Restaurant Review: Monsoon India - Oahu Waikiki
Authentic Indian Cuisine
1778 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 213, Waikiki, Honolulu Hawaii, 96815
Fax - 808-941-5112
Hours of Operation:
Monday to Saturday - 4:30 pm -10:00 pm
Sunday Buffet - 11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Buffet/ À la Carte - after 4:30 pm
Manager: Scott Bayless
Chef: Emron Khan
Link to Restaurant Website
Link to Google Map
Monsoon India - Authentic Indian Cuisine
Manager - Scott Bayless
Monsoon India Waikiki
My Review of Monsoon India
Upon entering, I was greeted with a warm and welcoming smile from the manager, Scott Bayless and the front desk receptionist. It was the kind of greeting I have become accustomed to when visiting Hawaii. People here are friendly and as a traveler, that is important to me.
The service was beyond excellent. After being welcomed, I was seated swiftly and given a moment to sit back, relax, and collect my composure following a long walk from my hotel to the restaurant.
At the precise moment, the manager came to my table and asked how he could serve me. I liked that! Instead of assuming I wanted to start off with a drink, the manager asked, “How may I serve you?” Then he smiled and waited for me to answer. The question opened the opportunity for me to start off with a drink or to start right in with the menu. I was settled enough and opted to start with the menu. Then, upon seeing what I ordered, the manager was able to suggest the perfect drink to pare with my meal. I liked that, too.
I was traveling on assignment with my husband who is also the photographer for FoodByteSite.com, FoodByteSite.com is a food information website with food news, recipes, and restaurant reviews for the Pacific Islands and western region of the United States. My husband and I were in Hawaii for 15 days to review restaurants in Hawaii. Monsoon India was the first of 20 restaurants we had slated to review for our 15 day assignment. I must admit that visiting Monsoon India was the perfect start to a wonderful assignment. I mean, how many foodies get the opportunity to go on assignment to such an exotic place as Hawaii?
What We Ordered
I ordered the Curry Chicken and my husband ordered the Lamb Boti Kebab. We both were overjoyed with our selection as the flavors of our dishes brought extreme delight to our palates.
Our meal arrived with the restaurant’s famous Indian Basmati Rice cooked with anise seed and cardamom.
I wish the pictures were clearer so you could see how colorful and delicious the meal looked. The ambiance of the table setting was demure so the lighting was low and relaxing - not conducive to taking pictures, but conducive to relaxing and enjoying a good meal.
My Meal at Monsoon India Restaurant
Link to Monsoon India Menu
The manager was extremely accommodating. To our joy, the manager brought out some of the restaurant’s favorite side dishes. We were treated with the following chutneys:
Achar - Mixed pickles with Indian spices.
Mango Chutney - Mango simmered with cinnamon, cloves, and raisins.
Raita - Lightly-spiced yogurt with grated cucumber and tomato.
The meal was topped off with the Rice Pudding that I ordered for dessert. The menu describes this dessert as follows: “All-time favorite traditional style rice-pudding served warm.” I agree with the description. The rice pudding is a “must have” to finish off any meal you enjoy at this restaurant.
I am going to publicly admit that I have never been a fan of Indian cuisine. But, after visiting Monsoon India in Honolulu, Hawaii I have a totally different opinion of Indian cuisine. In fact, Indian food is now my favorite cuisine. I’m going to go further to say that you have not had true, authentic Indian food until you have tasted the food prepared at Monsoon India. Before I leave Hawaii, I am making it a goal to go back to experience Monsoon India once more.
Meeting The Chef
We were delighted to meet Chef Khan who came to our table with a welcoming spirit. Chef Kahn shared some of his techniques to devising such a magnificent curry. One of his techniques is to simmer the onions for four hours in a mix of selected spices; one of which includes cardamon. I wish I knew more, but chefs have to protect their secrets, you know! That's OK. It just means I need to go back to Monsoon India if I want to enjoy that fabulous bowl of curry again. It's definitely worth it.
Non Compensated Review
My meal was not compensated and represents an uncompromising evaluation of the experience received at Monsoon India Restaurant on Friday, June 29, 2012.
My meal was comparable to what I would expect to pay for a fine dining experience in Waikiki. I didn't order much, but, I was happy to pay what amounted to just over $50.00 for enjoying a quiet, relaxing evening out for two people.
Map to Monsoon India
Monsoon India is located in Suite 213 (level two) of the Discovery Bay Shopping Center.
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