Located on the busy 18th June Road, Sher-E-Punjab restaurant which was started in 1969 is today an integral part of Panaji’s history. NT BUZZ pays a visit
RAMANDEEP KAUR | NT BUZZ
A name that needs no introduction, Sher-E-Punjab, a Punjabi restaurant, was started in 1969 in the heart of Panaji city. Founded by Kuldip Singh, the restaurant is now run by his son Mandeep Singh.
“‘Sher-E-Punjab’ is the name given to Mahraja Ranjit Singh, the leader of the Sikh Empire, which ruled the northwest Indian subcontinent in the early half of the 19th century, and whom we are proud of. We named our restaurant after him,” says Mandeep.
Fifty years down the line, the restaurant continues to be a popular haunt for both locals and tourists alike. While the restaurant earlier served only authentic Punjabi cuisine, over the years, it has included Goan and Chinese cuisine too. “We added some Goan popular and Chinese dishes because people’s taste and demands have increased,” says Mandeep, adding that now they also get a lot of young customers unlike earlier, when the space was frequented more by older people.
And the restaurant aims to deliver good quality food and the best service. In fact, Mandeep personally oversees everything, just like his father used to do. “When we first began a lot of things were not available in Goa so we would import from Belgaum or Mumbai. Even today some of the masalas are sourced from Mumbai, Kerela or wherever we can get the best quality,” says Mandeep. Also to keep with time, they keep a check on modernise equipments.
Famous for their tandoori chicken, the other favourites here are butter chicken, mutton vada, palak paneer, chole masala, chole bhature, etc. In desserts, Mandeep states that they have one of the best kulfis, rabdi, gulab jamun, caramel custard, and so on. They also make their own biscuits and cakes but for in-house use only.
The restaurant also has an AC section apart from an open-air courtyard. “We have been fortunate that my father started this restaurant years back at such a good location. If today anyone wishes to start a similar outlet, location is very important. Of course we could do better, but we do not have sufficient parking,” says Mandeep. The restaurant now also has another branch ‘Sher-E-Punjab Classic’ which is located opposite Jardim Garcia de Orta in Panaji.