UPDATE: Akmal moved to 259 Haili St, Hilo, Hawaii
Akmal is a small Pakistani & Indian restaurant located in a new food complex on the corner of Kilauea Ave & Lanikaula St which also has Spoonful (coffee/ice cream shop), H&K Lunch Shop (Korean), Soontaree’s Deli (vegetarian cuisine), and a Subway.
Akmal is supposedly the only restaurant of its kind on the Big Island. I was excited to see an Indian restaurant popping up in Hilo since I’ve only tried Indian food a couple of times on Oahu, and I’ve never tried Pakistani food.
Inside, there are only a few tables (~5-6). A counter with a variety of different dishes are kept hot to choose from during lunch time. During dinner, you order from a menu. When I entered at about 11:30am, I was the only person there, which seemed strange since the last time I came here, there were a lot more people.
They have this cool display of spices.
I ordered a plate of Garbanzo Bean Curry and some kind of Tempeh Curry to go, which also came with basmati rice and yogurt chutney ($7.00).
The basmati rice is a wonderful long, fluffy, and very light type of rice. It went really well with the curries since it can soak up a lot of liquid. Considering this was all vegetarian, I was amazed at the amount of flavor and richness there was in both curries.
The garbanzo beans had a nice firm chewable consistency and it still soaked up a lot of the flavors (lots of coriander and cumin). It was just slightly spicy. The tempeh curry was really good! Very rich and creamy with a nice spicey flavor. The tempeh went great with the curry sauce and it looked like it had potatoes, zucchinni, and onions inside of it. The yogurt chutney tasted great with everything, mellowing out the kick of the spices.
A co-worker ordered a Samosa Plate ($6.00).
Two samosas (deep fried pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and green peas) topped with garbanzo bean curry, salad, and yogurt chutney. I’ve had this the last time I came here and it is perfect for a light lunch. The salad and garbanzo beans go really well with the light and crisp samosas.
I’m not sure if what I ate was Indian or Pakistani, but it all tasted yummy. Good times.
Akmal Pakistani & Indian Cuisine
259 Haili St, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: (808) 769-3944