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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Counter service

Daily 11:00am–10:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC
Reservations Not accepted


520 Lockwood Dr.
Richardson, TX
(972) 671-1717
Punjabi Dhaba
Northern Indian (in the back of a grocery!) that delivers pleasant surprises

Do not visit this humbly named overachiever for the décor. Occupying half of an Indian grocery store, the settings are spartan and the service minimal, although the grocery does make for an interesting diversion while you wait for your order. Come instead for the intense, authentic northern Indian dishes such as chicken tikka masala, thought to have originated in Punjab. Too often a bland and creamy concoction, here it is rich and flavorful, elevated by aggressive spices and balanced with prominent acidity.

If you like, you can continue to stay within your comfort zone and order saag paneer, which far surpasses the norm with a distinct, mildly sweet and lingering vegetal flavor arising from a mixture of leafy greens. Alternatively, explore new textures like the okra-unctuous bhindi masala or new sauces such as chilli paneer, which delivers a singular ringing note of capsicum.

Oddly for a northern-focused restaurant, the naan—passable, but a bit dense and lacking the slight char that characterizes the best representatives—is outdone by delicious basmati rice flecked with toasted cumin seeds. Many of these dishes are available as part of a daily buffet as well (11 am–4 pm). A final note: while the oil-averse may wish to pass on the Dhaba, we recommend that you simply revel in the wonderful fat-liberated flavors.

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