Curry is one on Britain's best loved meals. Everyone has their favourite dish, ordered again and again. We British are creatures of habit, snuffling plate after plate of korma, tikka, rogan josh, passanda, naan, pilau rice, bhaji........
Needless to say that's what I expected when I trekked to Camden to eat at Namaaste. Why do we expect to be able to eat the same thing in every curry restaurant? I was going to dine on lamb rogan josh and I was looking forward to it.
On approach, Namaaste was lost in a street full of restaurants. Inside, the decor was nothing special though there was a grill station at the back which I got rather excited about. I always loved the prospect of someone cooking in front of you, not least as shows they have nothing to hide. In the evenings the grill comes into its own, a riot of enticing smells and sizzling meats.
The menu itself was a blur of excitement. Each dish I read about was more enticing than the next. Run of the mill this was not. In its place was soft shell crab marinated in a green peppercorn and lemon sauce and served with plum chutney. I had a pistachio korma with rice and it came adorned with silver leaf. A little naff but presentation wise, a nice addition. The special of the day was goat curry which was meltingly tender and fragrant. All this was served with slices of pashwari naan, oozing with honey. Chef Sabbir Karim was winner of the 2012 Best Chef of the Year award. The quality and innovation of the food is testament to this accolade.
Service was impeccable. Our waiter knew the menu inside and out and made recommendations for us. I didn't expect to see anything on the dessert menu but kulfi and yet he appeared with a veritable sweet feast. The passion fruit cheesecake was cleansing and moreish. The dessert platter consisted of the unusual sweet carrot samosa and crisp almond roll. Throughout our meal, he attentively cleared the crumbs from our table with a napkin and poured our wine. Oh and the wine was very drinkable and reasonably priced.
At this point alarms bells might have started to ring for you. This quality food paired with this level of service must be expensive I hear you cry. Well no actually, every main course comes with rice included, coming in at a very reasonable £12.95. For me, Namaaste clearly cares about quality and flavour. Next time you get that inevitable curry craving, book a table and wow your friends with something a little different.