”
Chaowasaree and his team have also introduced signature dishes from his original namesake restaurant for those who may be hesitant to try Hawaiian food offerings. Kataifi and Macadamia Nut Crusted Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns with Fresh Pineapple Vinaigrette ($20) is a popular mainstay, as is Miso Seabass with Lobster Reduction ($50) served with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Fresh Ahi Katsu ($48) features fresh tuna wrapped with seaweed and breadcrumbs that is deep fried to a golden crisp to provide a beautiful sear and served with steamed rice, fresh pineapple salsa and creamy mild coconut curry sauce.
The eatery also serves breakfast (daily, 6:30-11 a.m.) with local favorites including Loco Moco ($18) with hamburger steak, signature gravy and sunny side-up eggs served atop a bed of steamed rice.
“I love good Hawaiian food, and I want guests to feel the true Hawaiian experience, not something you eat at a typical luau,” Chaowasaree says. “We are trying to elevate Hawaiian food and use only top-quality ingredients in a beautiful setting along with a complete wine list and craft cocktails.”
Diners craving a taste of KALO can stop in for a 10% discount when mentioning Dining Out or showing this article when ordering. This special deal may not be combined with other offers or promotions.