From crispy pancakes and potato waffles to chicken nuggets and chips, beige was certainly the predominant colour of my dinner plate growing up.
But all that changed when I had my first taste of Indian food.
Blowing my mind – and taste buds – I have a vivid childhood memory of greedily grabbing a teaspoon and devouring the bright red spiced onions straight from its silver foil packaging before my family had even unwrapped the Indian takeaway we’d ordered.
From that moment on, Indian food always signified special occasions in our house, from exam results and driving tests to birthdays and anniversaries.
Much to my shame, I hadn’t sampled Aberdeen’s Indian food offering since moving to the city from the central belt nearly two years ago, so I was more than ready for my visit to Namaste Delhi in Bridge Street.
Friendly staff and ‘serene surroundings’ await at Namaste Delhi
No stranger to a balti himself, my other half was equally as excited as we made our way past Friday night revellers to the restaurant.
Fairy lights twinkling with promise in the window, we stepped inside and were instantly greeted with a friendly smile from one of the waiting staff who showed us to our table and took our drink orders.
Relaxed and comfortable, we soaked up the serene surroundings admiring the beautifully bright tapestries hanging from towering columns, while dimly lit candles and the grand piano created a romantic vibe.
Let’s tuck into the food…
Excellent value for money, the restaurant is offering two courses for £25 as part of Aberdeen Restaurant Week.
After debating over the mixed vegetable pakora and the samosa chat, a samosa with masala, chick peas, yoghurt and chutney, I eventually settled on the Delhi chilli chicken for my starter.
Succulent and enveloped in a warm and crispy batter, the chicken was beautifully complemented by a sticky and slightly spicy sauce with hints of chilli and soy sauce cutting through while peppers and onions added some welcome crunch.
Succulent salmon pakora
Across the table, the fish pakora was also hitting the spot.
Chunks of perfectly cooked salmon covered in a light batter with a cooling pink garlic dip for dunking, it was a winner.
As a korma connoisseur, I couldn’t resist the creamy concoction for my main when I spotted it on the menu.
Deliciously creamy with a hint of coconut, I could’ve eaten the yellow korma sauce on its own with a spoon, but the tender hunks of chicken and the fluffy and flavoursome mushroom rice married the dish together beautifully.
Variety is the spice of life
Opting for the garlic chilli chicken dish, my partner’s nose started to run as he savoured every mouthful of this spicier dish full of green chillies and Indian spices.
In need of something to cool our mouths down, we ordered a mango sorbet and a pistachio kulfi for dessert.
Like a holiday in dessert form, the mango sorbet was vibrant and refreshing.
Like a denser and creamier version of ice-cream, the pistachio kulfi was a nutty sensation.
I couldn’t fault Namaste Delhi, everything from the friendly staff and the impeccable service to the sensational food and beautiful venue, it was perfect.
And whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or even just a Friday night, I’ll find any excuse to visit again soon.
A: Ground Floor, 64 Bridge Street, Aberdeen AB11 6JN
Price: £50 (excluding drinks)
Aberdeen Restaurant Week promotion: Two courses for £25 per person.