Punjabi Hut, Canberra

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On a recent weekend getaway to Canberra, we came across an unassuming Indian restaurant and, being upstairs, we could easily have missed it. Due to our lack of making a dining reservation, and having not yet acclimatised to the 5 degree evening, we decided to seek refuge.

Upon entering the restaurant we realised that our refuge was turning into more than we expected. The restaurant had a warm and inviting feel and, equally, the staff made us feel very welcome. The kitchen was on show, behind a glass wall,  allowing all patrons to view the preparation of their meals.

Between the three of us, having been to many Indian restaurants in the past, our mains were chosen promptly. For entrees, we decided on something a little different – chicken tikka and Chaat chatpati .

The Chicken tikka that was presented consisted of lovely large pieces of boneless chicken on a skewer, basted in creamy sauce.

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Chicken Tikka 

The other entree, Chaat chatpati, was one that we hadn’t ordered in the past. We were pleasantly surprised when we were presented with this amazingly exotic dish and the explosion of flavours.  There were so many different textures and taste sensations, ranging from sweet, spicy and tangy in a warm, yet cool dish. We asked the waiter what was in it, and he advised that it was a very typically traditional Indian dish with crispy battered spinach, potato, shredded cabbage, and finely chopped tomato with a mixture of sweet tamarind chutney and creamy sauce…a true taste sensation!

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 Chaat chatpati

The incredible entrees left us in high anticipation of the mains and they didn’t disappoint!

Amongst our shared mains were a creamy and flavoursome butter chicken (always a favourite and a must have when ordering with children); Saag lamb curry, which consisted of tender pieces of lamb with spinach curry;  and the final dish of malai kofta, cheese and potato dumplings in a creamy cashew curry sauce. We ordered raita, a home made cucumber and yoghurt (in case the curries needed cooling), a nice accompaniment, though not necessary as the curries were not hot.  Our curries were served with saffron rice and freshly cooked soft, fluffy Naan bread.

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 Butter chicken, saag lamb and malai Kofta

 The wait staff were extremely attentive and friendly, checking in on us during our meal in a very accommodating manner.

At the end of the meal, the servings were so generous that we were far too full for desert (not to mention that we had over ordered, although we were still delighted to have tried the various dishes). The finishing touch to this truly wonderful meal was when the waiter brought us sugar coated fennel seeds, a lovely and refreshing finish to the meal.

 Verdict…if you are a lover of Indian food, this is the place to go.

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sugar coated fennel seeds

Punjabi Hut

Shop 19, Style Arcade Upstairs

Franklin Street, Manuka

Canberra.

Punjabi Hut Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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