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Himalayan Kitchen

Step Up to the Plate

October 21, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: Lawrence Tabudlo

A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S HOUSE SPECIAL: LAMB SAAG ($16.95) AND CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA ($14.95)

There’s nothing quite as comforting than digging into some heartwarming, authentic cultural food. That is especially accurate if it’s something one wouldn’t normally come across in Hawaii. Enter Himalayan Kitchen, the hottest spot for traditional and scrumptious Indian cuisine.

The restaurant boasts two locations on Oahu, one in Kailua and the other in Kaimuki. Chef and owner Suman Basnet mentions that while the Kaimuki location offers a full service dining experience, the restaurant in Kailua is more of a casual, grab-and-go plate lunch service — although there is a seating area to sit and enjoy as well.

When Dining Out went to check out this impressive eatery in Kaimuki, the options of eating space were vast, complete with inside and outside seating areas. Basnet shares the restaurant can accommodate upwards of 200 people.

There is a full service bar of wine, brews, liquor and creative Himalayan-inspired concoctions as well as yummy finger foods and other dishes. In fact, the restaurant’s bar has been receiving fantastic reviews by customers who comment on the fine selection of wine. “We have wines that are really good, high-grade and pairs great with our food and the spices,” says Basnet.

Himalayan Kitchen’s bar has been so successful that starting Nov. 1, Basnet will add a second happy hour block from 9 p.m. to midnight Thursday-Sunday (current happy hour is 5-6 p.m. every day).

The fare is exquisite and filled with spices and show-stopping flavor — the kind where one would pause mid-chew to savor the aromatic essence and taste of the food, while one’s palate is transported across the globe to South Asia.

Himalayan Kitchen also is vegan- and vegetarian-friendly and everything is cooked to order. Basnet says this is good for diners because they can choose their spice level on a scale of one to 10 and customize other aspects of orders. On top of using locally sourced produce, Basnet adds that the seafood is a “fresh catch of the day,” picked up from the auction block.

Mango Lassi

Refreshingly crisp, this house-made fresh mango and yogurt blend also can be served with vodka and is available in an array of other fruity flavors.

Lamb Saag

This is a pleasant dish comprising creamy spinach, lamb with ginger, garlic and mild spices.

Chicken Tikka Masala

After being grilled in a traditional tandoori oven, this dish is then simmered to perfection in a heavenly and smooth tomato sauce with a hint of spice.

Mix Tandoori

This combo presents the best of everything such as chicken tikka, lamb sekuwa, fish and shrimp, which are all charbroiled in the tandoori oven.

Garlic Naan

Baked in a tandoori, this traditional Indian bread is pillow-soft and goes perfectly dipped in the saag and masala. Jalapeno can also be added as a topping.

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