Venues

Namaskar

Namaskar
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Cost
R140 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Classic elegance
Food
Indian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Hennie Fisher

Food
This is the sort of authentic restaurant where you will be told that a Korma is not made with coconut milk but rather a nut sauce. Real Kashmiri chilli powder is amongst the 90% of imported spices they use. On arrival, tuck into deep-fried rice flour poppadums with three home-made accompaniments. The onion pickle is beyond description, while the lemon pickle has deep, rich flavours. For starters try a Tandoori mixed grill starter with three types of meat, all quickly cooked in the tandoor oven – a classic piece of chicken in red marinade, juicy and tasty; seekh kebab, and the juiciest, most flavourful lamb cutlet outside of the Karoo.

A flaky layered paratha (the special Namaskar lacha paratha) and a garlic naan are the perfect accompaniments to a prawn curry that is deep, and rich with tomato and subtle spices. Although a mixed vegetable and cheese curry might sound fairly pedestrian, it is a deliciously flavoursome dish of mushrooms, Indian cheese, and soft, gentle spices in a light sauce. For dessert, choose between any of a number of famous Indian classics such as Gulab Jamun, Ras Malia, Kulfi, Phirni and Shrikhand.

Drinks
The impressive bar is stocked to the hilt with row upon row of serious whiskies, gins and other fashionable drinks. The wine list starts off with a number of non-alcoholic wines for customers that do not partake in alcohol, but offers two French Champagnes as well as a number of local MCC’s.

Service
The owners are always on hand to oversee service and have obviously paid attention to the training of their wait staff, who are confident and able to operate with ease. This is a family business based on great food, great service and great values.

Ambience
Two massive brass elephants at the door, a number of carved wooden deities on the walls and tasteful draperies in rich red and orange confirm that one is visiting an elegant Indian restaurant. Although spacious, once it fills up (something that happens quite regularly, so better book in advance) it becomes quite intimate and warm, without ever feeling overcrowded.

And…
These days they offer a buffet meal only for large groups or special events – but this is something to consider, as it is a grand affair. Phone them up to discuss and arrange special food and wine pairing dinners, they are very keen to show their cuisine off against well paired wines.

(September 2016)

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

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  • Diane de Beer

    Food
    About four times a year (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, mother and father’s day), Namaskar serves a buffet. This is a great time to catch what they’re all about. Don’t think it is about quantity for this establishment, you’ll be missing the point. They want to serve the best, they’re not about shortcuts and their cuisine is probably as authentic as you would eat anywhere in India. The spices and flavours are perfect and while the menu seems too vast to the outside eye, the owner explains that many of the dishes work within a specific flavour spectrum and that’s why they can reach wide. From their Indo-Chinese starters to what is probably the best prawn curry you could wish for, this is the place to discover this cuisine in all its complexity. Their Namaskar dahl and an abundance of vegetarian options are also a good place to start.

    Drinks
    A serious wine list with a strong section on sparkling wines, MCC’s and Champagnes (and fancy decanters if you want to dine in spectacular style). Included is a Private Bin selection and a cocktail list. They also offer five non-alcoholic wines, in order to serve all their clients.

    Service
    The owners are always on hand; staff members are informed and ready to go.

    Ambience:
    Expect a large dining room with a raised area, as well as a private room if you prefer. With views on a busy main route, it’s as if you are part of the bustling city in the best sense possible. They’re easily accessible, and slightly off the normal foodie track, with plenty of parking.

    And…
    You might want to ask for seating on one of the balconies on a sunny day.

  • Food
    The bold use of cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, onion, garlic and tomato is synonymous with Indian cooking. Here unpretentious dishes come alive with combinations of these ingredients. Dhal gosht is extremely tasty; the vegetarian options offer a feast; and it’s difficult to choose between naan, roti, paratha or kulcha to accompany your main meal

    Wine
    There’s a good selection of wines with average prices. The non-alcoholic lassi (sweet, salted or mango) is well worth a try.

    Service
    Good. New staff are properly trained and accompanied by an experienced staff member.

    Ambience
    It feels authentic here, with the restaurant overlooking a busy street, which is similar to many restaurants in India.

    And...
    Patrons have to visit frequently to truly appreciate and experience the wide variety of delectable dishes available. (CR, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Food is good, the old Lady is very rude... doesn't know the menu well. she looks at us angry when the coke is split on the floor accidentally. wasted bottom-line: Expect NO Hospitality!!!
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  • After hearing about an Indian restaurant in the heart of Pretoria, a group of 7 of us decided to try out Namaskar. This was a poor decision on our part. I have been to many restaurants and have truly never experienced such condescending behaviour. The problem arose when one of our friend's who was Muslim asked the owner (who was taking our orders) if the food was halaal and she very rudely asked him if he had not read the menu and could he not see that no pork was served. Her attitude was demeaning and completely unprofessional! There was a note saying that the food was halaal but I believe it is within a consumer's rights to double check. When my friend left the table to step outside, the owner asked if our friend had a problem, we said no and she said she had a problem with him in a tone that was very aggressive. As we had finished our starters, the owner came to take orders for the main meal. We gave her our order and before our Muslim friend placed his order she began walking away. He said that he still had to place his order, she said he was taking too much of time to place an order! At that point we asked for the bill so we could leave! What I find apalling is the fact that the owner could ignore our friend based on his religion. I have never been to a restaurant where a time limit is imposed on you before an order is taken, neither have I been to a restaurant where the owner is so uncomfortable answering questions on the food being prepared. I find this behaviour completely intolerable! On our way out we tried to reason with the owners, trying to explain that you could not treat customers in that way but they refused to listen. I find this behaviour completely unacceptable! We live in a democratic society, or so I thought. To have such a negative attitude to someone of a different religion should not be tolerated!
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  • This is an Indian restaurant that firstly serves average food but this not the real issue. The real issue is the owner/manager of this restaurant who is this lady (Indian, short black hair) who has the most horrendous attitude when servicing their customers. She's is not winning any personality contests or even miss congeniality contests. Even Sandra Bullock wins this one hands down. I kid you not, I was in this restaurant a few times (NOT of my choosing, believe me) where this happened:
    1. I tried to take chicken curry from the buffet and she would be run behind me and ask what I'm doing? I was inclined to reply that I was searching for Waldo, but alas she would interject and say "Don't stir the curry". She forced me to pick out individual pieces of chicken from the curry and put it in the plate as not to mess the artwork of coriander drifting on the top. I wasn't aware one couldn't stir curry. I wondered how anyone could eat this curry? I felt like the chicken in the pot. I was cooked beyond recognition.

    2. My wife was trying to breastfeed in another room that led to art gallery. Granted kids were not allowed in but my wife had a sleeping baby in her arms. The manager forced herself in, told her that the baby mustn't touch the artwork. Well... maybe she saw it another movie where a sleeping baby miraculously started touching the artwork with her mind? None the less, she was so rude. Didn't even say please.

    3. Another time, my wife was with our baby and another child in another area of the restaurant, and behold! There comes the manager... who asked that the kids don't touch the glasses as they had just been washed (note: the kids are small and cannot reach the glasses on the dining table). You can't make this stuff up folks!

    This owner needs a life, she's rude and doesn't deserve to own a restaurant. She needs a life lesson in etiquette. I feel sorry for the man who married her. I hope he at least got to stir the chicken curry.
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  • Used to love this restaurant. Great disappointment after our last visit as we were refused tap water at the table. If we wanted water we were forced to buy bottled water at ZAR25-00 per bottle - environmentally I have an issue seeing that bottled water creates a large amount of plastic waste We just find this unacceptable. Visited August 2013.

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  • The food was excellent, but the lady that owns the place is an old hag who needs to get a life.

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  • This was definitely a good experience, so if your palate requests polite injection of Indian cuisine and you have someone to spoil, read on. I have been to this establishment several times, owing to its consistent performance. I was greeted by the owner in a warm hospitable manner and seated by her. She took the time of explaining the menu and was far from intrusive. She even offered preparing items off the menu to satisfy some of my dinner guests. The food was done well, and was even comparable to cuisine I had eaten in India. I am very rarely surprised by the authenticity of the cuisine, here I was impressed. The only glich is the pricing. The menu is a bit overpriced for the ingredients used. All in all, a good experience...I would suggest this place for a moderately priced special occasion.

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  • I had a wonderful dinner at Namaskar a few weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. Both the meat and vegetarian dishes were excellent and the party of Indian diners at a nearby table attested to the fact that the extensive selection of food is authentic. The service was attentive but not intrusive, the decor was stylish but not overly severe or garish. I'm definitely going again!

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  • I had the pleasure of eating a few times at Namaskar when they had recently opened for business. At the time (in 2008) the food was extraordinary! Without a shadow of a doubt it was the best Indian food I have been served in a restaurant in South Africa. Unfortunately I do not stay in Pretoria anymore, so I cannot comment on the current quality of their dishes - but I have recommended it to friends who have all been very pleased with their meals.
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  • I dined at Namsakar last night with my husband. Neither of us were very impressed. The service was almost non-existent and the food was not up to standard. What a waste of money and on a Friday night!I’m sorry guys I will not be coming back!
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  • We visited Namaskar on a hot December day and the owners were stingy with the air conditioning. I also found the owner and her family to be utterly invasive and meddlesome with every order that we placed. The food itself was quite palatable at the time but when we got home both my husband and I were feeling ill. Overall the experience did not represent good value for money and was not an enjoyable one.
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  • Excellent food, friendly service. Ive tried every Indian restaurant around Pretoria, this is easily the best. Not cheap, but worth every penny. I go there at least once a week, sometimes more. Try it, you wont be sorry.
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  • Authentic Indian cuisine that is sublime. No compromise on quality or ingredients. Worth every cent spent and more.
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  • Namasker has become our favourite local restaurant! Friday evenings is not the same without a curry! Ive probably had all the chicken dishes on the menu and I struggle to choose the best one. Please go and support these fantastic people. You will not be dissappointed!
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  • True serene Indian feel. Food to be tasted to be appreciated, place to be seen to comment on. Music that keeps you tranquil. What more can I say, other than if youre feeling hungry and want to eat in style, go and see for yourself.
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  • Everything from the seating to the food to the outlook - a dining experience not to be missed. Undoubtedly the best Indian restaurant in South Africa and a lot of other countries as well.Go see for yourself.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • Wheelchair

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