It was fitting that my weekend of birthday indulgence began at a buffet.
Meghan and Bettina’s glowing praise of Punjab Sweets & Restaurant (9393 34 Avenue) led me to my choice of the restaurant as the site of Saturday brunch. Bettina and I met there just past noon, still early for the weekend lunch crowd. The interior had changed only somewhat since Arby’s abandoned the space – namely, the centre booths had been removed in favour of individual tables and chairs, providing flexibility to shift furniture to cater to group functions. I could have done without the requisite plastic plants and flowers (sadly all too common in family-run restaurants), but Bettina was right – the decor could be overlooked for the food.
I haven’t been to an Indian buffet in Edmonton priced under $10 for a while. The lunch buffet at Punjab Sweets is just $9.99 per person, while their dinner buffet is a paltry $11.99. The set-up was definitely not as fancy as New Asian Village, but with a selection of eleven hot entrees (plus rice), the variety was nothing to complain about.
Vegetables and dessert (including deep-fried milk balls!)
Unfortunately, there were no labels to accompany the dishes (at least, not until we were on our way out), so being someone who relies extensively on menu descriptions when it comes to Indian food, it will be difficult for me to point out which items I liked. That said, the butter chicken wasn’t the usual star (as I have found with other buffets), the samosas were made from won-ton wrapping instead of the usual thin spring-roll type wrap, making them crunchier yet less flavourful, and the majority of what I sampled was much too hot for my spice-intolerant palette. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the peas in curry sauce – just mildly spicy, it was great on top of the rice.
In addition to the buffet, Punjab Sweets, in accordance with its name, offers an extensive selection of Indian desserts to go – they would be a creative choice for a last minute office potluck contribution.
Lots of boxes
Offering good value for your money, Punjab Sweets is a great option for lunch or dinner.