Saturday, 22 December 2012

Punjabi Palace

I'm going to start this post by saying I don't like Indian food. I love curries, Japanese, Malaysian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Thai or even British Bastardised whatever with raisins and peas in it. I don't like Indian food barring naans, roti, raita and some chutneys, but the rice, the daals, the curries, the fried starters, nope, not for me.

Maybe because I grew up in Brisbane and we don't have many good Indian places? Whenever I use this excuse, people counter with the names of franchises around Brisbane. I don't want franchises! I want some type of authentic Indian cuisine from a region that I vaguely recognise, where Indian people are in attendance and the waiters barely understand English! That's the ideal for any cuisine! A place where no one understands you, filled with their locals, where the menu doesn't come in English and its always filled and very cheap. Oh, here is their menu.

In the end, I went to Punjabi Palace. Its very accessible in West End, has a good Urbanspoon reputation, is quite cheap and I've seen Indian people in there, granted they're all business people or Aussie born students, it still counts. I've been also telling my Boyfriend that we should go there for weeks and been piking out to go elsewhere, he always wisely counters that I don't really want to go there if I don't like Indian food.


Woo cheap lunches!

Whats with the tiki like hut?

This is heavily countered by the fact that I've been wanting a naan bread for several months now. Literally every time after we eat and we'd head home, I'd tried to convince him that we should just have one little naan bread to satisfy my craving. We did get a really lacklustre garlic naan in the Indian Kitchen upstairs in Queens Street Mall that taste stodgy and like it had been in the freezer despite them having a visible tandoor oven.

I'm not sure about the interior since I've never been to any other Indian restaurant that I remember. Red and gold chairs around a double table cloth table, lots of random murals and at the back there was a shady bar area beside the kitchen. Also random scattered plasma TVs at the back with muted Bollywood videos running on them.

Hmm odd interior

A bit messy
Their tables were stained and a bit gross, so were their water glasses, crusted with maybe some old curries or something.

What is that?

Or that?
We decided to just order the lunch specials when we went in for a taste of their food. Firstly though, GARLIC AND CHEESE NAAN BREAD.

Oh my goddddddddddddd.
Oh god. It was so good. When the basket hit the table, there was this beautiful aroma of vampire killing amounts of crushed garlic, a cow worth of melted cheese and that distinctive smell of toasted carb loaded goodness. I think I nearly had a food orgasm when I bit into that first hunk of naan, it was burning hot even to my teflon baking fingers where I touched it. Oh that garlicky and salted brushed ghee hit, that crunchy blistered exterior yielding into soft flat bread and an abundance of yet more garlic and melted cheese. These were two massive halves here not two actual serves.

Stretchy. Like mozzarella with taste.
I was attempting to take a beautiful shot of how much cheese oozed out when I pulled off a bit to eat it but then I ate it and it was ruined. I would go here again and again just for that naan bread. I gave my Boyfriend half, begrudgingly.

So much, I was defeated.
I ordered a mango lassi, keen to try an authentic one. It was like a very, very thick mango yoghurt. Like unstrained Greek yoghurt level of thickness. I knew within three sips that I would be suffering from my lactose intolerance very shortly. It was nice but I wish there was like a kid's size one, I never thought I'd ever say that about a drink, ever, unless it was y'know total shit.

On the other hand, the lunch special curries we ordered weren't fantastic.

Lamb rogan josh
I got the lamb rogan josh. It consisted of a really lemony and mostly lentil dominated curry. The lentils ground and so felt a bit gritty on the tongue, I prefer my lentils whole and chewable, but personal preference. There was the occasional minced piece of lamb there but I was disappointed they weren't larger pieces like in the butter chicken. I didn't finish very much of this and proceeded to worship my naan instead.

This is where my camera started to get blurry randomly
He got the butter chicken. My boyfriend has a crazy love of butter chicken that has seen him single handedly try nearly Indian place both good and bad in West End, for butter chicken, within his $15 per meal budget that is. The sauce was quite rich with very large tender chunks of chicken in a mostly tomato dominated sauce. It was also quite salty, but dulled down a bit when added to the rice. Even to my inexperienced eyes, this curry was lacking a lot of fragrance and he agreed. He mentioned that it wasn't any better than a chain store $5 curry either.

Weird salad.

The garnish is odd. The rice was good.
The rice was solid. Rice is rice. The salad was weird, it was an odd combination of flavours with diced tomato, red onion and some lettuce leaves. No dressing and that's it.

Punjabi Palace:
Atmosphere: 5, its sorta cute. Its also a bit dark and dirty. I dunno. When I went past recently there's a shirtless fat Santa statue that is holding a surfboard.
Service: 4, we got water. We got out food. They weren't rude. Meh.
Food: That naan is a 10. The curries were a 1, my Boyfriend is telling me to write a 1.

Punjabi Palace on Urbanspoon

Oh and the long ten day gap between my Peter's Fish Market and PPP: Obaltan and Chocolateria San Churro posts was due to the fact that the internet/phone lines were down in my area. I had quite a few posts written/partially written from when I had gone over to my Boyfriends/written on paper and stuff, but no internet connection to actually upload existing photos. Expect a barrage soon of new posts.

Also my most famous post is now my apple teacake/muffin recipe with 185 page views this month. Muffin is now the most searched term to get to my blog :)

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