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Namaste, Indian and Nepalese in the Former Oriental Gourmet Space in Rose Hill Shopping Center, and the Former Bistro du Soleil Space in Old Town

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I just saw the paperwork in the window. Oriental Cafe's signage is still up and the interior looks untouched thus far.

Please, if there is a Santa Claus, let this place be better than the Little Caesar's abomination a few doors down.

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I saw this place the other day and am cautiously optimistic. I just hope it is better than anything else in that culinary wasteland of a strip mall, which is an EXTREMELY LOW BAR.

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Apparently it opened a couple of weeks ago (hadn't noticed) and we hit it up for take out today. Given the take-out limitations, things seemed very promising.

It's hard to judge naan that has been packed in aluminum foil for 15 minutes to get back to the house, but the flavor was good (if the texture seemed to have been ruined by the passage home.) At any rate, they do by all accounts bake it fresh on premises. 

The Samosas we ordered were very presentable - not overly greasy and still fairly crisp. The Palak Paneer seemed to please my wife, but left me a bit flat. The Chicken Tikka Masala, however, was much, much better than I had any right to hope it would be. Most notably, there didn't seem to be a single dish that featured pre-packaged ingredients - fresh cut vegetables were very much in evidence throughout the meal.

While this place may not be challenging Rasika for the new DC Indian cuisine crown, I can hardly imagine you doing better down in our little south of the Beltway restaurant wasteland. Plus, holy crap, THEY DELIVER!!!

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We have eaten here a few times. Here are my observations:

Momos: Have only tried chicken. Flavorful filling. The dough for momos is always heavier than one for Chinese dumplings. That said, the wrappers at Namaste are less doughy than ones at Momo in Springfield.

Goat curry: Excellent. Super tender meat, luscious gravy. Appropriately oily and on the bone -- as all curry should be.

Lamb vindaloo: I asked for a REAL vindaloo and the spice level was delivered. Again, very well cooked.

Chicken 65: If you want the authentic version, ask for it spicy. I was not crazy about the texture -- thought the chicken could have been more crisp. But, I didn't eat at the restaurant so that may be a transportation issue.

Lunch buffet:  I took my Indian Mom to this. She is a vegetarian. The buffet has more vegetarian than non-vegetarian dishes so she was delighted. The buffet selections also change (perhaps daily?). The buffet is not overly stocked as at other Indian places, so the food seemed more fresh. They also make naan (which is included in the meal) after you have settled at the table, which means it comes to you right out of the tandoor but perhaps not as quickly as you would like. It is not the best naan I have ever tried but its freshness makes up for all other shortcomings. 

I was not at all impressed with the chicken tandoori. I think that had more to do with not using the best quality chicken than anything else.  Unfortunately, chicken tandoori is best served by using a superior quality meat, like all grilling. The buffet also offered pakoras as an appetizer the day we were there and they were surprisingly crisp. The best offering though was the warm carrot halwa. Not overly sweet, tender and lovely.

I have been chatting up the guys that run the place. They are sweet and very eager to please. I am really, really hoping they make it. My neck of the woods definitely could use a decent restaurant.

That said, would anyone be interested in going to it for a $20 Tuesday? If so, someone please message me how to set up one of those outings and I will be happy to do it.

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I'd love to try this place, lunches are usually easier for me (& I love buffets, so I can try different things that I wouldn't necessarily order alone), but I might be able to make it for dinner, barring a conflict w/ field hockey games.

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Note that we have a $20 Tuesday thread for Namaste.

That said, we only have three posts in it, and the amount of views in this thread (which include the views of those three posts which were split off) is remarkable. I have no explanation.

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My work partner invited us over to their house for dinner this Saturday, but instead of having her cook for us, we decided to have carry out. They had tried Namaste and loved it, but wanted confirmation from an Indian that it was good. I was asked to order for the 4 of us. We ordered the chicken tikka masala, chana masala, goat curry, chicken 65, and vegetable momos. We ordered everything medium spice level.

All the entrees were fantastic, in my opinion. The color of the chana masala was perfect - rich and brown. Very tasty, rivals my favorite in town (Ravi Kabob). The chicken tikka masala was an excellent version, not the typical dull version you get that is heavy on tomato and cream. This was bolder. And, when you looked at the chicken pieces, they had the pink color on the outside, so it seems like they cooked the chicken in the tandoor, which is how you're supposed to do it (many places just saute them up). The goat curry was the star of the show. Even medium, it was pretty fiery. The goat meat was tender and on the bone. My lovely date really enjoyed it - she loves meat from the bone. The appetizers were not as good. I generally love dumplings/momo's/pot stickers, but something wasn't great about these. I agree with the comment that momo's are generally "doughier" but to me it was too thick and because it was delivered, it just didn't appeal to me very much, though the fililng was tasty. The Chicken 65 was just like General Tso's chicken, not a real Chicken 65, like at Karaikudi.

The quality of the entrees was very high. I think they used better ingredients than most places. I can't wait to try more of the menu.

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We stopped in tonight for dinner tonight and were not disappointed.  We started out with the Kukhura ko sekuwa - grilled chicken marinated with mustard oil and Nepalese spices.  A squeeze of lemon was a nice addition to the very succulent tender chicken.  (forgot to get a picture of it)  Like Simul Parikh, we got the goat curry and agree it was the best dish on the table.  Tender chunks of goat (some still on the bone) in a rich tomato based sauce (?) that has a slowly building heat. The sauce was my favorite part of the dish. Fragrant basmati rice and naan were good sources for conveying the sauce to my belly.  We also got the chicken momo.  We thought the dumpling wrapper wasn't thick at all.  They were tasty but not a stand out like the goat.

The staff were very helpful and friendly.  They told us we could order dishes to be prepared in varying degrees of heat from mild to hot to HOT.  The menu is big enough to offer lots of future visit for further exploration.  A take out menu is tucked into the glove compartment of my car for easy access for take home dinners.  And restaurant is conveniently on my way home from work, even better.

post-1215-0-36283100-1390875585_thumb.jp

Naan

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Momo

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Goat curry

Here is the menu from their website.

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I have been meaning to add to this thread for some time, but the Post did a better job than I would have. Nice review for them, they deserve it. I have been getting take out and enjoying their delivery since I saw the restaurant mentioned here (Thanks to the above posters).

I was dining in for the first time on Saturday and my wife and I noticed it was busier than usual.  A set of regulars sit next to us and we here them congratulate one of the staff on the Post's very recent write up; busy-ness explained.  Early in the evening, they seemed to be handling the larger crowd just fine, and I hope they benefit from the write up. Service was very friendly and we were happy.

I drive about 15-20 minutes to get there and it is by far the best Indian (Nepalese) in my S. Alexandria radius.  The menu is large, but they handle it well. The Nepalese and Indian dishes excel. The one Indo-Chinese dish I had was the sole dish I didn't strongly enjoy. It may have been a poor delivery choice or I got spoiled in Queens on rock solid Indo-Chinese.  Based on those two factors, I may give that side of the menu another chance.

The goat curry as others have mentioned is really nice. I am a fan of goat and this is done well.  It is tender, clearly goat but not gamey and it is a good mix of pieces on and off the bone. (Lamb dishes  have also been done well)  If you like spicy, the stock goat curry is on the mild-medium side so you may want to ask for it with a little more heat.

Last thing I will mention, I normally order the very spicy dishes, my wife the mild dishes.  In many places, we find mild dishes to be often one note.  There is deep and subtle spicing here even with their milder dishes.  The ones I have had shared have been tasty enough for me not to long for my overdriven peppery dishes (lamb pasanda and shai baingain).  

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A sign on the former Bistro du Soleil space on King Street indicates that Namaste Indian and Nepalese Cuisine is coming. Same place?

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This was an excellent find for my boyfriend and I this past weekend! We ordered a Nepalese appetizer, Namaste Choe-La, to start. This was boneless chicken marinated in Nepalese spices with peppers, green onions, garlic, ginger, and mustard seed. It was more than enough to share! Entree portions were large; we had leftovers for the next evening. We ordered lamb madras and lamb rogan josh. I believe the dishes could have been a tad spicier but were creamy and delicious nonetheless. The lamb was very tender! The garlic naan we also ordered was the absolute best I've had yet! It was generously garlicky, crisp, and fresh. We really enjoyed our meal and will absolutely return!

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On 7/14/2016 at 11:07 AM, Laura H. said:

This was an excellent find for my boyfriend and I this past weekend! We ordered a Nepalese appetizer, Namaste Choe-La, to start. This was boneless chicken marinated in Nepalese spices with peppers, green onions, garlic, ginger, and mustard seed. It was more than enough to share! Entree portions were large; we had leftovers for the next evening. We ordered lamb madras and lamb rogan josh. I believe the dishes could have been a tad spicier but were creamy and delicious nonetheless. The lamb was very tender! The garlic naan we also ordered was the absolute best I've had yet! It was generously garlicky, crisp, and fresh. We really enjoyed our meal and will absolutely return!

On 7/14/2016 at 10:16 AM, alexandria1 said:

A sign on the former Bistro du Soleil space on King Street indicates that Namaste Indian and Nepalese Cuisine is coming. Same place?

I wrote Namaste, and asked if this was a move or a second outlet - I'll post again when I hear back from them.

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6 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I wrote Namaste, and asked if this was a move or a second outlet - I'll post again when I hear back from them.

I can confirm. It is a second outlet. 

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We got a carryout order last week at the new location (maybe the first night they opened) and were pleased with the quality and flavor of the dishes we ordered. Lamb biryani had quite a bit of lamb and some nice heat to it; the chicken kadai was good, with a slightly different (wetter) preparation than some other local spots. Looking forward to dining in the restaurant and trying some other dishes.

I hope they'll have a long and successful run in this spot, unlike previous tenants.

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32 minutes ago, goldenticket said:

We got a carryout order last week at the new location (maybe the first night they opened) and were pleased with the quality and flavor of the dishes we ordered. Lamb biryani had quite a bit of lamb and some nice heat to it; the chicken kadai was good, with a slightly different (wetter) preparation than some other local spots. Looking forward to dining in the restaurant and trying some other dishes.

I hope they'll have a long and successful run in this spot, unlike previous tenants.

Try their goat curry... it's fantastic. 

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I actually did not like Namaste - I've eaten there 3 times (one for lunch buffet, twice for dinner) since a lot of my friends wanted to check it out due to the high ratings online and WAPO raves about it. I've ordered the momo dumplings both times for dinner and they've been obviously sitting out too long after being taken out of the steamer (the wrappers became dry and hard). I also found the dishes have a strange sweetness to them and I found their curries, etc are a bit watery. I got the Indian basics like Chicken Tikka Masala, Murgh Makhani, Goat Curry, and Lamb Vindaloo and my dining buddies also remarked on the odd taste. Fantastic service, though.

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On 12/18/2016 at 11:24 AM, alexandria1 said:

King Street location is open.

I felt so bad - I walked in there last night, thinking it was Nasime. It was almost completely empty, and I had to tell them we had the wrong restaurant. :(

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The night I went to Nasime, I planned on going to Namaste. My friend assumed Namaste was a typo and that's how I ended up there that night... didn't feel like making him walk over to Namaste since I was the one that was late.

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11 minutes ago, Simul Parikh said:

The night I went to Nasime, I planned on going to Namaste. My friend assumed Namaste was a typo and that's how I ended up there that night... didn't feel like making him walk over to Namaste since I was the one that was late.

This ^ reminds of this:

 

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Count me as another vote in favor of the goat curry. Also tried the Lamb Chana Chops, which are the other item listed in the "Chef's Specials" section of their menu. This had 3-4 lamb chops buried under a sea of chana masala--sea isn't quite the right word, as it was relatively "dry", but there were a lot of chickpeas--the lamb was nicely tender but the dish was a little underflavored overall. Portions here are generous.

5 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I felt so bad - I walked in there last night, thinking it was Nasime. It was almost completely empty, and I had to tell them we had the wrong restaurant. :(

Unfortunately, it's looked almost empty every time I've stopped in or walked past. It's a pretty big space too.

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Went last night to celebrate lady friend's career transition... was so cold, and I wanted chili or curry. We went to Hard Time's first, and she saw them coughing on the food, no mask, no covering of the mouth, so we finished our drinks and went for the curry.

Wanted to stay on the Indo-Chinese/Nepalese side of the menu, but tried a few other things, as well. She really wanted soup, so she got the green chicken soup. That was really tasty! Small pieces of chicken, spinach and herbal broth, mild spice, served hot in a clay pot. Perfect for winter. The other appetizer we got was, and I can't find it on the current menu, was boneless lamb pieces with "mustered" oil, ginger, garlic, and Nepalese spices. It's on the Indo-Chinese/Nepalese menu Oh man, I loved this. Loved it. Tasted like meat skewers you get in China. I'm eating it right now for mid morning snack. So delicious. Then, got Chili Chicken, which is classic Indo-Chinese - fried pieces of chicken, green pepper, onion pieces. We asked for it to be spicy, and he took one look at lady friend and basically overruled us, "It's already quite spicy". She can handle spice, after the intensive training I've put her through, but didn't want to chance it. And, got the Rogan Josh - medium spicy. 

Chicken dish was really good, though not that spicy. Autentico. Rogan Josh was meh. Curry was bland and meat was chewy. 

The appetizers were so good, I think will add momo's and a few other of the apps and make a meal out of it next time.

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6 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

Went last night to celebrate lady friend's career transition...

You mean your special lady?

 

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6 hours ago, Simul Parikh said:

She can handle spice, after the intensive training I've put her through, but didn't want to chance it.

How did you do the spice training?

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Got take out from the branch on King street shortly after they opened.  Got a bunch of dishes, but was unimpressed:

Veggie and Chickenmomos--veggie were really bad, cabbage stuffed--no one in my family finished one. Chicken were slightly better but oddly spiced.  The dipping sauce was inedible

Chicken tikka masala--fine, but overly rich with cream to the point that it was a light pink in color and with no flavor aside from sweet

Goat curry --prob the best of the bunch, but not outstanding.  My MIL's version kills it

malai kofta--these were prob my favorite of the bunch

palak paneer--once again with the cream---unnecessary

naan---Kohinoor Dhaba's naan kick Namaste's ass

Have to say I was a little underwhelmed given other people's experiences.  At the same price point would get Kohinoor Dhaba

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