the disney food blog Rotating Header Image

News! and Review: Downtown Disney’s Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Namaste Cafe has arrived on the Disney Food Truck scene in Disney World’s Downtown Disney!

Namaste Cafe Food Truck in Downtown Disney

It joins the first food truck, Superstar Catering (check out our review here!), in what will ultimately become a group of four trucks total in coming weeks.

Namaste Cafe and Superstar Catering Food Trucks

I know AJ’s been looking forward to this one because we were told it would have Butter Chicken — her favorite! Let’s take a look!

Atmosphere

Namaste Cafe features “Tasty Explorations from Disney’s Animal Kingdom,” but before I placed my order, I just had to take some time to admire the artwork on this eye-catching truck.

"Tasty Explorations from Disney's Animal Kingdom"

I love how it so beautifully echoes the imagineering you see in Animal Kingdom, particularly in the Asia area. Just take a look…

Artwork on the Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Tiger on the Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Murals on Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Even the tiger habitat from the Maharajah Jungle Trek is represented beside the pickup window (or at least it looks that way to me!).

Namaste Cafe tiger mural at pickup window

But now that we’ve seen the facade, let’s check out what’s inside!

Eats

Namaste Cafe dishes include Slow-cooked Beef Short Ribs, Tandoori Shrimp, and Butter Chicken (woo!).

Namaste Cafe Food Truck Menu

Namaste Cafe Food Truck Menu

I was tempted by the Short Ribs, but I’d been looking forward to the Butter Chicken for so long that I decided not to deviate from the plan :)!

Butter Chicken

There aren’t many places to dine here at the food truck area, but there are three tables set up for standing!

View from the Food Trucks at the far end of the West Side

You might notice Disney Quest in the background — that’s because the trucks were back in their original home on the West Side between Cirque de Soleil and House of Blues. During the day, this is a pretty quiet corner, but things really pick up in the evenings prior to shows at each neighboring venue.

Superstar Catering, however, has also been spotted closer to Pleasure Island at the open area next to Bongos Cuban Cafe. So, if you’re on the hunt for the trucks, please know that they relocate themselves occasionally… what with being trucks and all ;). No matter where they are placed, from what I can tell, they seem to be sticking to the originally anticipated schedule of Wednesdays through Sundays.

Okay, enough with the logistics! Back to the food!

The Butter Chicken is served on a bed of basmati rice over naan bread, and topped with vegetables.

Butter Chicken from Namaste Cafe

The first thing I noticed was that the chicken was not covered in the same amounts of yummy gravy I typically associate with Butter Chicken (or at least the Butter Chicken I’ve enjoyed so much at Sanaa). While that makes sense when I consider how it’s served (it would make for a really messy dish for something that’s meant to be portable), it took a little getting used to.

However, once I dug in, I was able to better appreciate this version of the dish for what it was. The chicken was flavorful and so tender that it practically fell apart on my fork, and the white basmati rice was prepared just right.

A bite of Butter Chicken and Basmati Rice

I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of spice in this dish. Even more, I was surprised by the source of the spice: while the chicken was well-flavored, the punch came primarily from the vegetables. The pickled cucumber, radish, golden beet, onion, and carrots really picked up the spices and delivered them beautifully!

Pickled Veggies on the Butter Chicken

I like some kick, so for me, this was great – in fact, it was my second favorite thing about the dish! But spice-adverse folks may find it a bit strong.

What was my favorite aspect? The fresh, grilled naan bread… buttery, soft, and practically the size of a baseball mitt!

Fresh Grilled Naan!

Now if the truck could just serve a few of the accompaniments from Sanaa’s Bread Service, I’d seriously consider pitching my tent next to it ;).

Overall

Like my experience at the Superstar Catering Food Truck, I was really pleased with the flavor and quality of the food. This is just a guess, but I’m wondering if — due to the small size of the trucks — perhaps the food can be prepared only in very small batches, resulting in an unusually fresh entrée.

I also feel that the price point of the Butter Chicken is more on par with what I’d anticipated.

Design on the back of Namaste Cafe Food Truck

Before I sign off, I just have to note how awesome the Cast Members have been at each food truck – friendly, enthusiastic, and excited to be part of something so new.

Disney Food Trucks Logo

Two down, two to go… we’re looking forward to the arrival of The World Showcase of Flavors and Enchanted Fare Food Trucks in the weeks to come!

Which item would you like to try from the Namaste Cafe Food Truck? Please let us know with a comment below!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

11 Comments

  1. Nate G. says:

    Sweet! Great info!

    Any idea when those other food carts might arrive? Will I be able to get a corn dog on December 14? I’m really looking forward to that corn dog. hahaha.

  2. Frank Stefanec says:

    You mentioned Sanaa.
    Haven’t been to Sanaa since last Christmas season. At that time, food was excellent, but seemingly the same old. have they added anything new and different this past year??
    We usually Hotel Hop at the Holidays to view the decorations and make Sanaa a “traditional” stop.
    Thx for any info.
    Frank

  3. Jill D says:

    Wouldn’t it be so cool if these trucks toured around the US bringing the joy of WDW food to everyone?

  4. Hauntedmansion138 says:

    I’m not sure I have a specific dish in mind but a vegan/vegetarian option would be nice. It would make a good balance with the beef, chicken and shrimp.

  5. Kaz says:

    Yeah, I am with HauntedMansion here.. how did Disney manage to pull off an Indian food truck with no vegetarian option??

  6. The truck is gorgeous!

    But, oh no! Not one vegetarian option in an “Indian” street food truck? Really? When I’ve visited the “real” India, I’d say 90% of all street food (if not more) was vegetarian. And beef – even McDonalds there doesn’t serve beef.

    Sigh. Oh well, I guess I could get a Dasani =P

    I like the truck’s design though!

  7. starrynightrose says:

    Those saying they can’t believe that an “Indian” street food truck should have a vegetarian option and shoudn’t be serving beef need to remember that it’s serving food from Animal Kingdom (food which is inspired by Asia and Africa), not strictly Indian food…

    Even though I am not a vegetarian (though more often than not I choose meatless dishes), I have to agree though that the truck should have a vegetarian option. The two trucks that have rolled out so far do not have any vegetarian dishes…

    That being said, I am looking forward to getting back to the World sometime to try out all the new options that have appeared since my last visit in 2011! These trucks are high on my list!

  8. Beth says:

    I have to agree with those disappointed by the lack of a vegetarian choice. That seems so strange when that part of the world has so many yummy options, and such a tradition of street food.

  9. Essie says:

    I think I’d like to try the Butter Chicken. I’d like to know if the gravy is more buttery or tomato-y (if that’s a word)!

  10. Wendy says:

    I guess it’s obvious that I’m not a vegetarian :); however, in recent months I’ve been trying to eat less meat at home (so far, that’s meant lots of lentil recipes while I try to learn more). So when I go out I’m a bit more prone to noticing veggie options now. I agree that vegetarian options would be a really natural fit here, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the menus after these initial months.

    Essie — I’d say more tomato-y (and if that’s not a word, it should be ;) )

    Nate — no official word on dates just yet for that corn dog, but we’re hoping soon!

  11. Samantha says:

    Seriously– I’m with everyone else– all I could think when reading this is, how can you POSSIBLY call a truck “Namaste” and have no vegetarian options?! It’s almost sacrilegious… literally!

    I hope that people notice it and point it out to them and that they make adjustments!!!

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *