Directions: Now located at 46 Tho NhuomPhone: 84.4.3935.2400
I'm Indian, I've lived in India my whole life, I eat only Indian food, I've visited all of the Indian restaurants in the world, all my friends are Indian, my cat is Indian, my favourite film is Indiana Jones, I'm in India right now...so I think I know a thing or two about Indian food.
Namaste is great!
I loved Namaste and had been ordering from the establishment on a regular basis for the past 6 months so it pains me to write this review. Last week my sister and I phoned for a home delivery of our usual comfort food fix, Chicken Tikka Masala. A few hours later we both fell into similar painful delirious stages of stomach pain, nausea and mild fever – or to put it briefly – food poisoning. But my blind faith in the best curry in town surpassed my rational side, so I shrugged it off and blamed it on something else we had earlier.
So I waited a few days for my digestive system to fully recover and ordered from Namaste again yesterday. Now I am writing this review at 7 in the morning after a sleepless night of sporadic bathroom trips. My stomach still makes desperate cries of agony. Fool me twice, shame on me right?
I thought that my being Vietnamese and the widespread disregard for food-safety in Vietnam mean that my body is impervious to most mundane food germs, which gives me leeway to be semi-cavalier about what I put in my mouth as long as the taste justifies it. I’m not sure if a one star is too harsh on the place that consistently churns out delicious, albeit debatably unsanitary, food. But unlike service or décor, food safety is something we cannot overlook. Now don’t get me wrong, I really wish Namaste the best and genuinely hope that Gopi will place tighter inspection on the sanitary condition of his kitchen and staffs so that one day I can return to this fine establishment again. But until then, my body can’t handle any more involuntary purging.
Went to lunch at Namaste Hanoi. What a pleasant and enjoyable outing. Our host, Gopi, treated us to a very special lunch indeed. It was a three course affair:
Nazakati Paneer - spiced cheese and onion in roomali roti... Think rolled pancake with a cheese filling;
Bhindi Rajasthani - crispy fried ocra with yoghurt dip... The dip was very fresh; &
Fish Tikka Naryali - Mackerel Kebabs: cubed boneless fish in coconut, garlic and spices, baked in a clay tandoor... Very tasty
Dal Makhani - black lentils, kidney beans and cream... By far my favorite, a lovely mild curry;
Vegetable Jalfraize - mixed vegetables with onion & capsicum in spicy gravy... This had an initial enticing sweetness followed up with a decent spicy hit, well balanced and surprisingly pleasant and full of flavor;
Chicken Balti - chicken kadhai served in a traditional balti... Another pleasant curry with a moderately spicy hit;
Prawn Tawa Masala - a sizzling dish of prawns win a spicy sauce... Its hard to fault this dish, the prawns were cooked well the spice was there, it had flavour, but kinda left me a little flat;
Moti Pulao - basmati rice with cream, capsicum and cottage cheese... This was nice. It was a great accompaniment to the chicken balti and the vegetable jalfraize; &
Plain and Garlic Nan - nan breads cooked in a clay tandoor... Very tasty, crispy, flaky and substantial: I tried cutting one with a knife and fork and the fork bent - too much pressure, trust me, tear it with your hands;
Gulab Jamun with Kulfi - Khoya balls in saffron, cardamom sugar syrup served with indian style ice cream... This was a suprise indeed, not too sweet, some interesting though balanced flavours and a nice way to finish off lunch.
The surroundings were bright and well decorated with hand painted oil paintings featuring different aspects of Indian culture, such as dance, food, landscapes, etc.
A minor (very minor) point was that when the room we were in, The Spice Room, was full of people it sometimes became hard to hear/understand what a waiter or guest, across the table, was saying.
The food was elegantly presented in copper dishes, and the main plates were changed between courses. The tables and chairs were solid, movable and comfortable. Service was very good and attentive, although drinks orders tended to be grouped, thus leaving some guests wondering if their order was coming, or had been forgotten. However, when the drinks did arrive, they were well served, cold and no-one was mis-served or forgotten.
All in all the experience at Namaste Hanoi was very pleasant and memorable. This restaurant could fast become one of my family’s favorite places for dining out in Hanoi, certainly it is high on our personal “Recommended” list.
My girlfriend and I ate at Namaste tonight after reading reviews and hearing from numerous people that the food was excellent.
It's more than that. I believe that this place is simply special. We have eaten Indian food in cities all over the world big and small, some are memorable and others were forgettable as well as few regrettable. Namaste is not only memorable but now on the top of not only Indian food lists, but ranks amongst the best restaurants I have been.
The service was exceptional and the food was a perfectly seasoned medley of spices that stretched my waistline beyond comfort due to not being able to stop. It is obvious the ingredients are fresh.
This is just the start. The owner Gobi came up to us and spent time to talk to us. That's right US... not just me, but also my girlfriend. He was respectful and remembered our names. This is remarkable in of itself… as I am sure he remembers everyone’s name he comes in contact with in the restaurant. I felt as if I was a friend's house eating and talking about our lives. He told us about his passion of owning a restaurant and providing great service. He also mentioned that many of his staff have worked for him for over a decade. This speaks volumes about a place. If someone treats his staff right, they in turn treat the customer right. Gobi is not about the bottom line in his profits as he is bottom line in his ethics, customer service and how he treats people. This in turn affects his profit's bottom line I am sure as it should. This is a place I will gladly give my business.
It is not only refreshing to meet someone like Gobi, but rare. I have always believed that if you have a passion for what you do... the product is excellent and Namaste does not disappoint. I feel fortunate to find a place like this and will frequent the restaurant again and again.
I ordered a vegetarian meal from Namaste Hanoi on the Vietnammm.com website and was quite pleased. My order consisted of rice pilau, eggplant in curry sauce, mango lassi, and lentils in curry sauce. The food was good and so was the service. Only complaint is that they didn't bring utensils.