Maui Food and Dining

Eat Me: Monsoon India in Kihei

November 16, 2011, 9:54 PM HST
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By Kristin Hashimoto

Mango lassi, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

Cool, smooth, creamy and mango flavored.  The mango lassi at Monsoon India in Kihei is a drink that goes down with a satisfying sigh and a desire for more. It is a refreshing counterpoint to the variety of flavors and textures offered at the Indian restaurant.

In direct competition with the good food is the great ocean view, which spans the length of the restaurant. The ocean view is front and center with a wall of sliding wooden panels. The beach is a mere step away, and the impression of being on a tropical vacation is maintained without the trite mai tai’s and paper umbrella. The breezy space, salty-sweet ocean scent, and the charming artlessness of carefully placed white Christmas lights, create a cozy atmosphere, despite its relative expansive floor space.

Customers are allowed to bring their own libation of choice and sip through the night. A necessary entrée accompaniment is the garlic naan bread, with its delicate chew and heady but not overpowering garlic overtone. This flat bread is soft, served warm, and dips in the selection of saucy dishes to perfection.

Monsoon India Interior, photo by Kristin Hashimoto

The curries are diverse in flavor and color. Choices range from red, green and yellow curries with pork, chicken, lamb, seafood, vegetarian, and cheese. Tumeric, pepper corn, cashews, raisins, tomato, and other flavor and texture conglomerations of spice, nuts, sweet and peppery abound throughout the menu.

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The food is good, and for Maui, this Indian restaurant stands out for its views and relative lack of competition in the area. Sometimes the dishes run on the sweet side, and the spicing of the dishes may seem a bit course and overdone. However, it is definitely a spot to return to for a casual evening of palate popping flavors and eye pleasing vistas. Girls may want to bring a light sweater, or cover up at dinner as trade-winds sometimes create a crisp brisk-air atmosphere.

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Monsoon India is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch, and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner. They are located at 760 South Kihei Road within the Menehune Hotel. Reservations aren’t necessary. However, large parties will want to reserve ahead. Call 875-6666 for more information or to make reservations. Or, visit www.monsoonindiamaui.com.

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