For the longest time I wouldn’t try Indian food as I think I was afraid of it. Afraid of food you say? A New York Foodie afraid of food? LOL!! Well yes, I suppose I was! Indian food did scare me a bit as I thought it would be too spicy for me and that I just wouldn’t like it. I am so glad that I finally decided to really give it a try. I got a few recipes and decided to make some at home and well you know what, I fell in love!!! Then on Saturday May 25, 2013 I fell in love some more with this most delicious tasting food! My husband and I went to Namaste Indian Cuisine located in the Astoria section of Queens, NY. I will be doing a review of this wonderful restaurant. I decided to write the review in sections as I think it will be easier.
DÉCOR AND AMBIANCE
The restaurant is small but intimate. They use earth tones in their décor which I find to be very warm and inviting. The lighting is low but not to the point where you cannot see anything, but adds to the ambiance of the restaurant as it can be quite romantic. Soft Indian music can be heard playing in the background. The walls are covered in glass tiles and mirrors. Very stylish pendant lights hang over the tables.
The service at Namaste was excellent. As soon as we walked in we were greeted and shown to our table. We were handed menus and then left to decide what delicious delicacies to try. A server came over rather quickly to take our drink orders and my husband and I both ordered white wine. They only serve wine and beer at Namaste. The service was prompt but not intrusive. Our water glasses were refilled in a timely manner. The food came out in a timely manner as well.
The food was just amazing and quite abundant. When you first sit down they put down Roasted Lentil Wafers which are called Papadum. This was served with a Cilantro Chutney and also a Tamarind Chutney. Both were delicious and just a bit spicy but not fire hot. For starters we had the Vegetable Samosas which are seasoned potatoes mixed with green peas, and spices wrapped in a crispy pastry. They were very delicious and not greasy at all. We also got Chicken Sheesh Kebabs which are Ground chicken seasoned with fresh herbs and spiced in a rolled skewer. This is what I was quite excited to try as I do make them at home. These delicious morsels had perfectly balanced spices mixed in with the ground chicken and grilled to perfection!
Chicken Sheesh Kebabs
For our main courses I got Chicken Tikka Masala and my husband got Coconut Goat. The Chicken Tikka Masala was amazing! Chicken Tikka are chunks of boneless chicken marinated in spices and yogurt and baked in a Tandoor which is a clay oven. The Masala is a tomato based sauce which was really good and nice and spicy. They offered it mild, medium or hot. I got mine medium and it did have that nice spicy bite to it.
Chicken Tikka Masala
My husband got the Coconut Goat which is goat cooked in dry spices and grated coconut. He said it was delicious. Both dishes are served with Basmati Rice.
Garlic Naan Bread
We also got the Garlic Naan bread which was really good too. It had just the right amount of garlic and oil.
We even had dessert which we both shared. Carrot Halwa which is finely grated carrot with honey butter and nuts. I did like this as it was not too sweet at all….just the right amount of honey.
I will definitely be going back to this wonderful Indian gem as I there are so many more delicious dishes that I want to try.
If you are going to be in the New York City area, I highly recommend going to Namaste. They do not disappoint!