Salaam Namaste – Christmas Menus

Peter Morrell tastes one of this restaurant’s four Christmas menus which all offer an exotic mix of tastes, flavours and textures

Salaam Namaste is conveniently located just a short walk away from busy Russell Square in London. It has cool, contemporary décor and the well upholstered banquettes and seats make it a comfortable and relaxing space to eat.

I recently had lunch there with a friend, our fellow diners, many of whom were from the surrounding hospitals and university buildings, gave it buzzy, upbeat atmosphere.

Time was when the lead up to Christmas was a procession of meals featuring slices of turkey, roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Thankfully those days have now gone and have been replaced by far more imaginative food to celebrate the festive season.

At Salaam Namaste award winning head chef Sabbir Karim has devised four festive menus. One will only be served on Christmas day but the other three are all available in the lead up to the big day.

The menus all offer between two to four starters, a choice of main course with an impressive array of accompaniments and dessert. Prices per person range from £25.95 to £37.95, we had the mid range menu priced at £30.95.

Our menu offered four starter and it was evident from the first bite that this was inventive modern Indian cuisine. I started by tasting the Ajwain Mahi Tikka, tilapia fillet with carom seeds and a assiduously spiced yoghurt marinade that didn’t overpower the delicate taste of the fish. In a nod to tradition the next appetiser was Coriander Lime Turkey Tikka. It was the most unique way I had tasted turkey and was delicious. The meat was served with an enhancing combination of coconut, roasted tomatoes and sesame seed relish.

The third, and one of my favourites, was the Anglo Indian Lamb Cutlet. This was spiced mince lamb encased in a breadcrumb shell and offered good punchy flavours. The final starter was Lucknowi Tokri Chaat, it was complex and fascinating, an intriguing combo of texture and taste. A crispy potato basket was filled with crunchy lentil dumplings, yielding chickpeas, yoghurt and a pleasantly sour and fruity tamarind sauce.

We chose our mains from a quartet which included a vegetarian option. My dining companion enjoyed his Panjim Fish Curry, cooked in Goan style with a sauce of roasted red chilli and ground spices.

I stuck with tradition and had the Mangalorean Kori Gassi Turkey. It was served in a spicy sauce made with roasted coconut, mace, garam masala, curry leaves and pomegranates. This was very good, tender pieces of meat were complemented by piquant character of the sauce.

Each main course was served with a tempting line-up of sides. There was Aloo Gobi Mattar, a vegetable dish of potato and cauliflower in a rich, spicy sauce. Next was Pomegranate Raita, spiced yoghurt with a sprinkling of pomegranate, pilau rice and a buttery naan bread. The naan was ideal for scooping up the sauces that towards the end of the meal had blended into a delicious amalgam.

There was a good range of wines, beers, cocktails and spirits on the menu. Our pairing for the meal was a medium bodied red that was a good match for the food. Our choice was the house wine, Las Pampas, a shiraz/malbec blend from the Mendoza region of Argentina. There were aromas of plum and black cherry in the bouquet and these were joined on the palate by light spicy notes. The finish was long and fruity.

After a very pleasant first two courses it was time for dessert. It comprised two traditional Indian dishes Gulab Jamun made with concentrated milk and a sweet carrot halwa, both very indulgent, particularly so when teamed with a scoop each of mango and pistashio kulfi.

This had been a highly enjoyable festive meal made even better by the very friendly service team who ensured that we were happy with our food.

Salaam Namaste has got all the ingredients to celebrate a spicy Christmas, high quality modern Indian cuisine, a good atmosphere, comfortable surroundings and great service. I would strongly recommend booking as demand is already very high.

Salaam Namaste has also got a sister restaurant in Camden called Namaaste Kitchen which is offering a slightly different but equally enticing set of Christmas menus, go to for more details.

Salaam Namaste
68 Millman Street
London WC1N 3EF
020 7405 3697

Salaam Namaste Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato