Among all the Indian eateries in Auckland stands a lone outpost. If you’re attracted to authentic Asian cuisine and into serious flavours this little gem plays by its own rules.
Don’t let the understated décor of this quiet city 12-seater fool you. A discreet shopfront located in unfashionable upper Hobson Street, this starkly minimalist city eatery is not an upmarket dining experience nor is it designed to appeal to an upmarket crowd. It’s a simple café bringing cooking refinement to the table with dishes punching well above their weight.
And there is plenty of love in the food. Apart from the customary poppadums ($1.50), roti and naan breads ($1.50 to $5.50), entrees of samosa ($5), onion bhajia ($5.90), spicy chicken wings ($10.90), peri-peri chicken tikka ($11.90), malai kebab ($11.90), and prawn tikka ($13.90) all score highly, but the real attractions are mains. They say simple is best and it’s certainly what Namaste Infusion Kitchen does best with its clever fusion of spices.
The chicken tikka masala ($12.90) and rojan josh ($14.90) are smooth and clean-balanced with a distinct freshness as the other mains, chicken vindaloo ($14.90), mango chicken ($13.90), butter chicken ($12.90), chicken mughlai ($12.90), lamb gosht ($14.90), lamb vindaloo ($14.90), lamb korma ($14.90), fish makhanwala ($16.90) and prawn Malabari ($16.50). And if you have a liking for biryani to share at the table select from chicken ($44.80), lamb ($48.80) or vegetarian ($41.80).
And the verdict? This is pure Indian cuisine at its best. As small and modest as it may be, chef and owner Vishal Kumar has set his sights to achieve high standards with dishes not vaguely westernised, underscored with down-to-earth prices and generous servings that will keep your taste buds in the clouds. Service is confident.
Menu: 8.5 | Cuisine: 8.5
Service: 7.5 | Décor: 5
Value for Money: 9
Words: Dennis & Rosamund Knill
Namaste Infusion Kitchen
164 Hobson St, Auckland CBD
Unlicensed | Lunch Mon–Sat | Dinner 7 days
09 303 4889 | namasteinfusionkitchen.com