Since attending its opening 10 years ago, I've had innumerable meetings at Namaste, with everyone from journalists to business people - and almost certainly my bank manager. Nowadays, the business lunch is a genuine international phenomenon, and I'm one for conducting full-on business over a meal. It's a very relaxed way of doing things, and I use restaurants as much for nitty-gritty meetings as for getting to know new contacts.
And this is a great restaurant. It's in a converted courthouse, with high ceilings that give it a fantastic atmosphere. It has a bright, contemporary feel and, being near the City, there's a great buzz at lunchtime. It offers a whole range of Indian food, but as the head chef is from Goa, it specialises in cuisine from that region, which is where vindaloo originated.
The owner, Cyrus Todiwala, is one of the most famous Indian chefs in the country. He is a Parsee, so the restaurant also specialises in Parsee dishes, such as patra ni machchi - fish coated with a green coconut chutney, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed, a signature Parsee dish. He also does a good dhannsaak - made of pureed vegetables, lentils and lime, and served with brown rice. It's my favourite Parsee food - absolutely delicious.