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Cheap eats – Punjabi Hut (Manuka)

By Alexandra Craig - 18 February 2015 7

Punjabi Hut is a hidden little gem in the heart of Manuka. It’s tucked away in the Style Arcade on Franklin Street (a few doors up from Public Bar) on the first floor. There’s a sign on the footpath that points you in the right direction as well as a couple of signs inside the arcade guiding you towards the delicious smell of tandoori, pappadums, and naan bread.

Punjabi Hut

The restaurant decor is basic but comfortable. A dark carpet covering the floor, the tables bearing no tablecloths during the day but they have white cloth ones of an evening. One whole wall of Punjabi Hut is a giant window that looks out onto Franklin Street. Good for people watching!

IMG_4220

The staff are ridiculously friendly here too which makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Lots of smiling goes a long way, as well as the basic pleases and thank yous. I know it sounds silly to be awarding points to staff for using manners but there’s plenty of establishments in the Capital that have horrible service, so this experience was lovely.

I went to Punjabi Hut to check out their uber cheap takeaway lunch special that I’d previously seen advertised. It’s only $8.00. EIGHT DOLLARS!

For a takeaway lunch box you can pick from a list of curries:

  • Butter chicken
  • Lamb or beef korma
  • Beef vindaloo
  • Dal Makni (Vegetarian dish made with lentils and kidney beans)
  • Sabzi Korma (Vegetarian dish made with lots of different vegetables including cauliflower, tomatoes, different types of seeds and herbs, potatoes etc)

Your curry of choice also comes with a serving of rice. You can add naan bread and a soft drink can for an extra $2.00 or add a samosa and soft drink for $2.00.

Punjabi Hut

I opted for the butter chicken (the token Indian dish that everyone seems to like!) with an add on of naan bread and a soft drink. I waited about 15 minutes for my order to arrive but since I placed my order about 30 seconds after they opened I think they had to get things going in the kitchen first.

The butter chicken here is phenomenally good. Creamy with lots of decent-sized chicken pieces and a strong flavour. My only failing is that I ordered it mild. I’d probably order it medium heat next time as it was very, very creamy. The serving size was excellent. Despite having a tiny breakfast in preparation, I still couldn’t finish all of my lunch. I probably only ate two thirds of it, if that.  The rice was cooked perfectly and the naan was delicious – a huge serving of naan too which is always nice.

Punjabi Hut also offer a few other lunch options. You can have the dine-in option of a $15.00 lunch buffet – an all you can eat type arrangement. If you’re a big eater, or you’re just starving, $15.00 is very cheap for as much food as you want.

If you’re not so hungry and you’re on the go, they also offer some smaller snack size options. A chicken tikka meal (two pieces chicken tikka + naan bread + drink) for $6.50, a tandoori chicken meal (two pieces tandoori chicken + naan bread + drink) for $7.50, and a veggie cutlet meal (two vegetable cutlets + 1 samosa + drink) for $6.50.

All up, my meal was delicious, filling and affordable at a total cost of $10.00.

What: Punjabi Hut
Where: 19/16 Franklin Street, Manuka (there is also a Punjabi Hut at Queanbeyan and Erindale)
Opening hours: Weekday lunches 12.00-2.30pm (Mon-Fri); Dinner 5.30pm-10.30pm (7 days a week)
Website: http://www.punjabihut.com.au/ 

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7 Responses to
Cheap eats – Punjabi Hut (Manuka)
batmantrilogy 12:32 pm 22 Dec 15

These spicy chicken pieces will surely get anyone drooling !
Good authentic food.

zllauh 12:48 am 11 Mar 15

Its been long since i have had that spicy kinda punjabi food 😀
Looking to hit this place. Hope they serve good butter chicken 😛

2620watcher 11:35 pm 20 Feb 15

Bobby and his wife own the Queabeyan and Wanniasa restaurants. And it’s his cousins who run the Manuka one. Great people and the food is as good as it gets. Try the Punjabi special chat for something different as an entree.

Alexandra Craig 3:13 pm 18 Feb 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

Is it run the by the same people as the Punjabi Hut in Queanbo? I second arescarti’s comments, Punjabi Hut in Quenabeyan is fantastic, and the people who run it are friendly and helpful.

I think so – I think it’s one family that run all three Punjabi Huts.

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:27 pm 18 Feb 15

Is it run the by the same people as the Punjabi Hut in Queanbo? I second arescarti’s comments, Punjabi Hut in Quenabeyan is fantastic, and the people who run it are friendly and helpful.

Alexandra Craig 1:50 pm 18 Feb 15

arescarti42 said :

I used to frequent the Punjabi hut in Queanbeyan when I worked over that way, and the food was both good value and super delicious.

I’ve been to the one in Manuka a few times recently and can pretty much corroborate everything you’ve said. Excellent value, good serving sizes, delicious food, and very friendly staff.

Just an all round great experience, which is often uncommon in Canberra.

They are open quite late too – 10.30pm 7 days a week which isn’t common either. I first discovered it when my partner and I had left it very, very late to get dinner. They were super accomodating and their service was fast with the meals top quality.

arescarti42 12:42 pm 18 Feb 15

I used to frequent the Punjabi hut in Queanbeyan when I worked over that way, and the food was both good value and super delicious.

I’ve been to the one in Manuka a few times recently and can pretty much corroborate everything you’ve said. Excellent value, good serving sizes, delicious food, and very friendly staff.

Just an all round great experience, which is often uncommon in Canberra.

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