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May 29, 2009 11:36 AM

Himalayan Kitchen

8 of us went there last night after a meeting. 5 people got the Biryani, one Saag, one Tikka, and I had the lamb Vindaloo.

Everyone enjoyed their food, although a couple of people thought theirs was too spicy even though they asked for mild (I tried one of the "mild" Biryani's and I thought it was pretty mild). My "medium" Vindaloo was very good, I would probably go for spicy next time. One of our group had lived in the UK for a while and thought it was the best Indian food he has had since he left the UK. I was kind of disappointed that no one tried one of the Tandori dishes, always been curious about Tandori.

Himalayan Kitchen has a variety of Indian and specifically Himalayan foods, the "Sherpa Chili" dishes looked intriguing as well, sadly most of our group are not adventurous eaters, and just getting them to walk in the door was a major achievement (our new minister wanted to try it.)

My meal, no apps (except very good naan bread) was $18.50. The service was gracious if a bit confused. One of our orders of naan bread ended up at another table but was quicky replaced, and the manager was walking around making sure everyone was enjoying their meal. Remarkably (for Honolulu) there were several patrons with the red "bindu" on their forehead.

Having lived in Honolulu for 30+ years I really don't have a lot to compare to. As I said, I would probably ask for my Vindaloo spicier, but I don't know what Vindaloo is supposed to taste like. Is Himalayan food supposed to be spicy, or is mild more traditional? If I get it too spicy will i miss out on some of the more subtle flavors?

Definitely someplace I'm going to want to try a few more times at least.

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  1. Sounds good KM...

    1) Vindaloo... this dish is a specialty of Goa (small western tropical state in India) that was once a Portugese colony. The name is mangled from Vinha D'Alhos... what do you think do see any resemblance to those dishes in Hawaii (keeping in mind that Vinha D'Aloh is actually different among the primarily Azorean immigrants vs. what its like in Mainland Portugal). And do you see any resemblance to the Filipino Adobo dishes (which themselves descend from the Spanish version of Vinha D'Alhos etc.,)

    2) Did you see any Thali on the menu? They are sort of the Himalayan version of a Bento Box and provide you with a balance of small bites etc., Those are usually my favorite to eat Himalayan Indian / Nepalese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eat_Nopal

      Thanks EN.

      I didn't really think about the common roots with adobo at the time. To me the Vindaloo is a curry stew (a very tasty curry stew), and when I think of adobo I think vinegar and shoyu. Adobo that I have had is pretty much just pork/chicken and onions in the broth, which is not as thick as the vindaloo, and the vindaloo I ate last night had vegetables and potato. Next time (after I try a variety of the other dishes) I'll have to pay more attention to the common roots.

      I didn't notice Thali on the menu. They do have appetizers served on different breads. To be honest I was so overwhelmed by the menu I had a hard time remembering what we did order, let alone what we didn't. Thali sounds like a good way to go. And as you might have inferred from the people with bindu, they did have a variety of vegetarian dishes.

      I forgot to mention that it is a byob place, most of the other tables had picked up wine from across the street at Tamura's.

      1. re: KaimukiMan

        Yeah... the Indian part of the Vindaloo is that they sautee onions low & slow in ghee... then puree or just roughly macerate... and add vinegar... although the degree of vinager-ness depends on the regional affiliation of the cook. Most of the Indian places on the mainland are run by Punjabis where they use less spices & vinegar more meats, butter & cheese so the Vindaloos are mild. The one time I had it prepared by a Goan it was so vinagery it almost elicited a chocking response!

      1. re: Joebob

        It is on the second floor, and I don't remember seeing an elevator in that building. You might give them a call to check what accommodations they could make, but off-hand I don't think so.

        1. re: KaimukiMan

          I remember when the NYC Deli was there and I don't remember any access points.

      2. KM --incase you see this, where is Himalayan Kitchen? This may be the spot our server at Town mentioned to us...

        3 Replies
          1. re: shebop

            thanks shebop

            some people have had trouble finding it, the signage is iffy. probably you will be parking in the lot behind happy days / big city/diner /etc. on the 11th ave side (facing downhill) there is a two story building across the exit drive from happy days. Himalayan Kitchen is on the upper floor of the two story building, above the nail salon and the new (pretty decent) italian restaurant. go up the stais in the middle of the building, turn around and you are facing Himalayan Kitchen, behind the .. umm.. pavilion.
            I've been back about 3 times had great food each time and the staff is very helpful in describing the food.

            1. re: shebop

              Thanks, this is the spot...server at Town said it was a favorite.