About Spice Monkey


Spice Monkey’s first incarnation started in 2007 as a restaurant which was constructed in the historic Howden Building in downtown Oakland. From the beginning it was a labor of love. When her team moved into this space, they took extensive measures to restore tiles and remodel to keep the integrity of the interiors original design when it was a 1920s tile showroom. Their goal was to create a beautiful, enjoyable atmosphere for the community with nourishing food.

Spice Monkey Restaurant was committed to creating a delicious “Globally Inspired Cuisine” utilizing California’s homegrown abundance. All of the dishes are made with great care and attention to flavor using only the freshest ingredients.

The Spice Monkey Restaurant menu, like Kanitha’s life story, was eclectic and flavorful. Throughout her life she was invited into the homes of people from around the world, blessed to experience a variety of family and cultural food traditions. She took these experiences and used them to create dishes which bring together spices, culinary traditions and ingredients form around the world.

Kanitha’s passion for blending flavors from around the world inspired her to create unique blends of spices, marinades and rubs, which was the heart of the food at Spice Monkey. The herbs used for these creations were, whenever possible, grown by Kanitha herself or sourced from organic growers. Hand crafted spice-blends, loose leaf teas, dressings and hot sauces made the magic of Spice Monkey.

After 10 years of serving the community, Spice Monkey Restaurant has been transformed into another restaurant concept called, “Howden Restaurant & Bar“.


We are excited to announce that Spice Monkey will continue globally. We will officially launch and distribute our first packaged tea and spice line in spring of 2018. Our goal is to share Kanitha’s hand crafted recipes, spice-blends and loose leaf teas to be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, where ever you are in the world.

Learn more about Kanitha Matoury.