Fo0die dined as a guest of Punjabi Curry Cafe and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Opened since 2008, we knew we were in for some great tasting food given the venue has been around for 10 years! After a short walk from the tram stop on Johnston Road (we took route 86), we arrived at the quiet strip where the venue which specialises in authentic Northern Indian cuisine is located.
After snapping some photos of the exterior of the venue, we walked into the venue and was welcomed by staff at the small counter.
Looking straight to the back, we can see the bar, behind that the kitchen and a glass working kitchen area (more about that in a second!). Wooden dining tables filled the area between the bar and the entry counter.
On the left hand side are arches that lead you into a spacious dining area which has cool lighting effects on the wall.
Now back to that glass working kitchen area, which clearly has been put there to welcome diners to have a peek, where the venue actually makes and cooks the naan; something worth taking a look at how they cook the naan in the tandoor (clay oven).
The menu is quite large upon first glance with an impressive set of dishes under entree and then separately under each protein or vegetarian sections, at least 8 options to choose from. What we realised after awhile was that many of the curries were the same just with different protein options.
The staff there recommended that we start off with two entrees and two curries between the two of us which actually ended up being too much for the two of us as the entrees were quite large for a team of two (we ended up having to take away half of each of the curries, therefore we recommend a curry to share if you’re going to have the two entrees we had).
Every table started off with the thin and crunchy pappadums served with a tamarind and a mind sauce to start off the meal.
We had the two entrees that staff recommended as being the two most popular and signature dishes of the chef. The fried vegetarian balls were in a lovely sweet, sour and spicy sauce (our mouths were slightly on fire) while the dumplings had the most smooth and thin skin we have had in awhile. The filling itself was finely minced and also spicy (a little too spicy for Mr J) and was served with a spicy tomato chutney (which Mr J avoided). These entrees would best serve a group of 3 or 4 in our opinion.
We were overwhelmed by the number of different curries that the venue offered and when we asked the staff for their recommendation, the saag and tikka masala was one that was pointed out (along with many many others!). The spring lamb was a little tough but we loved dipping the amazing garlic naan (buttery and slightly crisp on the bottom) into the puréed spinach which was sweet but also salty and mildly spicy (don’t be fooled, it builds up!). The chicken in the tikka masala had a lovely grilled flavour within the tikka masala.
Both curries are meant to be a single serve but they were both generous in portion size and filled with meat. Along with the two entrees, we could have easily gotten away with sharing the one curry between the two of us.
While we’re no connoisseurs of North Indian cuisine, we could clearly tell this venue is a favourite of many, with the amount of takeaway orders during the evening and the large group reservations.
Dishes that make up this review
- Pappadum with tamarind and mint sauce
- Veg manchurian; homemade vegetable balls cooked in chef’s special sweet and sour Indo Chinese sauce ($13.99)
- Chicken momos; steamed Himalayan chicken dumplings served with fresh sesame hinted tomato chutney ($10.99)
- Lamb saag; lean pieces of spring lamb cooked with pureed spinach, onions, tomato and spices (17.99)
- Chicken tikka masala; chicken tikka sauteed with tomato, onion and capsicum cooked with chef’s special herbs and spices finished with fresh coriander ($16.99)
- Garlic naan; plain flour bread with fresh garlic flavour ($3.99)
- Saffron rice ($4.99)
The notes below are current and accurate at the time of writing but please do check before going to avoid any disappointment as things can suddenly change.
- 25% off the total bill (up to the value of $30) with the entertainment book