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Punjab Express

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Cost
R100 avg main meal
Ambience
Comfy & casual
Food
Indian, Middle Eastern
Payment
Mastercard, Visa

Critic's review

Graham Howe

Food
An authentic take on traditional northern Indian cuisine, inspired by freshly-ground organic spices imported from Delhi that infuse the restaurant with an exotic fragrance. You’ll find excellent versions of all the richly flavoured, slow-cooked Punjabi standards in their repertoire - from signature chicken tikka and tandoori chicken to lamb kebabs and achar prawns cooked over charcoal in the tandoori oven. Drawing on his roots, the chef serves a highway chicken curry inspired by the Punjabi dhabbas (roadside restaurants).

Although chicken and lamb are the main ingredient – along with specialty biryanis served in stoneware pots – vegetarians will find a delicious range of aubergine, broccoli, chickpea, lentil, mushroom and okra curries. Mop up every drop of the divine curry sauces with a pukka Punjabi paratha bread and tandoori naan. End on a sweet note with almond and rose petal kulfi and saffron rice pudding.

If you haven’t discovered this spice sanctuary in the suburbs, you’re missing out. It’s a lot cheaper than going all the way to the Himalayas.

Drinks
Local wines and craft beers – or try chai tea, homemade cumin lemonade and yoghurt lassi to complement the spicy flavours.

Service
Enthusiastic and helpful, with advice on how to mix and match curries at the table.

Ambience
An informal, family-owned Indian restaurant splashed with vibrant colours. The décor is quirky, with rustic wooden tables.

And…
Try a banting-friendly curry with cauliflower mash instead of rice – or gluten-free rotis made with lentil flour.

(September 2016)

Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • John Maytham

    Food
    There isn’t a better expression of northern Indian/Punjabi cooking anywhere in the country than this wonderful family-run eatery. The keys to the consistent quality experienced over many visits are top-quality ingredients, freshly ground spices, and long, slow cooking. The dishes assail all the senses when they arrive at the table; flavours and aromas are deep and persistent. The lamb biryani is alive with fresh cardamom, fennel, cinnamon and ginger – all individually noticeable, but also in perfect harmony. Fresh coriander and mint enliven chicken shampy; fenugreek and mustard seeds are the dominant elements of the trucker’s fish curry which has that slow-burning aromatic sauce all good curries aspire to. Another seafood highlight is the prawn Malabar – succulently tender prawns lovingly simmered in a thick onion and coconut cream sauce, with curry leaves and tamarind doing the main spice duties. All curries are served mild, medium or hot, and accompanied by naan, rice or roti. The lentil flour based missi roti is a favourite way of mopping up the remaining sauce. Baked yoghurt is a perfect way to end the meal. Vegetarians and banters are well catered for.

    Drinks
    A decent, small wine list focussed on the producers of the Constantia Valley. Mark-ups are very reasonable. There is also an excellent selection of craft beers; as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juice mixes.

    Service
    Service is eager and willing. This is not a fast food joint, so don’t be put off by the wait, especially if the place is full, as it most often is.

    Ambience
    Décor includes elements like exposed brick walls and a fascinating collection of enamel tea pots, displayed in a wooden frame ‘chandelier’; as well as school chairs decorated with the badging of the long distance trucks that traverse the continent. It’s the desire of those truck drivers for authentic Punjabi food along their routes that gave rise to the excellent cuisine in the dhabas, or road side restaurants of India and Pakistan. Their slogan is brilliant – Eat Naan and Curry On. A thought for the ages.

    And …
    Even George Bush would love the whole broccoli head, done in the tandoori oven with a lime, yoghurt and fenugreek marinade and served with a mint sauce. It is utterly sublime.

  • John Maytham

    Food
    There isn’t a better expression of northern Indian/Punjabi cooking anywhere in the country than this wonderful family-run eatery. The keys to the consistent quality experienced over many visits are top-quality ingredients, freshly ground spices, and long, slow cooking. The dishes assail all the senses when they arrive at the table; flavours and aromas are deep and persistent. The lamb biryani is alive with fresh cardamom, fennel, cinnamon and ginger – all individually noticeable, but also in perfect harmony. Fresh coriander and mint enliven chicken shampy; fenugreek and mustard seeds are the dominant elements of the trucker’s fish curry which has that slow-burning aromatic sauce all good curries aspire to. Another seafood highlight is the prawn Malabar – succulently tender prawns lovingly simmered in a thick onion and coconut cream sauce, with curry leaves and tamarind doing the main spice duties. All curries are served mild, medium or hot, and accompanied by naan, rice or roti. The lentil flour based missi roti is a favourite way of mopping up the remaining sauce. Baked yoghurt is a perfect way to end the meal. Vegetarians and banters are well catered for.

    Drinks
    A decent, small wine list focussed on the producers of the Constantia Valley. Mark-ups are very reasonable. There is also an excellent selection of craft beers; as well as fresh fruit and vegetable juice mixes.

    Service
    Service is eager and willing. This is not a fast food joint, so don’t be put off by the wait, especially if the place is full, as it most often is.

    Ambience
    Décor includes elements like exposed brick walls and a fascinating collection of enamel tea pots, displayed in a wooden frame ‘chandelier’; as well as school chairs decorated with the badging of the long distance trucks that traverse the continent. It’s the desire of those truck drivers for authentic Punjabi food along their routes that gave rise to the excellent cuisine in the dhabas, or road side restaurants of India and Pakistan. Their slogan is brilliant – Eat Naan and Curry On. A thought for the ages.

    And …
    Even George Bush would love the whole broccoli head, done in the tandoori oven with a lime, yoghurt and fenugreek marinade and served with a mint sauce. It is utterly sublime.
    October 2015

User reviews

  • This is definitely one of the best Indian restaurants I have ever been to. The food is outstandingly delicious, the service is excellent and the atmosphere is so relaxed you feel like you're eating dinner out of the comfort of your own home. My recommendation would be to try the Lamb Breyani as it is the best breyani I have ever tasted and the lamb is just so succulent.
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  • Pujub Express - Westlake; This quaint little but big personality restaurant take-away; offers every Indian pallet a mouth watering wholesome cuisine packed with full eastern flavour! My first and favourite meal was the "Rogan Gosht!" A wonderful tasty tender lamb traditionally slowly cooked with my favourite; an exotic hint of fennel and ethnic spices to wipe out anyone's eastern appetite!*
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Functions
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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