Monday, February 24, 2014

Namaskaar, Baden Baden: Revisited

Restaurant Facade. Photo taken from Namaskaar Website
The smell was pleasantly familiar and is already wafting through the air, half a block away from the restaurant, turning heads ,  drawing curious glances and slowing by-passers' steps . The moment we're inside , the smell, the sound and the sight engulfed and embraced us like an old friend. Aahh, It's nice to be back again. It's post valentine's day and we are at our favorite restaurant, sitting at a well lit table , in front the of bar and  just near the kitchen . I strategically sat at the corner , facing the restaurant, enabling me to secretly ogle at people's plate , while silently inhaling the trail of  enticing spices, as staffs deliver plates after plates of delicious treats,  from the kitchen to the tables. Next to follow were the all too familiar hhmms and ooohhs as anticipating  patrons,  finally got what they ordered. Many  automatically lean forward and take a long  and appreciative whiff at the dishes before them, eyes half closed. They are not so different from me after all, bewitched and if not already entrapped  by the hearty, rich and almost sensual flavors of northern Indian cuisine.  The best of what  Namaskaar could offer.

Restaurant interior. Photo taken from Namaskaar website.

We're early, yet most tables are already occupied by guests.  The empty ones however, are already been adorned by small white reservation cards,  names of those stalking their undeniable claim, boldly written. Keep out!  This one's taken! One could simply read between the lines. Yet, people keep on pouring in, asking if there might be an empty slot. The owner , ever apologetic , has to turn a lot of hopeful guests away, telling them to come back again next time.  Reservation, especially on weekend in this restaurant, is just a must. Something, a timid yet clever Japanese tourist couple knew, before flying 10 000 kms away from home. Bless the Japanese,  they always come prepared. Looks like Namaskaar is not only famous within this region, but it is also mentioned and recommended in many tourist guide books . I can't help but overhear the Japanese couple confirmed it. Made me glad, it's just 20 mins drive form where I live.

The restaurant Bar table. Photo taken form the Namaskaar website.
There's a fast efficiency in the restaurant service. For although smallish, 2 waitresses and the owner himself, go around and tend to the diners. FF and I, had a curt yet engaging talk with the boss before he hops again onto next other table, to exchange pleasantries with other guests. He does that often, asking patrons if everything's to their satisfaction.

We raked our eyes through the menu and decided to try something we haven't had before. That's quite a challenge since we've tried almost everything after numerous visits. It's also isn't easy to peel my eyes away from old favorites. But we place our orders  quick enough, the non- overwhelming menu enables that. FF's ice cold King Fisher was delivered first, along with my mango lassi.


Our table was overflowing with foods, soon after that. A usual scenario whenever we visit this place. I admit, we are easily seduced by the promise of  gustatory pleasure, we tend to over-indulge , ordering more than what we could muster. Yet, how could we not ? We had a feast. A glorious and delicious feast that filled our guts to both ends. And we are now looking for the next excuse to do it again. Encore! Encore! Anyway, here's the spread.

 
 Nan Bread. Crispy around the edges, yet soft and pliable in the middle. It is use to scoop delicious sauces into one's appreciative maw. These are ginormous, yet we ordered two. We mopped our plates so  clean, it was almost shining that night. Yeah. It was that good.

Left: Rogan Josh: Young lamb in yogurt and cardamon sauce. No trace of gaminess in any lamb dishes in Namaskaar. The meat was butter tender, sauce rich and very aromatic. I don't usually eat lamb meat,  don't even cook it at home, but  this dish make me forget  my aversion to it. Fancy that.

Right: Jal Frazie. Vegetable in creamy sauce. Indian cuisine makes vegetable dish very well. Sauce just as robust and the vegetable croquette  was so tasty, I did not noticed those were veges!



Murgh Birgani. Rice casserole with chicken, raisins and almonds. Served with Raita. Creamy yogurt sauce  with cucumber and finely diced tomatoes. I love everything in this dish. The confluence of  rice and spices mingled harmoniously , creating this excellent and hearty dish. There are  various textures, colors and flavors at play. I was enamored and found  
a new favorite! I could bury myself in it. This was the star of the night. FF shared my sentiment. ''Very good. Really very good!'' He murmured between mouthfuls. Portion is rather big,  it was filling and is great for sharing. 



The calm before the storm. My plate before it got massacred and refilled, many times over!

There's no better way to end  a spiced-laden and savory   meal than tampering one's palate with sweet treats. Our dessert of that night.
 Left: Aam Bahar:  Dense , creamy with almost sorbet- like texture, the ice cream tasted strongly of mangoes. Which happens to be my favorite fruit in the universe, by the way. Yay, lucky me! The 2 scoops are laid on   saffron tinged sauce. Golden hued, delicately sweet and  sublime    . Mango ice cream and saffron sauce. That's utter bliss times two. The pistachio nuts turn this tasty  delight into a  nutty trio. It cracks, tingles and melts in my palate. I could eat this for breakfast...everyday!

Right: Kheer: Rice pudding with almonds and pistachios. I could not say much about this dish, but FF lapped it up to the last  grain. Must have been good.


Namaskaar
Kreuzstra├če 1, Baden Baden
Tel. Number 07221 24681

Open Hours:  12:00- 14:30 and 18:00-23:30
Closed on Tuesdays

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