Monday, June 27, 2022

Himalayan Kitchen (Ala Moana)

Himalayan Kitchen has at least five locations in Hawaii. This blog post covers the small corner spot at Ala Moana Shopping Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.

After my friend and I got a bunch of exercise in the morning, we headed to Ala Moana for more walking and maybe a bit of food. Himalayan Kitchen was near where we parked, so we picked this spot mainly on proximity.

It's a small corner spot on Street Level 1 near Macy's. There's maybe 5-6 tables inside and another 5-6 outside. All I can otherwise say is, if you're dining inside and it's summer, it's stuffy enough to burn a few extra calories.

Himalayan Kitchen serves Nepali and Indian food, which for me was a welcome break from the usual bentos and home-cooked meals I mostly had during the pandemic.

I love that you can pick your spice level here, from 1 to 10. The server said 6 was right around "Thai spicy".

Our server also tried upselling the Momos ($8.95), steamed dumplings with ground chicken and spices inside,  and served with a tomato dipping sauce. We passed this time, just looking for the main course.

I got the Chicken Tikka Madrass ($16.95), listed as the chef's favorite. Boneless chicken cooked in the tandoori, then simmered with the chef's special coconut curry-based sauce. Just to test the heat and still savor the flavors, I went with a spice level 7/10 for starters. It's served with some basmati rice.

The level 7 had nice heat, and I'm sure the stuffy restaurant allowed me to sweat a little more at my seat. I could easily bump up the spice level next time - probably sitting outside.

It was a perfect amount of heat to match the full-bodied curry. Delicious coconut milk and traditional Himalayan spices in the hearty curry. Although some of the chicken pieces were slightly overcooked, others still retained some moisture.

(Note: This is usually why I generally order chicken dishes at Indian/Himalayan restaurants. I like chicken, but it's also less forgiving than lamb here in terms of getting overcooked.)

My friend enjoyed his Lamb Bhuna ($18.95), a curry dish that had a creamy garlic sauce, more traditional spices, and cooked down to a dark brown color. The lamb was extremely tender and juicy. My friend was happy with a level 5/10 spice and savored every bite.

Great service at this family-run business, and I look forward to my next visit. 8.5/10

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