Namaste to you, and now have your attention, may I please suggest you venture to Salaam Namaste in Camden Town. Offering the tastiest Indian cuisine from the freshest ingredients around, lovingly and beautifully presented, this truly is a taste sensation.
We were welcomed warmly by two-times winner Chef of the Year, Sabbir Karim, and shown to our seats for what promised to be a wonderful supper of Indian surprises that I had never seen on offer before. To settle in we were offered the usual poppadoms, but far from ordinary was the array of chutneys created in-house to compliment them.
Maybe it was the chutneys that did it, but I was now feeling somewhat adventurous and inquisitive so I asked the waitress to guide me in my choices. Not a bad idea for when you come here. A widely considered enthusiast for wine, I was especially curious and eager to discover an Indian Cabernet Sauvignon. A suitably rich and spicy bottle and an excellent suggestion that warmed up my palette ahead of our starter of Spicy Soft Shell Crab. Marinated in green pepper corn lemon sauce, coated in home made batter semolina and deep fried served with spicy fig and prunes sauce, it was simply divine and something I would never have expected to see on a menu in an Indian restaurant. Surprise was certainly be the buzzword of the evening’s filling feast session.
I am a big believer that dining out is often best enjoyed when shared. Thankfully so was my regular dining partner-in-crime. This particularly has benefits when a menu is placed in front of you with so many delicious sounding choices. We were both struggling somewhat so we soon agreed we would half each other’s starters. A good man with good taste is my fellow greed fiend, as I was certainly debating whether I should go for Indian style ‘surf’. He decided to indulge in my second option, Indian ‘turf’: the Venison Shami Kebab. This minced kebab was bursting with flavour to such a level of intensity I had never before experienced.
Moving on to the main course my inner child made a guest appearance at our table as my plate came literally sizzling. It was enthralling. Like Indian people seem to be, I too am very partial to lamb and the wide variety of kebabs that can be made from this fleeced farm dweller. It was therefore recommended I chose the Kebab platter. An astounding assortment of succulent tenderness. My policy on sharing food was looking difficult to uphold but as always the colleague backed me up with my second choice, Char-grill Jingha King prawns marinated with yoghurt, paprika, ground spices, dried mango and ajwain seeds.
Head Chef Karim has created an astonishing and varied menu of treats that while leaving you full when heaving yourself home, you will not feel the slightest pang of regret from over indulgence. I was particularly inspired at the range and versatility of Tandoori cuisine and was eager to come back to work through the other menu options another day. With a firm belief that hospitality is the key ingredient to the dining experience, the knowledgeable, friendly, but never overbearing team at Namaste will leave you feeling more than content.