[ Zaffron ]  
Honolulu, Hawai`i 96813
(808) 533-6635

[ VERDICT: 3 Stars ] [ Food: *** ] [ Service: ** ] [ Ambiance: *** ] [ Value: *** ]

Zaffron is one of the few Indian restaurants in Hawaii (specifically, "authentic North Indian Cuisine"). Located on a busy corner in downtown Honolulu, where parking is notoriously scarse, the restaurant has still managed to survive on its lunch menu as well as its dinner buffet.

Not surprisingly, the foods range from spicy to really spicy, but in that sneakily smooth, mild-at-first Indian way. While they tout their vegetarian fare, it never impressed me. I almost always go for their "mixed plate," which includes half a dozen things from various parts of their menu. Other favorites include the samosas biryani, tandoori chicken, and lamb. And even if your tongue bursts into flame, their great nan bread can always rescue you.

My friend Albert "Panther" Vanderburg treasured their Indian iced tea, but as of summer 2001, it seems to have been discontinued. Putting their hot Chai tea in a glass of ice is a passable but unenlightening alternative.

Their music selection is often conspicuous in both volume and diversity — once I was nearly moved to dance in the aisle to some funky Indian techno. There also seems to be high turnover in staff, and even when they're making their rounds, they occasionally forget people sitting in parts of the restaurant. But when you do get a server they are courteous and helpful.

In Others' Words:

Do you have something to say about Zaffron? Share your thoughts and they'll be republished here for others to see.

© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: imr@lightfantastic.org · Created: 15 August 2001 · Last Modified: 15 August 2001