Maui Masala

The recent closing of Shangri La By the Sea in Kihei threatened to leave South Maui, and really the whole island, without an Indian food option. Enter two new Indian joints: Monsoon India, which as of this writing promised on its Web site to open “very soon” at Shangri La’s old waterfront location at Menehune Shores, and Maui Masala, which opened about a month ago in the Dolphin Plaza.

Tucked away in a small space (seating is either inside at a counter or outside on communal plastic tables) Maui Masala defines unassuming. The menu is simple, but contains all the essential dishes lovers of Indian food will expect.

A meal with one entrée plus rice or naan (leavened flat-bread) is $7; you can get two entrées for $9 or three for $12. Entrées include grilled meats, curries and veggie dishes. I opted for the chicken tikka masala, chunks of boneless chicken in a thick, tangy sauce made of tomatoes, onions, garlic and a hint of ginger. It’s rich and flavorful, but mild enough for the spice-averse. An order of two samosas—flaky pastries stuffed with lightly spiced potatoes and peas—proved a perfect complement. Items I’m excited to sample next time include the tandoori chicken and the garlic naan.

So come on—show support, Maui. This place is good, and it’s not like there’s an Indian joint around every corner. Maui Time Weekly, Jacob Shafer

Maui Masala
2395 S. Kihei Rd. #110, Kihei
Wed.-Mon., 11:30am-2pm, 5:30pm-8pm