Salaam Namaste serves a modern twist on Indian cuisine:
We were looking forward to our visit to Salaam Namaste on a chilly Friday evening. Described as ‘serving modern Indian cuisine in a sleek, contemporary setting’ it was immediately apparent on our arrival that this wasn’t just a traditional curry house. There was a lively and welcoming atmosphere, in a chic modern setting.
We were shown to our table and set to work studying the extensive menu whilst the friendly and knowledgeable waitress took our drinks order.
We chose a bottle of house red, but to our surprise were brought a bottle of “Soul Tree” Cabernet Sauvignon made in India.
We’ve not tried Indian wine before, but this was a lovely example with liquorice notes and a smooth finish. Along with the wine we were brought some plain and spicy poppadoms, beautifully presented with a selection of chutneys including a delicious, but very spicy tomato dip.
After taking advice from our waitress, we chose our starters. I opted for the Tandoori Portobello Mushroom, which was stuffed with figs, cashew nuts, curry leaf, raisins, chilli and Indian cheese. This was light and tasty, and not at all what I would expect in an Indian restaurant.
Your regular reviewer chose Scallops Three Ways – three scallops served in individual dishes with coriander and lime; coastal coconut and tomato and lime sauces respectively. Although she found the coriander and lime sauce a little overpowering, the others were delicious.
We needed further help from our waitress in selecting our main dishes. There are so many unusual and interesting-sounding choices that expert advice is essential!
Our meat option was Travancore Chicken Curry, a dish from Kerala, cooked in a pepper masala made from garlic, mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. This was described as “yummy” and despite the generous portion, the large bowl plate was wiped clean.
For the veggie, we went for Paneer Lababdar – cubes of Indian cottage cheese in a creamy tomato sauce with capsicum and exotic Indian spices. I’m not usually a big fan of Paneer, but this dish was delicious, and I made sure I mopped up all of the lovely cream sauce.
To supplement our main courses we also ordered sides of Sesame Baby Aubergine and Tarka Dhal as well as light and fluffy basmati rice. The dhal, in particular, was spectacular. Served in a metal pot, and beautifully spiced, it is probably the best example we’ve ever tasted.
By now we were feeling seriously full, but our waitress managed to persuade us to order desserts of Tandoori pineapple with coconut cream and Pistachio kulfi. Fortunately, these were quite light and provide a sweet palate-cleanser at the end of the meal.
After thanking our excellent waitress, and also meeting the restaurant’s owner we headed out into the night much warmer and less hungry than when we arrived. Although Salaam Namaste is a little “off the beaten track” tucked away in Bloomsbury a few minutes from Russell Square station, we’ll definitely be making the trip again to sample some of the other exciting and unusual dishes.
68, Millman Street,
Tel: 0207 405 3697
Fax: 0207 405 4636
Monday – Saturday: 12:30 – 2:30 / Dinner: 17:30 – 23:30
Sunday: Lunch: 12:30 – 2:30 / Dinner: 5:30 – 23:00
For excellent Indian dining in Mayfair try Matsya Regional Indian Restaurant