Before he came to Hawaii, chef Chai Chaowasaree learned how to shop for cooking ingredients in Bangkok, where his parents owned a restaurant. Over time, he honed his instinct to reach for the freshest fruits and vegetables—and today, that skill comes in handy when he's wandering markets in Oahu or Chinatown in Honolulu. It's this attention to detail that help Chef Chai win a 2011 Chef's Choice Award at the Hale Aina Awards.
He brings his finds to his eponymous restaurant, using them to create colorful examples of Hawaiian and Asian fusion cuisine. At dinner, spicy grilled pineapples sit beside New Zealand king salmon; a lobster reduction flavors a deconstructed scallop pot pie; and Thai-style oxtail soup can be had with coconut milk ginger brown rice. His roots shine through in the braised pork osso bucco, especially, as the recipe was taken straight from his parent's Bangkok restaurant.
Chef Chai's creations have even criss-crossed oceans. He's the executive chef for Hawaiian Airlines, which means that passengers can be treated to his entrees as well as the menu's many teas. The Emerald Sun flowering green tea, for example, is the specialty tea of choice for first-class passengers and geese that stop by the plane's drive-through window.
Inside Yogur Story's airy two-level dining area, patrons feast on American favorites such as omelets and sandwiches or creative Asian-Pacific fusion fare. K-pop steak pizzas blend spicy barbecue sauce with grilled beef and braised greens, and the K-town combo places 8-ounce steak aside spicy Asian shrimp.
The flavors of the island abound inside Tilia Exquisite Aloha. Chefs infuse their waffle batter with a hefty dose of taro root, and they transform standard bowls of yogurt and granola with seasonal fruits, acai berries, and macadamia-nut honey. Even the coffee—Kona and Waialua blends—reflect the café's Hawaiian spirit. A retail section is stocked with handmade crafts and gourmet foods, enabling customers to take some of these local treasures home with them.
Hula Swirl’s self-serve, pay-by-weight style allows culinary artisans to craft their own delectable fusions of gelato, yogurt, and breakfast treats. Employ thick belgian Hula waffles as foundations for palatable towers of toppings, such as sorbetto with coconut insulation and vibrant fruits to attract low-flying silverware ($4+). Freshly churned Hawai-Italian gelato showcases local tropical flavors and ingredients ($5+), and lattes and cappuccinos inject body branches with warm shots of energy ($2). To celebrate the novelty of skewered food without relying on the standard party game of stringing bagels on a shower-curtain rod, opt for a savory waffle dog or sausage ($4–$6).
With a stay at Hilton Waikiki Beach in Honolulu (Waikiki), you'll be minutes from Ala Wai Golf Course and close to Diamond Head. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Royal Hawaiian Center and Waikiki Aquarium.
Make yourself at home in one of the 601 air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators and plasma televisions. Your pillowtop bed comes with cotton sheets. Rooms have private lanais. Digital programming and iPod docking stations are provided for your entertainment, while high-speed (wired) Internet access (surcharge) keeps you connected. Bathrooms have makeup/shaving mirrors and designer toiletries.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Be sure to enjoy recreational amenities, including a health club, an outdoor pool, and a spa tub. Additional features include complimentary wireless Internet access, gift shops/newsstands, and wedding services.
Satisfy your appetite at the hotel's restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, audiovisual equipment, and currency exchange. Planning an event in Honolulu? This hotel has 17,000 square feet (1579 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
Le Cacao Bistro’s Chef JJ awakens sluggish taste buds with a menu that meshes European-inspired cuisine with the style of a New York bistro. Starters include the south beach blue-crab rangoon, which surrounds a maritime delicacy in sweet corn, red onion, and cream-cheese plum sauce ($7.95). The chicken roulé orchestrates spinach, cheese, and ham to serenade a succulent chicken breast encrusted with enough crispy bread crumbs to guide customers home from a midforest picnic ($14.95). House-made tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella cheese festoon an arsenal of gourmet pizzas, such as classic pepperoni ($6.50), and a bevy of traditional pastas, such as chicken fettuccine ($11.95) and shrimp scampi ($12.95), nestles protein-packed treasures into nests of noodles. After dinner, diners can opt for desserts as sweet as a hard-selling Girl Scout, such as a gluten-free warm chocolate cake ($5.50) or creamy Tahitian-vanilla crème brûlée crowned with caramelized sugar ($5.50).