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blind date:
Very talkative canteen worker.

Most of the things in the canteen are marked with „Vilniaus degtinė“ logos.

Everything is new.

Canteen is full of flowers. Orchids included.

Various types of dishes, even after lunch time.

Cosy interior.
Disco for people over 30 on weekends and disco style attributes in the canteen.

Two huge palms near the window.

Enormous picture on the wall. Painted poppies could open a discussion about a landscape painting.

Background music (only Russian).

A corner bar with all facilities.

Lots of tables at the windows.
Furniture, walls and interior details that remind of the Soviet times.

A long table always served for the banquet.

A male cook in the kitchen.

Soft and nice music.

Special enclosed corridor for the queue. Very interesting thing.

Conveyer for dirty dishes.
Funny carved heart shaped chairs.

Great combination of colours! Yellow walls match blue artificial flowers.

Low door, so everyone has to lean over to enter the canteen.

Fresh coffee and an espresso machine!

A sink to wash hands.

A coatrack.
Vintage interior.

A cash-lady using old school cash register.

Free art and fresh gossips.

A bar with nice service.

Talkative diners.

One won’t find two identical plates in the canteen.

If you are in a hurry, you can eat your quick lunch sitting at the bar.

If you are bored, you could try guessing the names of the plants at the windows of the canteen. I guess that would take you at least a week.

A coat rack.

A good location in a center of the city.

Air conditioning system (though, it was not working on my visit day).
Head spinning corridors with old squeaky floors.

Young diners.

Eating in the canteen felt like sitting in a sauna.

Painting on the wall and cleanliness.

Architecturally interesting building for a walk after lunch.

Impressive pink walls.
A worker with plates with lunch dishes running among tables.

Long, but quickly moving queue on lunchtime.

Barely heard music.

Freshly made carrot juices.

Examples of folk art (i.e. wicker lampshades).

No tray system – all dishes are served to your table.
Vintage interior.

Long conveyer for dirty dishes.

The students in the canteen are open for discussions about physics, law, economics or communication science.

A microwave oven for heating food you brought from home (though heating your food is not allowed, but when the staff doesn't see...)

Radio announcing about the situation on the roads for drivers.

No queues in the canteen during lectures.
Visually handicapped and deaf people work in the canteen.

Silence during lunch time.

The location is hard to find.

Big tables if you want to have lunch with a group.

A lot of artificial flowers.

Sincere concern of a cook: „How come you’re not eating soup? That is not healthy.
Microwave oven – you can use it to warm up your own food.

Company store selling sweets at the same place.

Easy to read sign of WC – you will never have to ask for the way.

A smell of chocolate and cheap candies (and somehow cheap portions of ice-cream too).

Fan-page on the Internet.

Sophisticated food that one won't find in other canteens (escalopes, Chicken Kiev, etc.).
Barred windows and interior.

Unique composition of daylight lamps.

Flower shop with a great variety of plants from all over the world. In addition, a great variety of wrapping paper.

Old-fashioned bar near the canteen with the same workers as in the canteen.

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch.

Surprisingly pleasant smell of flowers mixed with freshly mashed potatoes.
Enormous work of ceramics on the wall.

Red colour that makes a place look mysterious.

80’s style corner bar with glossy lamps and curved lines.

Flowers everywhere.

Students and quite intelectual discussions among them.

Availability of alcohol.

Great window view.

Enormous mirror near the exit.

Lithuanian soap operas on LCD TV (it is also possible to see the view of the other canteen hall on the TV).

White tablecloths that enrich the dining experience.

Awarded a Diploma for good service.
Unexpected location for a canteen – a dormitory between skyscrapers.

Colourful carpet on the wall.

Young diners.

Exceptional service for newcomers.

Food portions with a little bit extra.

School kids, who willingly show you the way to canteen.
Saltoniškės, Vilnius

Saltoniškių g. 29/3
A canteen and a flower shop in one. The walls have seen it all: weddings, funerals, dinners and anniversaries. Today, between walls decorated with metal and unique composition of daylight lamps, we find almost empty tables and delicious chicken roasts in the kitchen.

Cooking lady Vilija In PUNTUKAS

Flowers common detail in canteens

Playfully arranged TLC lamps

green is the color of PUNTUKAS canteen

Original, stylish interiour

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch

Cold dishes


Entrance to PUNTUKAS
Barred windows and interior.

Unique composition of daylight lamps.

Flower shop with a great variety of plants from all over the world. In addition, a great variety of wrapping paper.

Old-fashioned bar near the canteen with the same workers as in the canteen.

Old-fashioned russian samovar in case you want some tea on lunch.

Surprisingly pleasant smell of flowers mixed with freshly mashed potatoes.

The old printing house „Puntukas“ greeted us with 39 signs of companies that work there. One of them informs about the canteen and the flower shop. All in one. Therefore the canteen, located behind massively barred windows, smells of Dutch roses and carnations.

The canteen „Puntukas" is a bit depressive place to eat. Even colourful flowers don't help. The whole place is decorated with a metal fence - you may easily fence your yard with it. By the way, the workers revealed that it used to be better. Even wedding receptions used to be held here. But now the cooks look anxious. The day I was visiting they got even more upset when I had decided not to eat soup. You never know if they are concerned about my empty stomach or if they just felt they were not appreciated.
Lunch time at „Puntukas" was quiet and calm as there were only 3 more visitors, all busy with their own trays and only ringing cellphones distracting the silence.
In addition, all interior designers and architects are extremely welcome to see this unique canteen and so perhaps save it from the imminent closure.


The menu is quite poor, but various: there are steaks and chicken cutlets with cheese. At least 2 different soups and crepes.
On my visit I tried chicken cutlet with cheese - well fried, cheese goes well together with the mild chicken. Served with different kinds of cabbage salads with mayonnaise and corn. Delicious. Slightly sweet mashed potatoes could be called the highlight of the dish.


Cherry compote resembles home made, it was sweet and with a lot of flavor.

Lunch price: 9,20 Lt


Interviu su virėja Vilija iš valgyklos Žvėryne „PUNTUKAS“.

How long have you been working here?
Well, for 15 years.
And before this canteen? Did you work anywhere else?
Yes, I was also working as a cook. And as a chef.
So how many years in total do you work in this sphere?
Oh, I think around 25 years at all.
Where did you learn how to cook?
I've had the courses. There used to be courses for cooking.
Could you please be more specific?
There used to be a cookery school in the Žirmūnai district (Žirmūnai cookery school). I don't what is there now.
Do you love your job?
I like it (laughing).
What are you responsible for?
Generally, I work with meat dishes. When we get meat, I do everything with it - from A to Z.
Do you also prepare meat for cepelinai (the Lithuanian traditional dish, a type of dumpling made from grated potatoes and usually stuffed with minced meat)?
Yes, tomorrow we are going to cook cepelinai.
Perhaps people eat many cepelinai here? Is it the most popular dish here?
We usually have cepelinai on Thursdays. People, who like cepelinai, know this already.
How many cepelinai do you cook a day?
We used to do around 50 portions, so it means 100 cepelinai.
What do you do if you see that cepelinai are almost finished?
We don't cook additionally, because we prepare everything in the morning. And people don't wait for an order to be cooked ?. They come and want to eat at once. It is not a restaurant where you order and wait for a dish to be cooked.
And when do you start making cepelinai? At what time?
We start at 9.30 a.m., so that we could serve it at 10.30 a.m.
Do you peal potatoes by hands or maybe you have a machine for that?
We have a special machine.
And what about dishes? Do you have a dish washing machine?
We used to have one. Now we don't have, and less people come to eat, too.
Where do you get recipes?
From the book. The director gives it to us.
Could you show us that book?
Well you have to ask the director. Because she gives the book to us, to know the amounts, ingredients in the dishes.
Does the dishes change over the time?
Well, we change them. We make experiments. If we see that people like the result, we continue cooking that way.
Which experiments were really successful?
Well, people eat everything. There is no one exceptional.
And what about visitors taste? Did it change over the passed 25 years?
I couldn't say it remained the same. Nowadays we have more ingredients that it used to be. There used to be fewer dishes with fillings. Only on celebrations, banquets. Nowadays there are more sauces. There used to be more minced dishes - like minced meatballs, etc. Nowadays people prefer natural food, so there would be less cooking. Now we have to prepare a stew, a steak and something from minced meat. It means five - seven dishes a day. Everyday we cook something different.
Is the canteen food different as it is kept warm all day in the pots?
Well, we never leave the food for the next day. We cook and we serve everything.
Do you have any constant everyday customers?
It happens sometimes that the same people come to eat here. People come from the banks, from the places nearby.
What do you like to cook the most? Is there such a dish?
Well, I don't care. I am used to cook everything.
And what do you cook at home?
The same dishes as in the canteen. What else could I think of? Except maybe some different sauce.
Do you cook something exotic, non-traditional?
Yes, we cook chicken in Chinese way. Perhaps not that spicy as Chinese like.
There used to be a general plan for the canteen and that all the recipes had to be approved. Does this system function nowadays too?
Oh no, not anymore. We can cook whatever we want. It is important to know the recipes. It helps to fix the price. Sometimes we think of the recipes by ourselves and we suggest what to cook.
Do you like to watch cooking shows on TV?
Yes, it is very interesting. You can see something new.
Do you know Oliver?
Well, he cooks witha lot of ingredients. We don't have them. It's more difficult. If it was a restaurant, it would be different. People come here to eat and to eat fast.
Can the taste of a dish depend on your mood or the weather?
I think if you don't like your job, the dish would taste different. When you cook with love, it's always tasty.
What is the most important thing in your kitchen?
I think it's the oven that we have bought. It's huge.
What do you think the Dutch eat for their lunch?
...(Thinking)... I know they eat pasta in Italy... A friend of my daughter lives there, so she said it's all about pasta there.
And do people order double portions? Does it happen?
Yes, it happens, yes. There used to be people who would order the double portion and couldn't finish it . Now it's over. They take one dish and if it's not enough, then they order the second one.
If you meet a customer, do you say hello? Maybe you know some of their names?
Well, names, no, we don't know. But if we meet a familiar face, we say hello. However, we say hello to all of the customers. It creates a better atmosphere here.
Perhaps you have some stories from the canteen life to tell?
There used to be the wedding receptions held. Even my daughter's wedding took place here. The canteen looked very nice, we recorded everything. It looks not so nice now, though I guess we are used to this view...
And this flower shop. Was it always here?
When I started working here, there was some kind of shop. A small one.
And do you have any vision of where you are going to be in ten years? A dream?
Well, I like this job. I think I couldn't imagine myself in another place.
So I guess there is no other job you would like to take?
Yes, it's a creative job and I like it. Well, if the cook didn't like to cook, the food wouldn't be tasty.
Do you have any children? How did you combine your family and your job?
I have two daughters and a son. One daughter is already married. I used to take them to kindergarten when they were little. Now we work from six a.m. Earlier we used to work from seven a.m., so I had enough time to take children to kindergarten.
Perhaps earlier the system in the canteen was different?
Well, generally it's the same system as always has been. You have to clean after yourself, etc.
When does your working day start?
At 6 a.m. I work till 2 p.m. In Soviet period we used to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Have the visitors of the canteen changed over the time?
Perhaps they started to eat more vegetables. They care about their health more. Visitors like cepelinai, Kugel, potato pancakes, etc. Some people, for example, order a steak without any additions. They even ask to serve it on a big plate. Only meat, that's it. People are used to ask what they want. Some will eat Kugel with sour cream, some with graves sauce. Some people eat only beef. If it's not on the menu - then they order chicken. They don't eat pork, anyway.
How many people work in the canteen?
We are five women: a washer, a cashier who is also preparing farinaceous dishes, one lady who is making salads and one lady who is baking pies and buns.
Is it enough to be five of you to be in time?
Yes, we are always in time with dishes.
How many visitors do you serve a day?
Now it's less than it used to be. About a hundred persons a day.
And how many there used to come earlier?
About 200 visitors. There used to be long queue in 2007 - 2008. It became less people before the New Year. Nowadays people don't have money.
Was it enough space for all the visitors?
Well, if there was not enough space here, clients used to go the buffet.
How about the staff? They work here for a long time?
Yes. Now the staff is great. It is the same for five year now.
Who is hiring new people?
Director, she has to decide. If someone leaves, the new worker has to come.

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