Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Published January 1st 2014
Hello to good curry
Namaste is one of those useful words that have several uses, like Aloha. Strictly speaking namaste is an old Sanskit word meaning 'I bow to you' and is used to greet someone, and often to leave them.
But it's more than a word. It's also a spiritual and physical gesture, placing both palms together, keeping them close to the chest and bowing the head slightly while saying the word.
The interior of Namaste (Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce
But in Midland, it also means 'good curry restaurant'. Nestled away in what was once a Thai restaurant, Namaste has been operating for seven years offering a range of excellent curries to the good burghers of Midland.
I am often asked if the Namaste curries are 'authentic', to which the reply varies depending on my mood from 'yes' to 'why do you care if it tastes good?'
The buffet bar at Namaste (Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce)
Certainly the curries are rather more spicy than hot, which is closer to the authentic than the tests of culinary courage offered by some other Indian Restaurants, in what I have always secretly though of as the 'colonials revenge' or 'let's see what they'll eat' - sheep's eyeballs fall into this category, too, I fancy.
Namaste's onion bhajis (Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce)
But Namaste, a family run restaurant is also aimed at families, encouraging large groups of friends and like-minded people to dine.
Marloo Theatre have more or less adopted the place as an unofficial meeting place because the curry is good and the prices more than reasonable. A 'all you can eat' buffet on Friday or Saturday night (from 6:30) costs $25 and individual dishes cost roughly $12 to $15 each.
We ate there on Friday as a group of ten and the total bill for curries, Saffron rice, superb plain and garlic naan (one of Namaste's specialties) together with lashings of freshly-made pappadums and the deliciously spicy onion bhajis.
(Photo by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce)
The one thing I do dispute with them is the use of the word 'samosa', which to my mind is a triangular, filo-pastry wrapped morsel of curried meat and vegetable goodness. Namaste's 'samosas' are more of a curry puff - very tasty, delicious in fact, but not a samosa.
The sauces and relishes are all home-made and perfectly complement the richness of the savoury aromatic curries. The service is polite and swift and I can think of few relaxed family restaurants I prefer to dine in - or out of with a richness of take-away.