June in Camden. Not quite April in Paris, but it’ll do. Satisfaction hasn’t been found in any of my visits to Indian restaurants recently: Dishoom was bland and Trishna overrated. Famous sub-continental hospitality has been non existent, and I’ve been having nightmares about Saag Aloo ever since. Namaaste Kitchen, a lazy stroll from Camden Town tube, is the second restaurant from ex-Chutney Mary chef Sabir Karim. It’s something of a hidden gem in blogging circles, despite Fay Maschler and Matthew Norman’s definite praise. Aside from tourist traps and greasy spoons, I suppose Camden is something of a foodie Bermuda Triangle. But were we lost at sea at Namaaste Kitchen?
On the whole, the Michelin guide is a safe place to consult when looking for somewhere to eat out. For a consistently good meal, forget twos and threes, and stick with the cheaper, humbler one star. Undoubtedly, the ‘little red book’ gives preference to European food, so when South West Indian seafood specialist Trishna gained a star (and subsequent blog appeal) in October 2012 for its foodie fireworks, I felt I ought to give it a try. Continue reading
Dishoom can be translated as that Bollywood sound effect heard when someone is punched. ‘Pow!’, in another word. This might seem a strange name for a restaurant, but when you walk through the door your nose is indeed hit by that wonderful aroma of gently-frying spices. If this isn’t enough on a Sunday morning to get your tastebuds going then I’m not sure what is. However, breakfast at home at a weekend is difficult to beat: eggs with a kiss, toast with a hug, and bacon crisped within an inch of its life – that’s mine please if anyone’s listening. But it’s still worth trying to beat it with a morning trip to an Indian restaurant, nonetheless. Hindus are well-known for their reverence and utmost respect for cows, to the extent that daily life can grind to a halt to ensure that the animals are wholly satisfied. It’s rather ironic, therefore, that at Dishoom diners are treated like cattle. Continue reading