Namaaste Kitchen

Restaurants, Indian Camden Town
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
© Michael Franke

Exposed brickwork, hanging lights and cream banquettes give this upmarket local a modern appeal. Ask the keen, helpful staff for a table towards the rear of the narrow dining area for a view of chefs skewering kebabs and placing them in the clay oven. Last year, we were impressed by the authenticity and diversity of regional dishes – we’re slightly less enamoured this time.

That said, a first course certainly hit the spot; chargrilled whole sea bass, infused with smoky mustard oil, lime juice and fiery chilli powder, was our star dish, notable for its tender, juicy flesh and punchy mustardy flavour. Good news continued with squishy baby aubergines, covered in fried onion-ginger paste, seasoned with sesame seeds and sharpened with tamarind. But that’s an end to the highlights. Five-lentil dal had as much spicing as a school-dinner soup.

Laal maas from Rajasthan was a shadow of the real deal; a severe shortfall of red chillies and the addition of floral screwpine essence discredited this traditional, slow-cooked hunter’s dish. Even the crisp gram-flour droplet raita was too sweet. Let’s hope culinary matters will be back on track soon.



Venue name: Namaaste Kitchen
Address: 64 Parkway
Transport: Tube: Camden Town
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Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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The thing with Indian restaurants, and when I say Indian restaurants I mean curry houses, is that you can have terrible Indian food or excellent Indian food but you have no idea which it will be until you fork the first spoonful into your mouth. You know the style and decor of an Indian restaurant is not really ever an indication of how good the food is going to be. And as long as you avoid Brick Lane, you're happy for the decor to be rubbish because it's part of the surprise and delight of having excellent, authentic Palak Paneer. So by that rule, Namaaste kitchen is a bit of a nuance. It's in lovely surroundings with white thick cotton tablecloths and napkins, soft lighting. The food is plated beautifully which my photos couldn't really do justice too. We started with some crispy poppadoms (£2.50 per person) and I had Tandoori Portobello Mushrooms (£5.95), which were flavourful and aromatic and had a lovely texture and balance of spice. I also had Sag Paneer (£4.75) as my main, weirdly cheaper than the starter and all the other mains. It was generous on the paneer, and also delicious and rich without being oily. The higher prices did add up at the end - we visited with a Tastecard which meant 2-4-1 on mains, which was very lucky as I would have had very mixed feelings parting with 50 quid for an Indian for two. Being a high-class sort of place the portions were smaller than most standard curry houses, but apart from the higher price, this was no bad thing as we came away feeling satisfied without being stuffed. Overall, would recommend going elsewhere for a cheap curry - but do recommend for a lovely meal out.

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