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Curry Lunch at the Kahala


Japanese and Indian curry (left) and Thai seafood curry.

Our midday dining dates with places that we usually associate with evening meals and bigger budgets continues this week with a trip to the Kahala Hotel and Resort’s curry lunch. And while we wouldn’t normally use the words bargain and Kahala in the same sentence, we don’t know how else to say it. Because for $30, lunchers get access to the curry buffet, which includes a salad and a dessert bar and—this is what we love the most about going a bit posh for lunch—the service and atmosphere that comes standard with a higher tab.

Just a quick note before we continue: Don’t let the word “buffet” turn you off. We know that the b-word conjures up images of vats of overcooked mac-and-cheese and yardage upon yardage of unidentified crusty stuff. This is not that kind of buffet. That’s why, at the Kahala, it’s simply called the curry lunch. Yes, it’s a serve-yourself meal with no portion restrictions, but it’s better than that.

Between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, you’ll find at Plumeria Beach House the triumvirate of curries: Indian, Thai and Japanese. All of them are fragrant and warm with spice, and all of them vibrantly distinct. Because in the hands of a good chef, a curry is not a curry is not a curry.

The Thai red curry with seafood is packed with shrimp, scallops, crab legs and lobster tails in a thick coconut-lime-basil scented broth that never gets muddled or boring. The Japanese curry is much lighter than the stuff that gets ladled over katsu and added to ramen broth in our favorite fast-food places. Not that we don’t like the thick, sweet golden version, but this we can eat—and eat—and still make it back to our desks. But the one we wanted to go back for again and again (and maybe we did. Don’t judge.) is the Indian beef curry. The beef masala is heavy with cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg … all the spice and heat we love, and all in good balance. But we also love it because we can’t get enough of the accompanying pineapple and apricot chutneys that are (dangerously) also laid out for the taking, and that’s when we realized: We’re more buffet people than we like to admit.

Curry lunch at The Plumeria House at Kahala Hotel and Resort
Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., $30, 739-8760, restaurants@kahalaresort.com

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