It’s not everyday that you get invited to review a restaurant where the owner and chef is also a British Airways purser! Sabbir Karim opened Salaam Namaste in Bloomsbury in 2005 and named it after a famous Bollywood movie, and it’s been delighting locals and foodies for over 10 years – it’s even won an award. Sabbir believes that combining travel with being a chef and restaurateur allows him the opportunity to taste food from around the world, which he then adapts with an Indian twist.
I invited my friend Zane along with me last Friday night to try the modern Indian menu at Salaam Namaste. Zane and I met a couple of years ago when we both did Google’s Squared Online digital marketing course and we’ve remained friends since. Zane is vegetarian and loves Indian food so she was a good choice to be my dinner guest!
We started with papadoms, which came with three different chutneys. I absolutely love papadoms and I was delighted that there were three chutneys to dip them in to rather than just mango chutney – and they were all so tasty! In fact, we ordered more papadoms…. I loved that there were two different types of papadoms too – plain and spicy (although not too spicy). We ordered prosecco to accompany our meal, which is always a good choice for spicy food (and any other food, in my opinion!).
Zane, on a recommendation from our waiter, ordered Old Delhi’s Aloo Tikki Chaat as a starter. It was a fried fritter or dumpling of mashed potaoes served with chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and a salad garnish. Zane said it was delicious and not too spicy but had a good kick to it.
I love soft shell crab but have only ever had it in Thai restaurants so I was intrigued to see it on the menu and curious as to how it would taste. So of course I had to then order it! The Manglorean soft shell crab was served with a date and tamarind chutney and was absolutely lovely – light and just the right amount of spice. I also liked how it was served on a wooden board with a little side dish of the chutney and a wedge of lemon. Very modern!
For mains Zane opted for the stir-fried Okra with raw mango, which is one of the vegetable side dishes that can also be ordered as a main. Our waiter, Ruhel, recommended naan and garlic naan to accompany the dish. Zane adores okra so she really enjoyed this dish and said it had the perfect amount of spice. Ruhel also suggested the Mango Kachumber salad as a side dish for both of us, which was a bit like a salsa.
I wanted to order a spicy curry however I love a good korma and the pistachio chicken korma was just too tempting to resist. I’m so glad I didn’t resist the temptation because it was mouth-wateringly good! Honestly, the sauce was amazing and I wolfed it down with some pulao rice.
Both Zane and I were really full after our starters and mains but we couldn’t end the evening without sampling dessert! We decided to share the mango and coconut brûlée cheesecake. Mango and coconut are such a lovely flavour combination and I do love a good cheesecake.
The cheesecake was a great way to end the meal as it wasn’t too heavy and the mango served as a palate cleanser. Zane declared it the best meal she’d had in ages and vowed to return! I throughly enjoyed it too and would recommend Salaam Namaste for great service, a lively ambience and delicious food.
Our meal was complimentary in exchange for an honest review.