My Blog = My Life + vegetables

REVIEW: Spices of Punjab

The Round-up:

  • Food - 3.5 out of 5
  • Service - 2.5 out of 5
  • Decor - 3 out of 5
  • Total - 9 out of 15
$10 for lunch buffet, $20-25 for dinner. Open Monday-Saturday for lunch and dinner.

1009 Albert St., Regina, SK.
Phone: 306-543-1000


Location, location, location.

It's the single-most important factor for many places of business.

In fact, there wouldn't be half as many Starbucks in the world if the company's executives weren't so incredibly good at sourcing hot locations in major cities.

So, if location is everything then Regina's Spices of Punjab Indian restaurant should be a massive, embarrassing flop.

Located on the main floor of the Inntowner Motel on Albert Street (yes, that motel) and tucked behind a random clothing store, Spices of Punjab should have died a slow and painful death mere months into its lifetime.

In fact, popular wisdom says that any new restaurant will go under within a year (probably sooner) if it doesn't have things right. Spices of Punjab is going on two years old. That means something -- something good.

It helps that owner Darren Singh is a member of the family that opened India House on Victoria Avenue a decade ago. India House has changed hands now, and sadly gone downhill. Still, the place was wildly popular when it first opened.

Singh continues the tradition of a tasty and reasonably priced lunch buffet from Monday to Saturday for just $10. Spices of Punjab was packed when I went a few months ago at lunch, so the food on the buffet line was fresh and hot.

Buffet choices include rice, naan, a few curries (usually one chicken, one lamb, one veggie) along with delicious bright-red Tandoori Chicken brought to your table by the servers. All said, the buffet definitely hits the spot. Even more so if you're on a short lunch.

Dinner time is quieter but more relaxing. The dining room is decorated in reds and greens with plenty of Indian artwork. As a bonus, it's bright and clean, something you wouldn't guess by looking at the motel's exterior.

On the other hand, service can be less friendly at night. Our waitress on a Thursday seemed irritated when we asked for a booth after she tried taking us to a table. It was 7 p.m. and only two other tables were seated. We didn't think getting a booth for two was such a huge deal. (The waitress later warmed up to us, for the record).

My dining companion, the World Traveller, and I placed a massive order. We'd both been craving Indian for weeks.

We started with Pakoras (deep-fried chopped vegetables with chutney) and Samosas. Then we went on to ask for Butter Chicken, Aloo Gobi (a cauliflower and potato curry), Chicken Biryani (a mixed rice dish), and Garlic Naan Bread.

The World Traveller used to live in England, where curry is as popular as submarine sandwich shops are here. She has also been practically everywhere on the planet (what gave that away?). She knows her stuff and was mostly impressed with the food, all of which got to the table in very good time.

The only disappointment for me was the Chicken Biryani. It's much smaller in size than what India House used to serve and didn't have the same flavour that I remember from years ago. Spices of Punjab has also done away with the Biryani's cashew nuts as an ingredient. Yes, cashews are expensive but they were the best part of the India House version.

I said to the World Traveller that I felt slightly guilty turning into the parking lot in front of the motel when we first arrived.

She laughed at me. Seriously though, sometimes certain people visit certain motels for certain reasons. Certainly you know what I mean?

That's OK, I will be back. Location be damned.

Spices of Punjab is worth an awkward moment or two in front of a shady motel.
FYI: Website was out of date and incomplete at time of writing. Double check any information on the site by calling directly.

Albert St., art, bread, buffet, butter, curry, dinner, FOOD, fresh, Indian, life, lunch, restaurant, spice, supper, travel, and more:

Relevant to: REVIEW: Spices of Punjab + vegetables