At humble Namaste restaurant, on a colorful and multicultural stretch of Morse Road, you'll taste Nepal via its two influential neighboring countries.
To know something about Nepali cuisine, just spin your desktop globe, whatever form it may take, to the country of Everest, sherpas and Kathmandu. You'll find a long, eggplant-shaped country sandwiched between India's northern border and China's Tibet region. At humble Namaste restaurant, on a colorful and multicultural stretch of Morse Road, you'll taste Nepal via these two influential neighbors. If you love Indian food, you'll be instantly menu-literate. Familiar favorites like samosas, tandoori chicken and curries are all here, but the menu lets you know they've been seasoned Nepali style (think ginger, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, coriander, cloves and mustard seeds). On the whole, that translates to "delicious."
As it is in so many strip-mall gems, the atmosphere at Namaste is stark and the few decorative items are reminders of the restaurant's pedigree. Service more than made up for the antiseptic vibe-our waiter was the only guy working the increasingly busy dining room, but he was warm and attentive.
Make one of your appetizer choices the Nepali Samosa Chat ($5.99), a traditional potato and pea samosa cut into small pieces and smothered, nachos-style, in yogurt, onions and spices. And try Nepali Momo dumplings ($6 for 10), in vegetarian or chicken varieties, for a classic Tibet-by-way-of-Nepal delicacy. The lipstick-fuchsia Nepali Tandoor Chicken Wings (99 cents each) were big and meaty but their flavor didn't punch like the samosa chat did.
We tried a few curries, as well-lamb ($11.50) and kidney bean (Dal Rajma, $9) were hearty and satisfying. When you order curry, choose naan for your side. It's superb-warm, flaky and loaded with butter. On the Nepali-Chinese portion of the menu, take a pass on Gobi Manchurian ($6.99), a Chinese-Indian mashup of fried cauliflower and a copiously poured, zingy sauce too reminiscent of ketchup.
I'll head back to Namaste soon, when the craving for that naan returns. Even if I can't make it to Kathmandu, this is one cuisine I'd like to continue to explore. namastenepalirestuara.net