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Observations on Maharani and Himilayan Kitchen on Oahu

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I've grown very fond of Himilayan Kitchen, and russkar suggested I try Maharani, so I did. Ordered lamb saag and fish masala curry. I thought the lamb was actually kind of uninteresting. The spinach was pureed and I prefer to see the green streaks and savor the slight variations in texture. It also tasted OK and the lamb was not overcooked, but seemed to be underspiced. However, the portion was a little larger than HK's The fish masala curry was quite good and the amount of fish was substantial. The rice at Maharani was slightly overcooked but nicely flavored, whereas the rice at HK is just plain rice. Generally though, I prefer the complexity and freshness of the curry flavorings at HK. The pooris at Maharani are way too greasy, definitely inferior to HK's. Another plus for HK was that, on the Fri. eve. we went, Maharani was very noisy and the tables seemed to be closer together than at HK. Hard to make conversation. Prices are slightly smaller at HK, but, as above, so are the portions. My preference, by a small margin, is HK though, to be fair, I might enjoy Maharani more at a less crowded time, if such exists. Any better Indian restaurants on Oahu than these?

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  1. can you tell me more about himalayan kitchen? (sounds more tibetan than indian?) i haven't eaten good indian since i lived in new york several years ago. where is it and what are your faves? thanks!

    5 Replies
    1. re: indelibledotink

      It is on 11th St. in Kaimuki. Sorry that I can't provide more info just now as I am in Austin, TX. It will come up in a Google search when combined with Oahu.

      1. re: Joebob

        oh, ok, used to be a mongolian place and then a cafe?

        1. re: indelibledotink

          That space has had a variety of eateries over the years, but HK is more Nepalese-Indian than Tibetan. Haven't been there recently, but have always enjoyed what we had. We have a friend who's husband is Nepalese and that is the only one of the Indian type places he will eat.

          1. re: indelibledotink

            it is on the second floor of the building facing the basketball court at the Kaimuki Rec Center, across the parking exit from the Happy Day kitchen. For a while it was a steakhouse. Downstairs was a "deli" (taste of New York) and is now an Italian restaurant. HK has been expanding to encompass more and more of the first floor since it opened about 3 years ago.

            1. re: KaimukiMan

              correction... more and more of the second floor.

      2. I prefer Maharani, but I have only been to HK once. I always stop by Maharani when I visit Oahu. I usually get korma or tandoori and a bunch of breads. Sometimes I go for the saag, but I don't eat lamb. I think the saag paneer is pretty standard. I like going to Maharani because of the value meal- you get an entree, naan and a samosa for a set price. I don't think its an amazing value but compared to what you pay for Indian on Kauai, it definitely is a good savings.

        Totally random note, but I love the glasses and silverware at Maharani. I agree that it can get super crowded to the point that its a drawback.

        1. I was at Himalayan Kitchen last night with friends. The food was very good, and the servers attentive. Food was a little slow coming out of the kitchen. I would imagine it is even more of a problem when the place is really busy. I still prefer it to Maharani, although it is good too. I was disappointed that they changed the name of the "himalayan seafood" to something else. I was always amused (in a good way) by that section's name.

          1 Reply
          1. re: KaimukiMan

            It probably is an indication of my prejudice, but I've always thought that the disorganization at HK gives it an air of authenticity. Once, when I picked up take out, they had run out of plastic forks, so they gave me a regular fork and I had to cary it around in my car for a month until I went to the Movie Museum and could return it.