Peace, love and Namaste


Aquila Freeney

Peanut banana curry, curry chicken, lentil pattie, apollo fish, and beef kofta korma

Aquila Freeney
Gulab jamun (spongy milky balls soaked in rose flavored syrup) in rice pudding with a flavorless wafer

I decided to branch out of my comfort zone and try a restaurant someone suggested, Namaste. As always, I did my research before heading to the restaurant. I looked online to find out where it was located and what kind of food they serve. I saw it was just around the corner, close by the MSU police station. Never in my life have I ever had Indian food, but that was soon to change. I decided to visit twice because once I got there, I found out they had a weekend buffet and a week day buffet price so I was curious to find out if they had different menus for both.

My first visit was on a Sunday, and the smell of the food graced my nostrils before we walked in. I was so eager to try something new. It was later in the evening, around 6 p.m. and it was pretty empty when my friends and I got there. We were greeted by the waitress and she told us to just sit anywhere then asked us our drink orders. She offered us something called a “green lemonade” and I declined, but my friend ordered that as her beverage of choice. The waitress told us to go ahead and fix our plates and to pay once we were done.

This was such a different experience for me, simply because no buffet restaurant I had been to, actually let you eat first, then pay later. I thought that was pretty cool about this place. I walked to where the food was and saw that there was a vegan area before the meat options.I first placed a scoopful of white rice on my plate, then something called “potato banana curry” and I walked down to where the meats were and saw a familiar food item: chicken tikka masala. I went back to our table and the first thing I tried were the potatoes and I could have only had that and would’ve been satisfied entirely. They were a bit spicy but were so savory so I fell head over heals with the dish.

Next I went for the chicken tikka masala. I had heard much about it but I didn’t know what to expect from the taste. It was a bit bland, but not in a bad way. It just seemed like chicken drenched in a creamy tomato sauce. It went well with the house-made naan. The naan was amazing by itself and I took some to go. About five minutes had passed, and my friend’s green lemonade came. It looked pretty good, she let me taste some and I honestly felt like I was drinking ground up grass. My friend seemed to like it. She actually loved it, but it was a bit too fresh for my liking. I’ve never been big on vegetables, truthfully. On the menu, the drink included fresh kale, apples, cucumbers and lemons, so it’s a great option for those who crave nutrition. It was not for me though. I’m here for a good time, not a long time.

Aquila Freeney
a beverage made with fresh kale, apples, cucumbers, and lemons

Before we left, I fixed myself a bowl of dessert. I got a half scoop of rice pudding, then put a “gulab jamun” (a spongy, milky ball soaked in rose flavored syrup) and I dipped one of those flavorless wafers you get from the Mexican ice cream trucks in it.

When we left, our totals we very reasonable, about $15 per person. I bid the waitress adieu and told her I would be back soon.

Tuesday came, and I went back to see if my theory was correct about them having a different menu for the week days. I wasn’t right at all, but I still fixed a plate of curry chicken, rice and potato banana curry because when in Rome. A different waitress offered me a beverage menu, and I saw something called “madras coffee” and she explained to me that it was Indian coffee, so of course I quickly ordered that because I love coffee, to say the least.

I was a bit disappointed when she came back and said they were out of the milk needed to make the drink, so I ordered the mango lassi, which is made with mango, milk, yogurt, sugar and cardamom. She said the coffee was made to order, while the mango lassi is prepared first thing every morning so that’s why there was milk for one and not the other.

When I got my drink, I was hesitant simply because of my experience with the green lemonade, but surprisingly it tasted like a melted popsicle. It was really amazing. It was so good I’m considering going back just to get another one.

Again, the total was still extremely feasible, I paid for my friend and myself and spent about $30. It’s probably the best new experience money can buy and this could be possibly my favorite buffet restaurant.