Review of Green Door (Oahu, Kahala 'hood)
So I finally managed to convince the SO to try out the Green Door. (Not exactly the easiest task, especially since the scrumptious Olive Tree is next door. Those kebabs!) Anyway, our appetites weren't ravenous and we had a class in a couple of hours so we opted to take out. (By the way, for those of you who may remember the Green Door during its Chinatown days with all that styrofoam and plastic spork waste.... Betty has finally invested in real silverware and plates for people eating at the restaurant! We even saw some wine glasses!)
Aside from the tacky lime green door, the decor is actually 100 times improved from the last location. There's a small lanai where you can sit outside (albeit your view is of the parking lot) and there are 2 dining rooms. If she gets a liquor license, the bar will definitely be a great addition.
We walked up to the counter and ordered 2 items: shrimp curry and a pork (nonya-style) dish with tamarind sauce. The prices are slightly pricey for what you get, but I guess the competitive market for Malaysian food is noncompetitive here on the island, so Betty can do whatever she wants.
The shrimp curry (approx. $12) was very scant in quantity with only shrimp and a handful of chopped onions. (No other vegetables.... it was seriously only sauce, shrimp and onions.) Despite the skimpiness, the curry sauce was very tasty. You take a bite... ho, hum.... you take another bite.... wait.... it's getting spicier... you take another bite.... woah! Mouth on fire! The spiciness really creeps in slowly and the depth of the curry seasoning was excellent.
The pork dish looked like it was lightly breaded in something and then covered with a watery tamarind sauce. Unfortunately we made the mistake of eating the curry first so by the time we got to the pork.... we couldn't taste too much. They did a nice job with the pork, though; it wasn't overcooked and tough. There was a lettuce, some cucumber slices, and shredded carrots for garnish.
I would definitely like to go back and try some other dishes. There were some interesting-sounding fish dishes and at the bottom of the hand-written menu board, it said that they have fresh apple cider. A traditional Malay drink? Who knows.
Just some pointers for future diners:
1. If you order the curry, make sure you eat other items. You won't be able to taste anything after 3-4 bites of the curry.
2. The curry has a nuclear, staining, yellowish color; don't wear white! It's impossible to wash out.
Thanks for the review! I've heard good things about the restaurant when it was in Chinatown. You're right about no Malaysian food competition in Honolulu. I have tried the Laksa at Panya Bistro though, it was too spicy for me but I know others who enjoy it. (I'm a wimp) Are there any mild dishes on Green Door's menu?
I haven't tried every single item on the menu.... but I'm guessing that as long as you stay away from the curry items, it should be okay. Betty, the lady who runs the restaurant (who also will take your order) may seem a bit gruff at first, but if you're super interested in the food, she may warm up to you. Try asking her for some mild dish suggestions.