Monday, October 12, 2009
Yesterday was a beautiful day in Hawaii. But then again, when isn’t a day in Hawaii beautiful?
Tony and Michelle wanted to take us to a Sunday brunch at a restaurant called “Monsoon”. They serve an Indian buffet. This was one of Michelle’s go to places when she was pregnant with Camryn.
I’m thinking to myself, “Indian?” Uh, I don’t really like Indian. It’s the whole curry thing. Way too much and I just don’t care for the taste. But what are you gonna say to someone who is hosting you and wants to share a favorite place with you? So okay, I’m game. I’ll try anything. I may not eat it twice, but I’ll try it once.
Off we went. The restaurant is beautiful. It has just been redone and the ambiance is fantastic. Look at that view! The front of the room is open and the ocean breezes float through. It is heaven. The owners greeted Tony & Michelle and were so gracious and attentive. We were a tad early so all of the food hadn’t been set out yet. That was okay. It gave us a chance to take pictures and get settled before the feast began.
We watched a kite surfer as he rode the waves. It was just awesome. The smell of the ocean is one of my most favorite smells in the world. And the breeze coming through the room was amazing.
It was time. Let the games begin! We headed up to the buffet and looked down the line. Everything was fresh and piping hot. It was all labeled, which was a huge help for me. And the owner was right there to answer any questions. He was so encouraging about trying the dishes.
Here is my plate! I know, I know. What a pig. But hey, it’s a buffet! And I was told to try a little of everything. And this wasn’t even everything. I was really surprised. According to Tony, good Indian food will turn your head. And he deemed this as “good”! I was finding that I liked Indian food!
I really liked the naan, potato pakoras, chicken tika masala, tandoori chicken, lentil daal, vegetable korma, spinach, and something else I don’t know the name of that had mushrooms in it. The dish I loved the most was the rice pudding. It is more of a milk and rice with raisins. I followed Michelle’s example and added a big spoonful of a dish that was sitting beside the pudding. It was dark brown and looked like it was shredded. I mixed it in the pudding, just like Michelle did. It was amazing! It had a wonderful spicy flavor; cinnamon, cardamom and other flavors similar. It was heaven.
The owner came over to check with us and I had to ask him what was in the dish with the pudding. He looked puzzled. I held up my bowl to show him and a look of shock passed over his face. He burst out laughing! He said that it was pickled. Like a relish. No way. It was delicious with the pudding. I asked what was in it and he said carrots, eggplant, other vegetables and pickled ingredients. This couldn’t be! It was sweet. He called the chef over. His wife had made the relish. It turned out that the relish was made of carrots, dried milk, butter, cashews, almonds, cinnamon, cardamom and some other spices. It was a different relish than the owner was thinking of. Whew! We didn’t feel quite so stupid.
And because I told them how much I loved it, they brought me a dish of it to take with me. What a wonderful experience. Except for one thing. The four of us could barely walk to the car the car because we were so stuffed. What a meal.