Street food festival success at city centre restaurant

Nahima Satar and Keval Vegad from Namaste Village. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Nahima Satar and Keval Vegad from Namaste Village. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Hundreds of foodies experienced authentic vegan and vegetarian street food at a new culinary festival.

Alicia and Annie Edwards trying the food at the Namaste Village Vegan Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy

Alicia and Annie Edwards trying the food at the Namaste Village Vegan Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Around 1,000 people, including some from London and Birmingham, flocked to Namaste Village restaurant in Queens Road, Norwich for its inaugural Veganuary Mela which took place across the day on Sunday, January 16.

Sumana and Sanjey trying the food at the Namaste Village Vegan Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Sumana and Sanjey trying the food at the Namaste Village Vegan Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Dalsukh Jetani, director of Namaste Village, said: "It has been a unique experience for Norwich. It has been like a carnival atmosphere."

From masala dosa, vada pav, pani puri and desserts, the 10 stalls featured vegan street food from different areas of India.

RussellWinterburn, Robbie and Carol Hanson, Tricia Winterburn trying the food at the Namaste Villag

RussellWinterburn, Robbie and Carol Hanson, Tricia Winterburn trying the food at the Namaste Village Vegan Festival. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

All the tasty treats were cooked by chefs from Namaste Village which has been in business in the city for a decade.

Owner of Namaste Village, Ketan Vaghasiya. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Owner of Namaste Village, Ketan Vaghasiya. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The family-run restaurant, which serves vegetarian and vegan dishes, employs 15 people and other staff also put on dance and musical performances as well as selling spices and handycrafts made by traditional Indian communities.

Jo Hill had a henna tattoo. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jo Hill had a henna tattoo. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Jetani added: "There have been adults. children, families and couples coming along today. It feels like how a fun Sunday should be. We are glad the event has got attention and love."

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Despite the popularity, he said people were acting responsibly and abiding by Covid safety restrictions at the attraction.

Jo Hill had a henna tattoo. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Jo Hill had a henna tattoo. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The businessman added the event was based on similar seasonal festivities held in India to showcase the best street food from the country.

Dalsukh Jetani, Tushar Jetani, Ketan Vaghasiya, Keval Vegad from Namste Village. Picture: Sarah Luc

Dalsukh Jetani, Tushar Jetani, Ketan Vaghasiya, Keval Vegad from Namste Village. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Jetani said: "We have created a food adventure. The smell in the air today has built up people's appetites. We are happy to recreate the Indian seasonal mela festivals.

"This is a huge platform for the city. Norwich has a rich offering for food. It also respects vegan and vegetarian culture. This event puts Norwich into a a different light.

"The vegetarian and vegan culture has been a way of life for my family and we want to show there is no compromise with this food and you can have fun with it.

"A lot more people have been appreciating the vegan and vegetarian lifestyle. We are glad that this part of the world is looking at the bigger picture of sustainability and want to take the change head-on."