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Salaam Namaste

Salaam Namaste Curry House Canton Road, Yau Ma Tei, Friday 9 March

Quality: 7.9 Value: 9.4 Service: 7.7 Customer Care: 7.4 Atmosphere: 6.6 Overall = 7.8.

OCC recommended.

On March 9th the merry men of the OCC (world renowned, internationally respected, globally-franchised Oakham Curry Club) met up for their monthly curry at Salaam Namaste Curry House.

First thought: Salaam Namaste Curry House is located in the deepest, darkest recesses of Kowloon, doesn’t have a website, and is incredibly hard to find. If you didn’t know someone who’s been before you’d have to be a sniffer dog with curry-lust on the brain to find the place. Sniffing out that bhuna. This was a while back, and I can’t remember leaving the place, so only loosely remember getting there, so there’s a substantial amount of swaying (no swaying) involved here, if you’ll forgive me of that.

Second thought: Once you’ve found this bad boy, it looks more like a Hong Kong-style canteen than a curry house, so would it kill the owners to put a picture of the main man Vishnu on the walls? Or a wee statue of my boy Gnesha kicking back at the entrance? Or even a few Indian table clothes to give it that spice’ o’ life, yea? Just a few thoughts to add bit of authenticity to the place. No harm no sway, as they say. Nil-harm-a-nil-sway.

Third thought: You’d be forgiven if you thought the OCC was entirely made up of Danes based upon this meet, with their up-and-down chirpy bird-like accents, and a penchant for overly dry sarcasm. Fear not, curry houses of Hong Kong, this was an exceptionally Danish-centric gathering.

Woah woah woah. Don’t be reading this review getting all put off going there straight away. These are only three minor points to consider, if you catch my drift. Once you meander through the Coral Café-esque entrance, ask for a table up the stairs. Now you’re in your Mumbai-maison “de eating”. Now you can enjoy the smells, sights and tastes of the sub-continent.

The service kicked into gear at this stage. Many a beer was delivered. Promptly at that. No swaying but the service was great. Never-a-sway. Never-a-day. The man was quicker to pour a pint than an Irish stockbrocker in a brewery. Boom. Right there, right now (then). Starters were ordered, and quickly brought to us. Crispy samosas, moist chicken (moist, the way the boys like it, WAYOOO).

I think it was at this stage that the non-smokers of the contingent decided, a la Bullingdon Club, to trash the room with chairs in a futile (at least for me, who got passed) effort to prevent the smokers from getting in. The owner took this in his stride, so kudos to him (and to the general atmosphere).

The curries served for the main course were great. Very real. Very authentic. Oily, some lesser mortals might say. But these lesser men aren’t from the OCC, and they wouldn’t be able to tell a real curry if it had abused them as a child, under the guise of a whisky-breathed uncle.

When we got the bill (apparently) we were flabbergasted. The value of the place was stunning. No swaying. But I’m-a-happy-to-be-a-paying. Yes sireee.

Overall, well worth a visit. And it’s amazing to see that people are willing to cook good Indian food anywhere and everywhere in this vibrant city, without the new age-faddishness that is contaminating the restaurants on the island. I’d put my lot in with this quaint, and unrefined little restaurant than I would with many of the “upscale” “eateries” (wankeries, more like)” that you find springing up everywhere these days. Ultimately, this is a place that respects Indian food, the way it should be, much more so than the pomp and ceremony of restauranteurs trying to get in high-paying punters. Kudos to an original curry house. Kudos to that still being alive and well. OCC

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