Namaste is a new Indian restaurant in Nugegoda serving mainly North Indian cuisine. While the staff are lovely and the place is nice, we can’t really say the same about the food.

Nugegoda. It’s a culinary desert. A banqueter’s boondocks. The bon viveur’s badlands. This is where Colombars flock to shop – not eat. While you do get the street level gems – Bo Sevana, Hotel Top Form – on the shiny restaurant scale, there really isn’t much. Nothing, actually.

So we were surprised – nay, excited – when we witnessed what looked like the beginnings of a new restaurant a few weeks ago – a new place springing up just a little bit beyond all the No Limit and Loveresque bric a brac. A place that wasn’t another Big Bite outlet, a Hotel Top Form or another form of international franchise (franchise wise, of course, Nugegoda has it all – KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Dominos) – a place that was an actual airconditioned restaurant. With parking and everything. I repeat, an actual restaurant…

Namaste. Adding to the city’s growing list of North-leaning Indian eateries, Nugegoda’s first restaurant (it seems) is here. Serving an array of standard curry house fare – naans, chapathis, tikka masalas, dosa, biriyani and so on – physically, it’s quite nice. Gastronomically, however, not so much.

The food was disappointing. The naans (Rs. 110) were hard and dry – practically burnt. The dahl makhani (Rs. 450) was sweet and slightly sour, and the biriyani (Rs. 490) was not really a biriyani at all – colourful – not flavoured – grains of rice served with a bland leg barely seasoned boiled chicken. The Chicken 65 (Rs. 480) was completely off as well – veering more towards a soggy, Manchurian chicken as opposed to the crispy, tangy chunks of meat I expected. Almost every dish we got was irredeemably poor (the paneer was passable).

It’s a shame. The staff are so nice, and Nugegoda definitely welcomes a new restaurant with happy arms. But at the moment, we just can’t recommend it.

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