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Restaurant Review: Monsoon India - Oahu Waikiki

Updated on July 17, 2012
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Marlene relies on customer reviews to make informed decisions. When she discovers a valuable product or service, she shares her experience.

Monsoon India Menu
Monsoon India Menu | Source

Monsoon India

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

Rating: $$$$$

Manager: Scott Bayless
Chef: Emron Khan

Monsoon India - Authentic Indian Cuisine

Monsoon India - Authentic Indian Cuisine
Monsoon India - Authentic Indian Cuisine | Source

Manager - Scott Bayless

The manager, Scott, was most accommodating.
The manager, Scott, was most accommodating. | Source

Monsoon India Waikiki

Monsoon India Waikiki
Monsoon India Waikiki | Source

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, 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

Curry Chicken, Lamb Boti Kebab, and Basmati Rice
Curry Chicken, Lamb Boti Kebab, and Basmati Rice | Source

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.

Personal Rating

5 stars for Monsoon India Restaurant

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

1778 Ala Moana Blvd, Waikiki Honolulu Hawaii:
1778 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA

get directions

Monsoon India is located in Suite 213 (level two) of the Discovery Bay Shopping Center.


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    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hi Rajan, yes I was surprised to find authentic Indian food in Hawaii. I heard people raving about this place from the moment I arrived in Hawaii and was glad it was on the list of restaurants to review.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Hey Marlene, Did I expect to see authentic Indian cuisine being served in a far off place like Hawaii? No way! But I'm pleasantly surprised and glad you could taste real Indian stuff and come to appreciate it.

      Voted up, interesting.

      By the way, looking at the spread had me drooling. Thanks for sharing.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      Hi alocsin, if you ever do get to Oahu, this is one place you simply must visit. If you know someone who is going to be visiting Oahu, refer them to Monsoon India. The service is excellent and the food is absolutely authentic.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Not that I'm heading to Oahu anytime soon, but I'll keep this restaurant on my list because I love Indian food. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      Aloha Mhatter99, and thank you for your positive feedback. I'm still in Hawaii, enjoying my time. The chefs here create the most amazing meals. There are some that are authentic to the ethnic cuisine, like Monsoon India and some that blend the cuisine of other nations. It's all good.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Great review. thank you

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      6 years ago from USA

      I am so glad you enjoyed the review. I hope it inspired you to visit Monsoon India if ever you are in Oahu, Hawaii. And, I agree - Moana is such a beautiful sound. It even looks pretty.

      Oh, by the way, is my company. My husband is traveling with ME! He is a professional in the media field, so I commissioned him to take pictures and videos of the restaurants. It is a lot of fun. And, visiting restaurants as a reviewer makes it all more exciting. All of the reviews are going to be published on my website, plus a few of them will be shared here.

      Well, I'm off to lunch. There is a restaurant here that the Food Network raves about. It serves breakfast type foods all day long. I'm looking forward to going there.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Dear Marlene,

      I loved and enjoyed reading your hub about your review of Monsoon India in Hawaii!! This was so well written! Thank you for sharing part of your trip with must be wonderful to be able to travel with your husband for his work, to be able to share in what he does. What a beautiful place to be able to work in & you must have had such fun reviewing all those other restaurants too! I had to tell you...part of the name of the street this restaurant is on, is the name of a three year old little daughter's friend's little girl is named Moana. The spelling is exactly the same....They aren't Hawaiian, but she just loved this name for her daughter. Take care, Helen


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