I have tried almost all Indian restaurants in Middlesbrough over the years and have come across varied reports about Namaste. Undaunted, we went on a Wednesday night. A Banner hangs outside the place advertising a buffet Monday-Thursday.
On entering, We could see the buffet serving trays all lined up but were told that this was only available on Thursday. Banner was misleading but we wanted to order a la carte in any case to sample their freshly prepared food. An item on the menu attracted my attention: Steam Roller Chicken dish was apparently inspired by an incident when someone saw a chicken being flattened by a steam roller. Some may find that totally inappropriate for a food menu but I am not the squeamish type! In fact, one of the best chicken dishes I have ever tested was in Damascus where the chicken looked so flat that it could have been run by a steam roller. My wife on the other hand played it safe and ordered the classic Indian Railway Curry. This curry is cooked the world over in discerning restaurants and is indeed wonderful.
We waited for about 25 minutes for the food to arrive and were told by the waiter that it will be a while as it's prepared fresh, which we were pleased to hear. Food was served and my first observation was that chicken just looked like your everyday chicken (not steam rollered if you get my drift) and was covered with a vegetable curry sauce. Ok, so the chicken must have been able to dodge the roller but it was tender and moist, but the sauce was just your average vegetable curry sauce. Nice but nothing special for the most expensive dish on the menu at £10+ without rice or naan.
As for the Railway curry, the lamb was tender with no gristle or other nasties but the curry sauce itself was again average. Portions were generous and you certainly left the place feeling full.
This is a small place, seating about 24 people. The décor was not to our taste and the music was a bizarre garage/dance mix that would appeal to teenagers. Thankfully, it was not too loud to spoil the evening. We got the feeling from the guy who served us and the chef who came out to speak to us are very "fragile" about their reputation and were very, very eager to please. We think that this is as a result of some of the spurious and terrible feedback that they received. Our advice to them is to concentrate on preparing better food and the good feedback will follow naturally.
In conclusion, we think that Namaste can produce better food than what was served to us that night. We are happy to give them the benefit of the doubt and go again.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.