One of London’s hidden little treasures; discover some of the most authentic Indian dishes at Salaam Namaste, says Kellie Erm
I timed my visit to this little gem during the torrential rains of London, and arriving cold and drenched, a warming bowl of Dahl was calling my name.
The restaurant is unassuming from the outside; in fact most people would probably dismiss it and walk past without knowing what truly lies behind.
Once inside, I was greeted by a kind smile and an offer to take my soaking wet umbrella. I was seated and immediately given the cocktail menu to warm up.
Similarly to the exterior of the restaurant, the décor is simple and modest. Because let’s face it, you aren’t there for your Insta-game – you are there for a good meal.
The Food & Drink
No Indian meal would be complete without starting off with some fresh poppadum with an assortment of sauces, including yoghurt, mango and coriander.
This was followed by their Ananas Paneer Tikka Shaslik, a deliciously silky paneer with spicy pineapple chutney and of course some lamb samosas that came with a perfectly flaky pastry.
For mains we decided to go for their house specialty, the Chicken Kohlapuri. This is cooked in spices, with ginger, garlic, tomatoes and green chillies for a kick.
The dish was rich and comforting, and the perfect dish for the weather. We devoured it alongside creamy Saag Paneer, and Tadka Dal – the two must-haves.
I personally always recommend restaurants based on the quality of these two dishes, and Salaam Namaste did not disappoint. Let us not forget about the fluffy garlic naan bread we shared either.
We split the Gilafi Sheek Kebab, which were freshly minced lamb kebabs. These were not the best suit for the rest of the dishes we orders, as the flavours were very mild and could have used a little less time on the grill.
Of course Salaam Namaste has the usual suspects, but I would definitely recommend looking at their specialties. I would also ask the waiter what his favourite is (as we were not disappointed with the Chicken Kohlapuri).
As one might imagine, there was not much room for dessert. But we did try a smaller version of their ice cream, which sent us over the edge.
The Wordrobe Verdict
With rave reviews from Evening Standard food critic, Fay Maschler, and winning the 2012 Asian Curry Awards, you can be sure that the food is good.
Even though years have passed, they seem to be upholding the same excellent quality, flavour and service. Plus, with dishes from 6-9 pounds, you can’t go wrong on a rainy Wednesday after work.
There needs to be no frills in the decoration, when so much detail has been put in the menu. I guess it’s true what they say – never judge a restaurant by its exterior!
Words by Kellie Erm