Namaste Village Makes Its Mark

Namaste Village Makes Its Mark

Namaste Village Makes Its Mark – There’s so much happening at the moment in our local restaurant scene, and I have to be honest, a restaurant serving just vegetarian Indian food hadn’t massively appealed to me…until I encountered Namaste Village.  It’s so good that I originally went with my Indian neighbour Sidrah but was so impressed that I went back with my husband just a few days later.  And it was just as good the second time!

Starting in East Anglia, the company now has branches in Norwich, Cambridge, Southend and Islington and now, of course, Twickers.   “Indian cuisine is as diverse as its people, traditions, and the country itself. From the spice fairs in the north to the abundance of the south, the rich Mughlai cuisine of the central mass to the exotic tastes of the east and west, the land of India has a palette full of flavours to celebrate.

But the true Indian sentiment that makes any nook comfortable is the shared experience of culture. As the masalas mingle with each other in braising pots, people from all walks of life and cultures leave their differences at the gate to dine, drink and dish out conversations together. The brewing relationships as people break bread together are very close to our Indian heritage; this is why we celebrate traditions and engage in festivities, to rejoice in our shared love. Food is the heart of India, and Indians know it.”


The restaurant is informal, relaxed and very friendly.  We were welcomed by Hemisha and her husband Jayesh, who are running the Twickenham branch and have moved locally to do so.

Namaste Village Makes Its Mark

We started with some  ‘Street Food Specials’ – Dahi Puri (Masala Puri topped with flavoured creamy yoghurt or ‘Flavour bombs’, as termed by many a reviewer) and Crispy Spinach Chaat (Crisp fried baby spinach topped with finely chopped vegetables, chutneys, yoghurt and finished with a pinch of chaat masala.)  Hemisha also suggested we try a portion of their fries: Chilli Lime Mogo (Mogo (or muhogo as it’s called in Swahili) tossed in fresh herbs, burnt garlic, ginger, chilli flakes with a drizzle of lime juice for a spicy-tangy hit).    I’d not heard of Mogo but it’s also known as cassava or yuca, is a root vegetable, similar to a potato but has a little more texture and a slightly sweet, nutty taste.

These starters were very good indeed (and, it’s worth noting, portions are generous and very reasonably priced too).  Our favourite was the Puri which was sensational.  They were beautifully presented, delicately spiced and not surprisingly are one of the most popular dishes on the menu.  The Spinach Chaat was tasty but a bit heavier than the puri and the fries were really tasty indeed with a subtle heat that built up.  The menu is coded according to the spiciness and the fries were one of the spicier dishes, but I coped well with the heat of the fries.

For mains, Sidrah suggested we try a Masala Dosa.  (South Indian savoury pancake, aka ‘dosa’, is made from fermented rice-lentil batter. Each dosa is served with a spiced lentil vegetable stew called ‘Sambhar’ & coconut chutney).  The Masala one was a thin, crispy savoury crepe stuffed with flavourful mashed potatoes, tempered in mild spices – again beautifully presented.

Our other main dish was Paneer Labbabdar (Indian cottage cheese in a rich & aromatic gravy of cashew nuts, tomatoes and a mix of  ground spices and herbs).  They were both sensational and to be honest, at no stage at all during our meal did I miss meat or fish.  The menu is completely vegan and does offer dishes with plant based alternatives to meat, but that didn’t appeal to us – the hero veg was more than adequate.  To accompany these dishes we shared a Gujwari Naan (similar to a Peshwari one and just as good) and a Garlic Butter Naan which, as with everything else we had that evening, was beautifully presented and very tasty indeed.

Not surprisingly, we were both pretty ‘pogged’ by this stage, but we were persuaded to share a dessert: Hindustani (two Gulab Jamun with kulfi ice cream and Kesar mango pulp and nuts).  This was a marriage made in dessert heaven – a surprisingly light but deliciously sweet finale to a superb meal. I would thoroughly recommend saving some space for it.

Namaste Village is a business that will, I’m sure, become a strong fixture in our local curry house line up…it certainly deserves to thrive, and we are already keenly spreading the word to our friends and neighbours.

The Seasoned Gastronome

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