Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chai's Island Bistro

I have always heard about Chai's Island Bistro and also watched Chef Chai Chaowasaree on television but never ventured out to try his restaurant. My family and I decided to visited the restaruant in celebration of my step-mom's birthday. We went on a Wednesday night to hear the Brothers Cazimero perform. Although my family was dissapointed by not being able to order the moi (which had run out by the time we got there) I had a chance to taste some memorable dishes.

Our dinner began with a sampler of Chef Chai's signature appetizers. This included the Alaskan King Crab Cake with Garlic Aioli, the Fresh Ahi Katsu with Wasabi Yellow Curry Sauce, and Fresh Mango Tomato Salsa, and the Kataifi & Macadamia Nut Crausted Black Tiger Prawns with Fresh Pineapple and Pineapple Vinaigrette. I had seen the Tiger Prawn appetizer in pictures several times in the past and made it a priority to try it. I must say, however, that I was not entirely impressed with it. The presentation was a lot more memorable than the taste. My favorite was the crab cake, which included generous portions of crab meat without any heavy, unnecessary fillers like breadcrumbs. As for the ahi katsu, I didn't really care for the combination of the curry flavor with the ahi katsu. In addition to the appetizer sampler, we were served a basket of warm pita bread and taro bread along with a spicy peanut sauce. The peanut sauce was delicious with the pita bread!! I chose to skip the taro bread (which didn't look like anything speical) to save room for dinner.

I ate the Wok Seared Jumbo Black TIger Prawns, which was served with a spicy chili ginger sauce, asian stir-fried vegetables and steamed rice. The prawns were crispy with the shells still on, just the way I like them! Although this dish was tasty on its own, I have to say that the wine I chose made this dish ten times better! It was Chuck Furuya's private label Pinot Noir.

Another memorable dish was the Steamed Chinese Style Fresh Chilean Sea Bass with Ginger and Green Onions. The fish was delicately tender and the crispy bacon and chives added a twist to the traditional "chinese style" preparation as well as another layer of texture and flavor.

Of mention was the Crispy Whole Snapper with sun-drited tomato citrus buerre blanc and asian stir-fried vegetables. It was quite impressive to look at and quite tasty.

For dessert, I had the Fresh Baked Macadamia Nut Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream. The warm tart tasted so yummy with the cold vanilla ice cream! For those who love macadamia nuts, this dessert is quite a treat!

Chai's Island Bistro
Aloha Tower Marketplace
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

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