*********Important Update********* It saddens me to say that the Pukkabar has ceased to be in Barnes <pjs sobs> They have been foreclosed. There is a sign on the door saying that they have reopened in Fulham and hope to return to Barnes in the future. I shall announce should it return at any point! *********Original Op*************** Now, you may be surprised to hear this, but eating is a major part of my life. Oh yeah, I kid you not! Eating out is one of my favourite pastimes, that way I don't get lumbered with clearing it all up as well as cooking it, and finding new places to eat is always a worthwhile experiment. I moved to Barnes two months ago with my girlfriend and we were very excited about the restaurants on offer in this little village. Now, I had heard of the Pukkabar's reputation long before I came here, I had been told that the likes of Albert Finney and Trevor MacDonald had been known to frequent. So, who was I to argue with the taste buds of Albie and Trev? I have been to the restaurant a total of three times and have had them deliver about 6 times in the last two months. It's so damn costly living near good take-aways and restaurants! Maybe I should move again? The Pukkabar restaurant is situated on Barnes High Street, number 21 to be exact. It is medium sized but the tables are fairly close together in places. However, this doesn't remove any enjoyment you may experience from the food. The menu changes very slightly each month though most of their most popular dishes hang on in there from month to month. The menu is very simple to understand and good descriptions are given below each one. Starters comprise of the usual Onion bhaji's Gulabi kebabs, Susliks etc, but they make possibly the nicest crab cakes I have ever tried, white crab meat with a sprinkling of spices encased in crispy potato ? heaven. You only get two
to a portion which may seem a little stingy, but they are quite filling and with a huge choice of main dishes to choose from you will need to leave room. Starters start at around £3.95. Curries Wow, what a selection of curries they have on offer for your tummies. There is really something for everyone here. For the hard curry fanatic to the vegetarian to the hardly worth having a curry kinda guy. Word of warning ? they do one dish called Chicken tackatac. Oh, it sounds innocent enough but I have now renamed it Chicken Heartattack. It's very very very hot. You have been warned. On the menu for July was: Chicken Karai, cooked in a traditional iron skillet in a tomato, green pepper and onion curry. Tawe jhinge, big prawns with tails cooked in the karai in a sauce spiced with onion seeds. Masaledar fish, marinated cod fillet fried with garam masala, miced peppers and tomato (this is without doubt our favourite dish) Mixed tandoori ? exactly what it says it is Pancha Kol, a good and saucy curry of five seasonal vegetables Chicken Tikka Masala There are 15 curries in total to choose from, my favourite description is this one: Goan Prawns, king prawns served in a coconut curry with onion seeds and sunshine. To go alongside your main curry you have the choice of 10 side dishes and number of rices and breads ? their Peshwari naan is the finest I have ever had. For the smaller people amongst us they offer a Pukkakids menu too, which is a fantastic idea. In July they had a choice of Little chicken Kebabs, Creamy chicken Curry ( a mild introduction to the institution), Fish Goujons and Pukkakids Thali. The first thing you will notice about your curry when it served to the table is that there are no bright colours. There are none of the vibrant reds and yellows that we are used to from the local take away. The balance of the spices is perfect,
the majority of the dishes we have tried do not lose flavour because they are too hot to taste, they all well seasoned and spiced and the "heat" adds to this. They don't make hot curries for the sake of it. As well as evening meals they also offer a lunch menu. You choose two dishes from a list of around 16, plus bread or rice for £6.95. Now th at?s a bargain if ever I saw one. They have a nice wine list, small but well chosen, and also large bottles of Cobra beer (yay!). It is a good idea to allow yourself time for a meal, it's not quick. All the dishes are made in small batches to prevent anything from sitting on the hob, as it were. All the ingredients are fresh and all the meat is halal. They can cater for special dietary needs but you need to either tell them in advance or let your waiter know when you arrive. I've never been there for lunch so I'm not sure of the opening/closing times, but in the evenings they open at 6.30pm and close at 11.00. They are also open Sundays from 12.30pm to 10.30pm. This restaurant will go down as one of my favourites and I shall use it as long and as often as I possibly can. And incase you're wondering, the reason they only get four stars and not five - they don't do desserts. This is very dissapointing. Even an icecream would be nice. Oh, I almost forgot. They do deliver. You can pay over the phone by card if you haven?t got enough cash in the house or have lost your cheque book again. The vans they use to deliver are the cutest three-wheel things you?ve ever seen too. Great staff, service and most importantly, great food.