Tried a new Indian restaurant, Namaskar, in Davis Square last night. It is located next to Anna's Taqueria in the space that Celia's used to occupy. A small, but nicely designed space with a glass enclosed tandoori (similar to the one at Diva) and a small area for a buffet.
When we sat down the waiter brought us cordial glasses with a cold & sweet drink of mint and saffron. Refreshing, tangy, perfect size for the sweetness. Next time I might order a big glass over ice.
The long menu has the usual set of North Indian dishes along with a selection of South Indian (dosa, uttapam) and West Indian dishes (from Gujarat). Never had West Indian so my wife and I ordered off this portion of the menu.
Ringan Bataka, chunky potato and eggplant stew. I'm not familiar with the West Indian set of spices but the dish had a nice sweet cilantro tang to it.
We also had a Gujarati Thali, a selection of West Indian Dishes, all vegetarian. On a big metal plate we got rice, pappadum, three big rounds of chapati (a grilled whole wheat flat bread), more of the Ringan Bataka, a sweet & sour coconut based soup with bits of greens floating in it, a lentil dal sweetly spiced like the potatoes, a different potato dish with mustard seeds, a few indian pickles (does anyone actually like these?) and a little dish of mango pulp for dessert. The most unusual item on the plate for us were two slices of patra. The owner described it as Alvi(?) leaves rolled into a log with chickpeas and then sliced and fried. The slices were a dark blackish-brown, but did not seem to be burnt. A spicy, dark taste. Good with the tamarind chutney.
Also tried an order of samosa. Good, but not the best I've had. The addition of turmeric in the filling gave them a yellow color, which is new to me.
My wife had a mango lassi, but it was gone before I could take control of the straw.
We talked with the owner for a little while. The restaurant opened last week (after a long permitting process apparently). He also owns Bombay Mahal in Waltham and another restaurant in Arlington. Haven't yet been to either one. No liquor license yet, but they are working on it.
Service was very attentive, water glasses were always full, but the food took a long time to arrive. I suspect this is due to being open for less than a week.
The take out menu has a URL (www.namaskarcuisine.com), but the site doesn't seem to be up yet.
We're definitely going back.
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