A few months ago, I had dinner at Punjabi Hut in Wanniassa and have finally got around to posting about it. I was originally going to pick the all you can eat buffet – unlimited quantities of the restaurant’s choice of 3 curries (2 meat, 1 veg), naan bread and rice for $20. Bargain! But that night’s curries didn’t include butter chicken (which is what I was really craving) so I opted for the banquet at $25 per person. This included entrees of chicken tikka and onion bhaji, mains of butter chicken and a dahl curry, rice and naan.
The chicken tikka was succulent and delicious – a beautiful bright red in colour and slightly charred on the outside. Great flavours and large chunks of chicken.
I usually find onion bhaji really oily but that was not the case at Punjabi Hut. The crunchy batter was light and made a real difference to both texture and taste.
Three of us shared this banquet so I’m disappointed that only 2 curries came out. Indian curries served in the traditional balti bowls are already quite small in portion, so this wasn’t enough to feed three hungry people. The butter chicken is absolutely amazing. Thick, creamy, subtly sweet with a hint of coconut, this definitely makes my top 5 best butter chicken dishes in Canberra. The entire bowl was scraped clean.
The dahl curry was tasty too. My only minor complaint is that I found the dahl a little harder than most other places.
The rice is bright and colourful.
I found the naan to be thin and a little too crispy for my liking.
Pappadums came last but were crunchy and light.
Although I’m glad that I got to try the absolutely delicious butter chicken (will definitely go back for that!), I regret not sticking with the original plan of the $20 all you can eat buffet. It’s definitely much better value than the banquet. The three curries that night as part of the buffet were beef vindaloo, chicken korma and a vegetable curry. A second round of all three were ordered by all along with more rice and naan.
The $20 all you can eat buffet is available Monday to Wednesday night only. The curries in the buffet are the chef’s choice and always include one vegetarian dish. I’m sure they would be happy to make all three curries vegetarian if asked. Curries are changed each day. It’s BYO with a liquor shop just a few doors down. To add to the feel of being in India, you can watch some Bollywood dancing on the tv screens. Bookings recommended.
Punjabi Hut is located on the main strip of restaurants on Gartside Street at the Erindale Shops.
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