About this Business
From Our Editors
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.
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.
Chef Chai and his restaurant have won several awards. His accolades include a 2011 Chef's Choice Award at the Hale Aina Awards, a mention as one of Honolulu's hottest restaurants in Zagat in 2015, a 4.5-star Award of Excellence from TripAdvisor, a mention as one of the 10 best restaurants in Hawaii by The Culture Trip, a People's Choice award from Hawaii Magazine readers, and the Ilima Award from the readers of Honolulu Star-Advertiser.