London Larder was devised in 2012 to bring you the ultimate eating and drinking guide to London. It was borne out of a need for up-to-date, quantitative and whole-heartedly recommended places to eat and drink.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Salaam Namaste


Salaam Namaste is tucked away in the back roads of Bloomsbury in a quiet, residential road close to Russell Square tube and even closer to Holborn.

First impressions were of a friendly, family-run place and, as I was sitting next to the Christmas tree, I felt right at home. Salaam Namaste owner, Sabir Karim, opened the restaurant in 2005 and refurbished it this year. The menu also had a make-over; it is suitably varied and a step away from your standard curry house. After careful deliberation and help from our waiter, we decided on the Goan spiced scallops with mango salsa and the Chukandari Venison from the tandoor. There is a comprehensive wine list, should you want to match wine to your food, but there is something about Indian cuisine that makes me want a beer. Looking around the restaurant it seemed most other diners had the same sentiment.

Both starters were delicious. For me it was the venison that really stood out (maybe because I was feeling seasonally festive next to the Christmas tree); really tender and a great match to the accompanying beetroot. I was surprised by the addition of mustard, but it worked well.

I came close to ordering the crab vindaloo as a main, but was put off by the effort (and mess) of dissecting a whole, curried crab.  Instead my friend and I opted for the North Indian goat curry (Dhaba Gosht) and the Mint Lamb Tikka with a side of Tarka Dhal and rice. The Tarka Dhal was completely unnecessary given the volume of food we had inadvertently ordered, but absolutely delicious.  The goat curry was served in a traditional pot and was certainly not a stingy portion size.  The goat had evidently been cooked for a long time as it was melt in the mouth soft. The lamb was also tender, served with a fresh-tasting mint sauce and more mustard, which seemed to serve a decorative purpose in adding more colour to the dish.

Overall, the meal at Salaam Namaste was fantastic; great food and a really warm and welcoming restaurant. Although it has some traditional dishes on the menu, this is not a place for a standard curry as you’ll be paying a premium. If you want a nice meal out and good value for quality of food and ingredients, then I would highly recommend Salaam Namaste, just make sure you don’t order a lot of sides if you’re going for the goat curry.

68, Millman Street, WC1N 3EF

Average price of main course: £13
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
Value: 4/5


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