When life's a beach, try the curry
BUSAN - In the past year, popular restaurants from Seoul started making their way to South Korea’s second largest city. One of the most elegant of these establishments, Namaste Taste of India, spirited into Busan without much fanfare. People behind the eatery seemingly preferred to let both the food and intimate atmosphere of the restaurant speak for themselves.
Mr. Laxman Bogati opened Seoul’s first Namaste in 2000. With four restaurants already running strong in Seoul, Bogati and business partner Sharma Narayan opened the Haeundae Beach location in the fall of last year. A meal in the Busan location offers solid evidence of their winning approach to Indian dining.
Walking down Namaste’s stairs takes patrons into one of Busan’s most aesthetically pleasing places to eat. Pictures fail to do it justice. The dining area is a smooth combination of hand carved wooden elephants the size of Galapagos tortoises, door sized carvings of scenes from the Bhagavad Gita adorn the walls, recessed bays feature statues of various sized deities, and decorating each table are candles and fresh flowers. Bollywood plays on a big screen television, enriching the atmosphere in a way that television rarely does.
As far as the food goes, expect something sublimely delicious.
In a recent conversation Narayan shared a couple of observations about Korea’s two largest cities and their customers’ preferences. “Busan is much cleaner than Seoul and the people here are relaxed, as if they have nothing to worry about. They seem to always be in a party mood. People in Seoul always seem to be so busy, but being a capital there is a lot to keep people busy.”
Narayan’s second observation comes as a bit of a surprise, though. “People in Busan love spicier food more than people in Seoul. In Seoul our most popular dish is prawn butter curry, but in Busan it is chicken vindaloo.” Who would guess that a seafood loving city like Busan would prefer poultry over crustaceans?
At the conclusion of the interview Narayan asked if he could share a message with Groove readers and the people of Busan. “Regardless of your favorite Indian dish, thank you for your faith and love in us. I promise we will never let you down and will always work hard for your service.”
Sounds like a great offer from someone who came all the way from Delhi to serve the best curry he knows how. Many Busan customers confidently argue that in Busan, his best is the best.
How to get there: Take subway Line 2 to Haeundae Beach and walk towards the beach. Once at the beach turn right and walk five minutes or so. Namaste is on the right, next to the BMW dealership.
For more information go to: www.namasterestaurant.co.kr