Winterlicious 2015 Dinner @ Pukka (St. Clair West)

I love Indian food, and after growing up eating some pretty amazing Indian food, I was excited to try Pukka – a restaurant on St. Clair West with a forward-thinking take on Indian cuisine. According to their website, Pukka’s menu will take you on a journey through decadent tastes, while maintaining a lightness that enchants the palette. The culinary team elevates the typical Indian curry into clean, modern bites that wow both the eyes and the taste buds.

For my first visit I decided to check out their 2015 Dinner Winterlicious menu. These were the options:

Kale Salad (vegetarian)
dates, lotus root chips + spiced cashew dressing
or
Vegetable Pakoras (vegetarian)
tomato chutney
or
Chicken 65
south Indian fried chicken + chilli-tamarind glaze
or
Smoked Eggplant Tartare (vegetarian)
with khasta roti


(all main courses served with basmati rice)
Punjabi Chicken
home-style chicken curry
or
Vegetable Curry (vegetarian)
seasonal vegetables, tomato, garlic + ginger
or
Lamb Shank Xacuti
coconut, red chilli + fennel seeds
or
South Indian Fish Curry
lentils, curry leaf + tamarind


Mango Mouse (vegetarian)
or
Chilli Chocolate Torte (vegetarian)
or
Rice Pudding (vegetarian)

What my 7 friends and I liked..

  • The space was spacious, open, and clean with a modern feel
  • The staff was friendly
  • Service was efficient
  • The mains were delicious
  • Great portions
  • They accommodated my friend’s gluten intolerance
  • The Mango Mousse was heavenly – tasted like fresh mango “air” that melted in your mouth – sweet and perfect
  • The Chilli Chocolate Torte did in fact have a chilli kick which I loved – too often chilli is mentioned but you would never know there was any in the dish
  • The naan was crispy, fluffy, buttery – everything you want a great naan to taste like

What we did not care for..

  • Though the staff was friendly, they were hard to flag down. I found myself spending a great deal of time waving my arms in the air trying to get the attention of a staff member to get basic items such as spoons for the curry
  • Owners were at the door, sometimes just standing there doing nothing, when they could have stepped in and assisted the customers that were calling out for assistance – they eventually did, but I should not have had to jump up and down like a student dying to get permission to go to the washroom
  • Tap beer options are limited, and all under 6%
  • The kale salad was a huge disappointment – bland, lacking contrast and textures, and swimming in a flavorless dressing. My belief is that if you have to bathe a dish in a sauce, or a dressing, it is because the flavors suck on their own and this is a last-ditch effort to make the dish edible – sure the lotus root chips were a step in the right direction
  • The naan was not included – so we paid for it separately
  • I had emailed the managers before my reservation with a query, and they never got back to me

So was this meal a good deal?

Winterlicious cost was $25 + tax and tip (15%)= $32

Regular price would have been $8.90 for the Vegetable Pakoras + $17.60 for the Punjabi chicken curry $7.60 for the Chilli Chocolate Torte = $34.10 + tax & tip (15%) = $43.65 (other items may vary in price).

Price difference was $11.65 

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Pukka on Urbanspoon

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