Namaste

Namaste Restaurant Indo-Nepali
1279 Morse Rd, Columbus, OH 43229
(614) 261-3636
website 

Almost nervously, the server pulled me aside to ask, “you like the taste?”. It was as though she didn’t believe us when we had eagerly volunteered that we enjoyed what we were eating several times previously.
More than just enjoy it, which we truly did, we were surprised. We’d been to Namaste a while back, and had not thought much of it, but a good Nepali friend suggested that the food had improved markedly and that the menu had changed for the better. This, as it turns out, was an understatement.
Dishes hit the table right as they were finished by the kitchen, and everything was served piping hot. First came the bhatmas chiura – a spicy snack of smashed rice flakes, fried soybeans, minced chilis, onions, and spices. It was intensely flavorful, crunchy, dry by intent, and presumably meant to be paired with beer. Which we did (Haywards, highly recommended). Off to a good start.
nepali snack food
Next came the hand-made momos – quite possibly the most iconic of Nepalese dishes. Similar to a steamed Japanese gyoza in form and concept, these were filled with minced chicken, onion, garlic, and just enough ginger to make itself known. A pleasantly savory tomato-based sauce accompanied, and in total the dish amounted to a crave-worthy alternative to the various dumplings more commonly found locally in other Asian cuisines.
nepali momo in Columbus
Dal, essentially a lentil stew, is ubiquitous among Indian-influenced cuisines. At worst, it’s a near-Dickensian gruel, and at best, it’s… okay. Namaste’s mung dal was better than that, and then better yet again – it was delicious, and the first example of the dish I’d eagerly recommend to vegetarians and carnivores alike.
The meat-free options don’t end there, either. The aloo saag, a potato and mustard leaf stew, impressed with its bold and novel flavor combinations, and the aloo bodi tama (typically ‘pre-order only’, but available on our visit) was equally enjoyable and equally unique with it’s intriguing combination of black eyed peas and bamboo shoots. We’d order either again in a heartbeat.
nepalese restaurant columbus
Finally, an order of goat sekuwa arrived. Think of the tastiest tandoori chicken you’ve tried, but with goat instead, and you’ll just about be there, except for the fact that it’s just about impossible to convey how well the tandoor treatment works with the flavor of goat. The flesh is almost inevitably on the chewy side (most cuts of goat respond better to a slow cooking method than to a high-heat grilling), but it didn’t diminish our enjoyment one bit.
goat sekuwa
It’s become increasingly rare that we come across restaurants whose flavors and preparations truly expand the sum total of novel food experiences in the city, but Namaste emphatically does. To us, from our little niche within the food world, that makes them an addition of importance.
Namaste also offers thali platters (individual meals made up of a variety of dishes) on weekdays and a buffet on the weekend. Catering is available, and at first glance at least looked reasonably priced.

nepali restaurant columbus

2 responses to “Namaste

  1. bashka jacobs

    an opinion. and i will try again but i found the food shockingly poor. MoMo’s are traditional Tibetan always recommended . My experience so radically different than this review that i will have to go back. the food and nuances of Nepal were not there and i would agree that Nepal and India are forever linked but the offerings at that time were overcooked near burned, heavy handed and i have had better food on the roadsides in both nepal and india. my thought is that ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: and this does not refer to namste ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::apparently many students come to the university and then send home for their parents to come and cook so we have afghan food that is not translated, we have turkish food that does well, we have lebanese food that is great but when it comes to the sub continent we have so many indian restaurants that i am sure are delicious in their Hydrabadi and Punjabi homes that do not work here and are simply boring and without the deft hand of a cook who can translate. Everyone loves Nepal and i hope has sent donations since the disasters . prayers to the people and hopefully the cook has changed at Namaste. Tashi de lay…………….the traditional greeting. Namaste is Sanskrit for honoring people one to one ………………………………just an fyi.

  2. John McCollum

    I’ve had both good and bad experiences at Namaste. First of all, I have to say that the buffet is pretty awful. It was so bad that I vowed never to return. I do, however, get a craving for Nepali food every so often, and I went back a month or so ago. I ordered from the menu, and had a fantastic meal.

    I recommend skipping the buffet entirely. Also, avoid the momos — unfortunately, they use off-the-shelf wrappers, and so they’re no better than frozen dumplings you’d get around the corner at Saraga. And, unfortunately, the gulab jamun is pretty clearly from an Amul can.

    But where else in town are you going to get chili potatoes? And the goat curry I had was spot on. Likewise the spicy noodles.

    tl;dr — first visit merited a D-. Second, and A-. I think I need to go again. Maybe tonight?

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