18 March 2010

Himalayan Kitchen in Honolulu

K is in town and we were agonizing over where to get together. We were determined to avoid downtown because of St. Patrick's Day and were hoping for somewhere kid-friendly. We ended up at Himalayan Kitchen, courtesy of J's lovely suggestion.

We ended up sitting in their outdoor area, which was perfect as the kids could run around without bothering other patrons and also away from the street. The host was worried that it might rain and made contingency plans for us, but it looked like they were working on getting some kind of covering set up for the future too which would eliminate that problem.

The staff were also very accommodating of and friendly with the kids. They talked to them and brought them complimentary dessert too. (Unfortunately, I'm not sure if the dessert would appeal to picky kids. Even as an adult, I found it a bit unusual. It was like a rice pudding with herbs and other flavoring in it. I'm not sure if I liked it or not.) The staff were also patient with us even though some of our party was late. Of course we helped a bit by ordering some appetizers to start but they didn't rush us in any way. This may be partly because they were not too crowded, but I still see that as a plus. Honolulu restaurants can be very crowded and it was great to be able to have a good meal and talk a bit without feeling rushed.

Himalayan Kitchen was different than other Indian restaurants, which seem to encourage more family-style dining. Entrees came on a big plate with rice, a bowl of curry, and a small salad of lettuce and tomatoes. I think you could still easily eat family-style, but it seems tailored more for each person to order their own--just in how it looks I guess.

I ordered the eggplant mild; I'd try medium next time. We were all scared because J said her medium last time was super hot, but this time the mild was super mild. The eggplant was not the best I've had, but it might be because it was mild. I also tried a bite of J's chicken tikka masala, which was great. So rich. I think I liked it better than my own dish, but I think I might still experiment with other items on the menu first. The salad that accompanied all the entrees was nothing special, but I am always glad to have extra veggies.

We also ordered garlic naan and a spinach dip that came with some type of fried bread. The garlic naan was not as garlicky as I would've liked, but it came with a dip that I loved. I've had it at Indian restaurants before but am not sure what it's called. It's green and herb-y, a little spicy, and citrus-y, as J pointed out. The spinach dip and fried bread were so good! Sort of like Indian pizza!

Overall: The food was not the best I've had, but I'd like to return and try other dishes, especially because the staff was so friendly and accommodating.

Prices: Comparable to other Indian restaurants (e.g. $14 for chicken tikka masala, $13 for eggplant entree, $4 for garlic naan)


At 6:51 AM , Blogger kristen said...

yes, i'm wondering if having the food there spicy is a better idea.

At 6:17 PM , Blogger Julie said...

Sorry about the mild being so mild, guys! I was surprised by that, too, since the medium made my nose run. But I'm glad that overall you enjoyed it there. I can't believe what great service we got there and next time I want to sit at the table under all those pretty prayer flags! :)

At 6:20 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

Not your fault! I think I have had this experience at other restaurants too where mild is too mild and medium is too hot. Curses!

At 4:17 PM , Blogger Julie said...

I wonder if most restaurants think of mild as absolutely no spice, because that's not what I think!

At 5:02 PM , Blogger Robyn said...

yeah i guess i could see mild being no spice, but there should be a step between that and too hot!


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