Punjabi Tadka


Centrestage Mall, Sector 18, NOIDA

We had people coming over and needed to take them out for lunch. One of the guests insisted on Indian food, as that was all she liked. Fair enough. Each one to his/her own. So, instead of a quick Chinese (american?) meal at Mark Pi, we went to the restaurant opposite it – Punjabi Tadka. Punjabi Fatka would have been more appropriate, as we found out later.

The place had a buffet, so it instantly won a small place in my stomach, sorry heart. The number of covers that the place could have seated normally was doubled by subjecting diners to cramped seats and the ‘pushback-bang-sorry’ syndrome. For those of you that don’t know what that means, the pushback-bang-sorry syndrome happens when there is about 2 inches of space between the back of your chair and the back of another patrons chair. So you decide to get up and PUSH BACK, then you BANG and then you say SORRY.

Anyway, we stuck to normal (read sordid and boring) food – Tadka Dal (langar wali as per the menu), Kadhai Paneer, Malai Kofta, Sweet corn soup (is that Punjabi?) and Mutton something for me. We also asked for a mixed basket of rotis. Incidently, I’m the only carnivore left in the family now.

The soup arrived. Extra salty. Sent it back.
The food arrived. Kadhai paneer – 2 pieces of paneer, 1 inch all ways.
Mutton – I would help myself, put the spoon in, the oil would flow in and then I would drain it in a plate just for this use, and then repeat the process.
Malai Kofta – Touch it and the malai kofta turned into paneer bhurji.
Dal – Ok
Rotis – Exceptional!

Finger bowls – cold water. Asked for warm/hot water. Again arrived – Cold water. ‘Sir geyser nahin chal raha hai’. That did it. Went to the manager and requested him to provide hot finger bowls, or I will go to the buffet, take down a dish and wash my hands in the bowl of hot water underneath it. The geyser suddenly started working and we had hot water.

The bill arrived. All ok. Except that two bottles of mineral water had been priced at Rs 27 each, mentioned as ‘water mix’. No can do mate! Went to the manager

BigFatMan: “This is the mineral water?”
Manager: “Yes sir”

BFM: “You’re selling bottled water above the MRP?”
M: “Its water mix sir”

BFM: “Is it mentioned on the menu?”
M: “No sir. Its water mix”

BFM: “Are you aware I will send you a notice for this, on your name”
M: “But its not mineral water sir”

BFM: [whips out his camera and takes a picture of the table and bottles] BFM: “still water mix?”
M: “Please give me the bill sir, I’ll amend it”

BFM: “I shall be eternally greatful and obliged for your generosity”

Anyhow, I’m not sure we’re going there again. I did like the rotis though. Did I mention the service sucked? No? Well it did! Can’t blame the manager actually. The owners make most of these policies and can’t be bothered either way. He’s just doing his job.

Rating: 3/10
Meal for Two: INR 500

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By Sid Khullar

Sid Khullar is a wellness coach who works with different aspects of lifestyle change towards the accomplishment of goals such as weight loss and blood sugar management among other health situations that require the presence of specialised, precise diets and lifestyle change. His methods address aspects of food, nutrition and the mind.