Our monthly meeting of curry connoisseurs congregated at this modern restaurant in the heart of a recently established industrial sub-divison in East Tamaki. As it was relatively new the restaurant was a tastefully outfitted in a smart decor, although lacking a little Indian imagery which we are more accustomed to. We had a group of 22 diners, and to mark the 50th meeting of our curry club, we had booked the exclusive use of the restaurant. In keeping with the fiftieth theme, one of our members recently celebrated his 50th birthday. This milestone was marked with a round of Indian whiskey, single malt no less, which features on the comprehensive drinks list. We ate our finger-food styled entrees standing up, allowing us to mix and mingle. The quality and quantity of the entrees excelled all expectations. The selection included; two chicken tikkas, a fish tikka, chilli prawn, chlli coated fried potato, cut up samosa portions and individual onion bhaji. These came with a delectable assortment of sauces and chutneys. Any finished platers were replaced with a new dish, ensuring that nobody missed out. Once we were had eaten our fill, a few of the tables and chairs were pushed back against the walls freeing up some dance floor space. Our host guru had organised a group of six bhangra dancers. This provided us with a dance spectacle, reminiscent of a meeting our Wellington chapter once had a few years ago when a belly dancer was brought in to entertain us. There was a reasonable selection on the menu to select from. I opted for a Mattar Panner for my main course, along with a Pershwari Naan. All the food I had was "bahut acha" (very good), with just the right of heat as requested. The heat of the benchmark tasting vindaloo initially needed a little tweaking, but once this was rectified it was a very hot dish, akin to an insanely hot English phall. Like the dining menu, the drinks list included a good range of Indian and other beers, along with a varied range of wine and spirits, which included a few Indian labels too. The pricing of the chicken dishes intrigued me, with butter chicken being one dollar more expensive than any other chicken item. This, according to my records, made it the second most expensive butter chicken in town. When I enquired why the manager assured me that it was done to entice their diners to try something more adventurous. But this explanation could've made a Tui billboard in my view. The plates were brought out warmed and well-timed just prior to the mains being served. The time taken to get a main dish in front of everyone took a little longer than ideal but that reflects the confusion of simultaneously serving a large group of diners. It was noted that the serving bowls were different than the usual collection of stainless steel and copper bowls. This place was using a tasteful black ceramic serving bowl instead. The toilets were good and an "A" grade hygiene certificate was clearly displayed by the front door. The waiting staff were very helpful and most obliging when it came to moving dining tables around. Having exclusive use of the dining area helped in this regard. One downside was that all the hard surfaces made it a little hard to hear other people's reviews at the end of the meal. The new inductees polished off their induction super-hot vindaloos, which was a mighty effort considering the heat level. The scores awarded for the meals ranged between 8 and 10, with the average rating a solid 9.4 out of ten. This was notable for two reasons. Firstly, it was the highest score awarded to a commercial premises (only beaten by a perfect 10 awarded to an authentically cooked meal served up at the home of one at one club's founding members). Secondly, the lowest rating, at 8 out of ten. was the highest minimum score we've recorded to date for a commercial venture. All up, it was a fantastic meal, filled with memorable dancing and a top notch meal. Well worth the effort of its far flung location.
Nikki S (25th July 2014)
I’m always pleased with my meals at Namaste Express. Came here for lunch again yesterday and ordered a mango chicken curry, which was delightfully hot, creamy, a little bit sweet/nutty and not too spicy. My partner got a different curry and also ordered a mild one but it was still too hot, so watch out! Their $10.99 lunch deals are the best and the naan bread is also super fresh and delicious.
The staff are always very courteous, warm and helpful and… great customer service is so hard to find sometimes! I came here some other time and the waiter offered to cool down my curry for me, as he could see I was struggling with the heat, which was very kind of him. Highly recommend.
Brian W. (14th July 2014)
Very courteous people. I like the way they mix in some veg with my meal. Would prefer quieter environment for reading. Brian Waslh
Thai Q. (25th June 2014)
You must try the Mango chicken meal,..TDF!!!••°°’ Chefs are from the northern part of india (chamoli Garhwal in Uttarakhand) interesting. Not Spicy enough for me unfortunately, its more powder spice is that just being cheap or what???
I wouldn’t recommend the Butter Chicken though also, sorry not creamy enough/ ur traditional taste. Impressive, and the Papadaam’s rock but u cant eat too many.