Posted on Saturday, 14th January 2012
Indian restaurant Namaste Kitchen is from the team behind Salaam Namaste in Bloomsbury and Sabir Karim who previously worked at Chutney Mary and Red Fort. Based in Camden, Namaste Kitchen boasts an inviting and modern look. The main point of focus in the restaurant is its modern Indian grill. Its open layout allows diners to watch the chefs at work as well as lap up the lovely warmth that it emits, a feature that was particularly inviting on a cold winter’s night. To complete its cosy feel, Namaste Kitchen plays host to a blend of exposed brick walls, American walnut veneers and cream leather seats.
We kicked of our meal with a spicy soft shell crab (£5.95) coated with a crunchy semolina batter. The crab was yummy, if a touch oily. Accompanying the crab was a sweet fig and prune sauce which worked well with the crab.
Plump pieces of pan seared scallops (£5.50) with a mango and tomato salsa were decent and nicely cooked, but slightly lacked for seasoning.
Rajasthan Laal Maas (£12.95), a spicy lamb curry with roasted red chillies and pulao rice, impressed. There was a nice richness in the sauce and the spicing was well done. The lamb was also very tender.
A generous portion of Goan style sea bass with rice (£12.95) was tasty. Pan fried and served with a sauce made from coconut and mustard seeds, the fish was fresh and of a good quality, although I would have preferred it to be slightly less cooked for greater moistness. The sauce, with a gentle hint of sweetness, was a good match for the dish.
From the grill, a coriander and green chilli marinated wild African jumbo prawn (£9.95 each) with Goan spiced salt and a pickled lemon dressing was pleasant, but did not boast of a strong flavour of spices.
A side serving of sesame baby aubergine with mustard and curry leaf sauce (£3.50) was particularly gratifying for its gooey richness. It again produced a hint of sweetness.
Less successful were the desserts. A mango brûlée (£4.50) turned out to be more of a mushy mango concoction and was not particularly creamy. It was also too sweet. In contrast, a pistachio kulfi (£3.50) was creamy, but lacked for a robust pistachio flavour.
This was a decent meal, made more so by service that was particularly attentive and thoughtful. The prices were reasonable and its ambience makes it well placed as part of the Camden dining scene. It’s a respectable choice if you happen to be in the area, the kind of place you might go to for a fun night out with a big group of friends.
Food rating: 3/5
Service rating: 3.5/5
Price range: £17 – £30 for three courses. Excludes drinks and service.