Midwest Living Review
Namaste Cafe is where you'll find Nepalese home-cooking, with a number of breads and sides alongside traditional entrees (mostly curries) that are meaty, richly sauced, savory and filling. This isn't a family restaurant, but it's an ideal date restaurant, as well as a destination for small groups of adults. Simple (almost austere) wooden tables and chairs make the small dining areas intimate without being stuffy. Clientele is sophisticated, urban and diverse. Start with mamacha, a plate of hearty lamb dumplings with a bright dipping sauce that doesn't overpower these zesty, meaty bits ($8). Paapri chaat, more or less Nepalese nachos, features homemade crunchy flour chips topped with everything Nepalese: chickpeas, spiced potatoes, yogurt, mustard seeds, a number of chutneys, and several other veggies and herbs. It's great finger food ($8). A "special" curry heads up its entrees ($15). Here, lamb is lovingly cradled in a rich dark sauce, and onions, tomatoes, scallions and lots of paprika make for a bold mouthful of strong, layered tastes. Curry massala ($13) offers chunks of chicken in a lighter sauce made from yogurt, cream, onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes and fresh cilantro. It's great. Your server will ask you to choose the spice level on a scale of one to five -- be conservative. We settled on a two, which was still quite spicy. Most dishes can be prepared with tofu or other meats as noted on the menu. For dessert, try mango sikari, a tangy yogurt-base mixture somewhere between a drink and a pudding ($7). The wine list isn't long and seems pricey, but chai tea and herb teas are ideal complements to the food. There's enough flavor and style on Namaste's menu to make the venue a great choice for adventurous eaters. Open daily, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.