Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Namaskar India Restaurant

This is an old post from my other blog More Thanh Words which I have decided to group here as it is about food.

Namaskar India is located on Glenferrie Road in Malvern. The first thing that hits you when you walk in is the strong unmistakable smell of curry. The restaurant looks a little like a cross between a take away shop crossed with a cafe. The interior is nice with a high ceiling and a few decorative touches. The tables are set very nicely with red table cloth, clean cutlery and crisp white plates. The only downfall was the tacky butcher paper lined over the tablecloth so cleaning up was easier and the tablecloth could be reused.

Service was friendly and helpful. They remembered any requests we had and were willing to explain items on the menu to us. The waiters were also dressed in neat black uniforms making them easy to spot and separate from customers. I don't like places where the waiters dress casually as you don't know sometimes who is the waiter or just customers.

My friend Paul had told me that the food at Namaskar is very cheap but also tasted good, as even his Indian friends come and eat there. For entrees, Paul, Serena and I shared the Indian Chilli Chicken and the Gobi Manchurian, marinated cauliflower fried with chilli, onions and spices. These turned out to be the highlight of the food for me. I loved the chicken, it was soft and had strong aromatic spices to it. The capsicum and onions accompanying it helped to break up the flavour. Also surprising, I found the cauliflower to be good too. It really didn't taste a lot like cauliflower and almost had a meat like quality to it.

Main course was Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala. These are well known Indian curry dished and Namaskar does them well. The Butter Chicken was very rich and got a bit much at the end while the Masala was hotter and equally aromatic without the richness of the butter. I had the Roti Plantha (roti stuffed with butter) bread to eat with the curries while Paul had the Plain Naan and Garlic Naan bread. The bread tasted similar to me with the Roti Plantha being a bit more moist and richer due to the butter. Serena had the Murthabak Kambing which is roti stuffed with lamb, onion, chilli, tomato, egg and spices. It tasted a bit like one of those Chinese meat buns.

For dessert we all shared a Roti Tisu, which was just crispy corn bread topped with condensed milk. It wasn't anything too special, just tasted like toast with condensed milk that I eat a lot of anyway.

Overall Namaskar India is a great place for Indian curry. There is a wide choice of foods and all at very affordable prices. You can easily get a meal and dessert for under $10. The atmosphere is nice and relaxing and service is good.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Good food but its the value for money that gets my recommendation.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

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