Monday, July 12, 2021

Kamana Kitchen

Kamana Kitchen is located on Bishop Street, near the corner of Bishop and S Hotel, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Kamana Kitchen had been on my list to try for a while, but after the pandemic forced us to work from home, I had to postpone my visit until now. It's a fairly small place, homey inside with artwork on the wall.

Typical Indian menu, with favorites such as Tandoori chicken, tikka masala, curries, and naan. Spice level choices are mild, medium, or hot.

I was perplexed that our server did not allow us to split our orders into two separate checks. Perhaps she did not know how to do it.

The Chicken Tikka Masala ($15.95) had great flavor overall. Spice preference (hot) had noticeable heat, but nothing too overwhelming for me. However, most of the chicken chunks were on the overcooked side, dry and not tender.

My friend's Lamb Tikka Masala ($18.95) had better cooked proteins; lamb was more tender. Same great flavors as my dish, of course.

High praise for the Garlic Naan ($3.95). Generous amounts of garlic and cilantro on the slightly crispy flatbread. You'll get about 3-4 pieces. They had initially forgotten this part of our order, so it would have been great to start with this and then enjoy it more with our main course.

For science, we had the Gulab Jamun ($3.95). The description is "Juicy cheese balls dipped and served in syrup", which isn't wrong, but perhaps not the most appetizing description. Gulab Jamun is more like a dough ball traditionally made with a milk solid like khoya (a dairy product with less moisture than a typical cheese). Instead of khoya, one can use powdered milk. The dough balls are fried and then served with a sweet syrup.

For people in Hawaii, I'd probably tell someone here it's like someone took a smaller version of andagi, an Okinawan doughnut, and placed it in the sweet syrup to make it less dense and dry.

We ate around 5 PM on a Friday evening, and by the time we left, the place had gotten much busier. Glad to see these local businesses getting more people as we head back to a new normal.

I think Kamana Kitchen is a great place to get Indian food. It may feel a bit pricey, but awesome flavors that will make you want to keep eating. 7.75/10

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