Fresh seafood and produce are prepared with Pacific Rim flair at this waterfront gem located at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The Asian-style Osso Bucco ... More
Chai's Island Bistro
Fresh seafood and produce are prepared with Pacific Rim flair at this waterfront gem located at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The Asian-style Osso Bucco with Kabocha Pumpkin is truly a culinary work of fusion art. You will not go wrong with the Bistro Bouillabaisse, the house specialty. For an appetizer, try the Kataifi and Macadamia Nut Encrusted Jumbo Black Tiger Prawns. As day turns into evening, some of the most famous names in Hawaiian music set up a tiny stage on the restaurant courtyard. The haunting harmonies of their voices float away into the Hawaiian dusk, bringing a feeling of peace to anyone lucky enough to witness it.
I can not recommend Chai's Island Bistro for dinner or lunch nor would I recommend giving it another chance. In a tourist town one would think a restaurant that is well staffed would provide at least average service but it did not. We have been to Chai's several times over the past several years and the quality of the experience continues to decline.
The menu is excellent and the music is truly old Hawaii and outstanding! The taste of the food was good but served cold and the oil used to fry the daily special fish should have been changed. The presentation was only fair at best. The poor service ruined the evening. The prices charged are fair for the entertainment and food but far too expensive for the poor service.
We had reservations for 9 guests the night after Christmas. The Restaurant was only a third full and we had to wait for a table. It was fully staffed with waiters and bus boys. The wait was not disappointing, the lack of service was [i.e. failure to take drink orders, failure to follow up with drink orders for a 2nd and 3rd round and refill of water was unbelievable; the failure to bring all of the first course orders and the failure to bring the correct entrée was unacceptable]. For the money charged the waiters incompetence and lack of care was unacceptable. You can get better service at a McDonalds.
I cannot think of a dining experience where the service was this bad. My recommendation fore go this Restaurant; but if you want to catch the music at Chai's Bistro I recommend you sit at the Bar and listen to the music.
Along with 7 friends, I recently had dinner at Chai's Island Bistro. While the food was outstanding, we had a horrible experience.
Shortly after our appetizers, the band started to play. They were clearly excellent musicians, but the noise level at which they played was deafening. This made it totally impossible to speak with our friends and was most likely deleterious to our hearing.
Once it became apparent that this noise level was going to continue, I asked the manager if it would be possible to lower the volume. He told me that many customers had complained about this, but that they were unable to do anything about it because it would offend the band. Although we had a pleasant conversation, it was clear that the management was more concerned about the feelings of the band than the well being and/or dining experience of its customers.
To add insult to injury, as we were leaving the restaurant, the band leader (Jerry) said into the microphone "I'm so happy to see you leave". Clearly his ego blinded him to the fact that his music was simply too loud.
This situation is truly a shame as the food is very good, but the climate in the restaurant on the nights this band is playing (which I believe is very often) is impossible.
We made reservations well in advance to enjoy the music of Jake Shimabukuro. When we arrived, there was no reserved table. We were seated outside of the indoor dining area. We could not see the performer, only heard him over the P.A. system. To make matters worse, service was extremely slow. A glass of wine and a beer took about 10 minutes. 20 minutes or so later the appetizer was served. Another 20 minutes passed before the salad arrived. Over 30 minutes later, the entree had not arrived. A complaint to the server brought the Floor Manager to our table. His explanation did not justify the delay. However, he did offer one of the meals as complimentary. He also offered a cocktail for the delay but were later charged for it. About 5 minutes after the Floor Manager left, the entree arrived. What if we hadn't complained? We sent it back to be packed for takeout. It was a very stressful experience for my wife and myself. The only positive comment we have is that the food was tasty.
LTC (Retired) and Mrs. Yukio Yokoe.
Although I live in Hawaii, I am a British expatriate and thus the whole experience is a sort of extended vacation for me. Chai's is part of that. Great local (Asian/Pacific) themed food, classy, great service. I recommend the Kataifi Shrimp... if you are visiting, get out of Waikiki, it is not far and totally worth the effort.
My wife and I went to Chai's Island Bistro to celebrate our 28th anniversary. The live music by Hapa, the outstanding food and the wonderful atmosphere made this our most wonderful anniversary dinner ever!