Punjabi Curry Cafe, Collingwood

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MELBOURNE | Punjabi Curry Cafe is an Indian restaurant in Collingwood. The kind of place you walk past several times but never visit because there’s nothing that catches your eye. It’s in a quiet, dark part of Johnston Street, with signage and a frontage that looks like it hasn’t been updated in several decades (FYI it’s 10 years old). The interior is nothing fancy – no known designers creating a modern fit out here, just orange and white plastered walls and low, orange tinged lighting which create a nightmare scenario for food photography.

We were invited to visit recently by husband and wife co-owners Raj and Krystle, and after taking a look at the menu and a few online reviews, there was enough that interested us to indicate that Punjabi Curry Cafe might just offer more than its looks would have one believe. When we walked in to the surprisingly spacious venue it was very quiet. As in, there was our table for two and a group towards the kitchen at the back. There was however, for the entirety of our visit, a constant stream of Uber Eats and Foodora drivers picking up orders, and people coming in to pick up take away orders themselves. So a quiet restaurant for dine in, but a very busy take away trade. The smell of the venue was fantastic, with aromatic herbs and curries filling the air.

When we were seated we were immediately served poppadoms with mint raita and chutney, and given some time to peruse the menu. The menu claims to specialise in North Indian cuisine, but taking a look at the extensive menu there’s a lot more than just North Indian cuisine. Upon returning to take our order, we asked for recommendations and were pointed to a few different dishes which we were happy to go with. Generally speaking, ordering what the staff recommend and like is always a good idea.

The Fish Madras, with fish fillet pieces cooked with roasted mustard seeds, a touch of coconut milk, bay leaves and cooked chillies, was very tasty, with the aromatic spices coating the tender fish perfectly. We were also impressed by the tasty Chicken Tikka – boneless pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices cooked in tandoor.

Moving on to curries and the Butter Chicken, with boneless and succulent chicken pieces cooked in a butter sauce with coriander, tomato and ginger, is one of the most popular dishes on the menu, and really hit the spot. It was full of flavour and not at all greasy or heavy. Finally there was the Palak Paneer consisting of fresh spinach and cottage cheese cooked in spicy herbs. Warning this final one is tasty but spicy indeed and not for the faint of heart. It was all served with perfectly fluffy saffron rice and flavoursome garlic naan.

While Punjabi Curry Cafe isn’t going to win any awards for serving the best curry in Melbourne, there’s no getting past the fact that they offer some very tasty food that’s priced very keenly. There’s better Indian food out there in Melbourne, but you’re paying for it. The ratio of take away to those dining in, by the end of our meal, made perfect sense. We probably wouldn’t dine in again, as there are other places we’d prefer to eat at if looking for a sit down Indian meal, like Horn Please, Babu Ji, and Piquancy, but if we were looking for some take away Indian to bring home, and have leftovers for lunch the next day, we’d happily order from Punjabi Curry Cafe.

Punjabi Curry Cafe

87 Johnston Street
Collingwood
Victoria 3066
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9419 5307
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Mon – Sun: 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Punjabi Curry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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