Restaurant Review – The Chef's Table

By: Kevin McQuarrie
Oahu Island News

Oktoberfest may be months away, but the The Chef’s Table in the Hawaii Kai Town Center will more than satisfy your desire for delicious (and authentic) Austrian & German cuisine.

Tonight’s dinner group included three adults and one two-year-old boy. We made a reservation and checked to be sure children could be accommodated. The hostess assured us that he would be welcome and that she’d seat us at an excellent table. We arrived at 6:30 pm and were seated right away at a table (with a high chair waiting for our young taster) by the window that also had a view of the busy, open kitchen area. The menu includes appetizers, soups, salads, a variety of traditional German entrees (Wienerschnitzel, Jaegerschnitzel, and Sauerbraten), Fish & Shellfish (Salmon, Shrimp, Seafood Stew and Scallops) and Lighter Specialties (Cheese fondue for two, Wienerliund Kartoffel Salat, Vegetarian Pasta, and Chef’s Table Sal-ad Platter). A full beverage menu was also available and included traditional German beers, a variety of wines, and soft drinks.

After we settled at our table, Jonathan, our waiter, arrived, welcomed us and shared the specials, with complete knowledge of each one. At that point we all knew we were in for a special night. Jonathan knew how each item was prepared and made recommendations related to our tastes. He promptly delivered our drinks, a Pinot Grigio ($5.50) and two German beers – Bitburger and Spaten (both $4.50), and assisted us in getting food to our young companion so that he would remain well-behaved throughout our dinner. When he returned with some french fries for the youngest in our group, we ordered our meal. We began with a shared appetizer of an assorted meat sampler of smoked salmon, ham, and salami was served with fresh greens, cucumbers, capers and horseradish ($6.00). This was a nice light way to begin our meal. We followed this with a delicious carrot vegetable soup, the soup of the day, which was included with the meals. When the soup was de-scribed by Jonathan we each thought we might not enjoy it. However we were all pleasantly surprised by the complex flavorful soup that arrived. Our two year old had finished his french fries at this point and was brought a “course” of potato pancakes and applesauce ($8.00). He devoured the applesauce and we “helped” him with the bountiful delicious potato pancakes as we awaited our main courses.

My Beef Goulash Paprikash arrived with angel hair pasta, red cabbage, broccoli, and a mixed squash medley ($16.50). The large pieces of beef were perfectly prepared and easily broke apart with my fork. The sauce was a hearty match for the substantial pieces of beef. Much to my surprise the angel hair pasta was a fitting side dish for the German entrée. The cabbage had a hint of nutmeg or cinnamon that added to the natural flavor of the vegetable. My plate looked lovely and was as satisfying to the palate as to the eye.

My companion ordered the mahi mahi special which was accompanied by the special potato sautee that included bacon and caramelized onions ($22.00). The fish was grilled with a lemon butter and capers and was light-ly seasoned with pepper. The fish was flaky and very flavorful and it was quite a generous portion. The potato side dish went hand-in-hand with the fish and also included was the red cabbage and squash medley.

My third companion ordered a veal special which consisted of two veal medallions in a delicate sauce and spetzli ($25.00). The veal was cooked to medium-well as requested. The meat was tender and the sauce added a wonderful flavor. He even commented that the spetzli was very tasty when dipped in the remaining sauce on his plate. The melding of textures and tastes was perfectly blended and while this was one of the specials of the night my companion hopes it would make the regular menu one day.

Even though we were all completely satisfied by our meals we were so tempted by the dessert menu that we decided to get two desserts to share. We ordered the cheesecake with caramel sauce ($5.00) and the traditional German apple strudel with vanilla ice cream ($7.00). We polished off both of them in record time. The cheesecake was smooth and light and the caramel sauce added a buttery sweetness to the dessert. The apple strudel was cakey rather than flaky and had the strong apple flavor.

The Chef’s Table is a hidden treasure on Oahu, and an excellent choice for fine Austrian and German fare. Sunday brunch is served weekly as well as daily lunches and dinner.

The Chef's Table
Hawaii Kai Town Center
333 Keahole St. Hawaii Kai
Phone: 394-2433
Tuesday - Saturday 11:30am - 2:00pm &
5:30pm - 9:30pm
Sunday 10:30am - 1:30pm & 5:30pm - 9:30pm