I am a fan of Indian food because of the memories from my trip to India years back were so memorable. So sometimes, I crave for Indian cuisine especially naan bread. Few years ago, I had a really satisfying Indian meal at Tandoor Restaurant in Hang Be street in the centre of Old Quarter. But I wanted to try a new place, so I asked a Vietnamese friend of mine for some recommendations for Indian restaurants in Hanoi and he gave a couple of options. They were Little India restaurant and Namaste Hanoi.
So my boyfriend and I went to Namaste Hanoi restaurant first. The restaurant is at the southern part of Hoan Kiem district. The restaurant is not so visible from the streets because of the dim lighting of the entrance, so it was slightly confusing to recognise if they were open or not. But once we stepped in and went upstairs, I was surprised to see quite some guests having dinner.
Most of them were probably from India and that was a promising sign that the restaurant could be serving authentic Indian food.
The menu was so extensive and it was not easy to choose the best menus for me as I do not have great knowledge of names of dishes. But there were set menus of Northern and Southern Indian specialities. One of the staff explained that southern Indian dishes are stronger in flavour, so it’d be easier for ‘beginners’ to go for the milder northern set. I definitely wanted to try both sets and I was somewhat feeling confident to accept the challenge of the southern set, so I decided to order both sets.
For drinks, I ordered a banana lassi because I cannot resist a lassi when I’m at an Indian restaurant. It was much sourer than other lassis I’d tried, but it turned out to be perfect for the strong and spicy curries.
For each set, we had to choose between four different options. We both went for the non-vegetarian set menus, so the options were mutton, prawn, fish and chicken curries and we chose mutton and prawn for the northern set and chicken and prawn for the other.
The northern curries were definitely milder and creamier, so it was easy for both of us. But the southern curries were much stronger. The southern prawn curry was super spicy and it was the tasty kind of spicy, so I did like it but I could not carry on eating after three pieces. So the southern set was a challenge and I prefer the northern set more. Perhaps because the northern curries were much closer to my expectations of curry taste.
The prawns were yummy and bouncy and the mutton was very tender. There were four different types of bread, which were all good, and naan bread was baked so well and I loved the spongy elastic texture so much. The dessert with round jelly was a sweet pudding or porridge, which helped cool off the spicy curry after the meal.
In overall, it was a good experience for me to try a good range of different curries. Plus, there’s more that I’d love to try if I go back there again.
For someone who likes Indian food, I do recommend this restaurant for its massive selection of choices and authentic food from India!
Addreass: 46 Thợ Nhuộm, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Opening Hours: Everyday 11:00 – 14:30 & 18:00 – 22:30