I remember saving up my pocket money in school to dine at the newly opened Barbeque Nation in Bandra, just minutes away from my home. The concept of a live grill on your table and an all-you-can-eat buffet enthralled me back then. Subsequently, many family dinners and birthdays were celebrated at the same venue. Sadly, the Bandra outlet of one of the city’s most successful buffet options recently shut shop. I hadn’t visited the restaurant in years, due to an influx of many other restaurants around that area, and I was sad that I couldn’t eat my last meal there before they closed. Around the very same time Harsh aka MumbaiFoodLover invited me to go try the Barbeque Nation outlet in Atria Mall, Worli with him one night, and I jumped!
The occasion was the arrival of UK’s Curry King- Pat Chapman to the city and the introduction of 14 new barbeque marinades for the grills. The marinades incorporate distinct flavours around the world, and are supposed to take you on a world tour through your plate. I googled Pat Chapman while doing research for this article and I was pleasantly surprised. He is a chef of English origin who is known world over as the ‘Curry King’ because of his profound knowledge and expertise in Indian food.
Atria Mall bore a deserted look that night, but Barbeque Nation tucked away in a little corner of the mall was buzzing. The entire restaurant was done up in flags of different countries giving it a festive feel. I was thrilled to see them open up the grill on my table, and it brought back a flood of memories. We started off with Worcestershire Mushrooms, flavoured with the traditional English sauce.
Next up were some cauliflower florets marinated in Arabian Lebanese sauce. The corn on the cob was flavoured with a New Orleans Incendiary Marinade and the Paneer had a typical Chinese Sichuan Sauce. The small baby potatoes were marinated in a hot American Texican sauce whereas a mix vegetable skewers has a Pablano Mexican sauce. We also ate some Persian Veg Patties that had nothing Persian about them. But what I enjoyed the most were the Creamy Potatoes that have been a BBQ Nation trademark and are oh so yum!
The meat options I tried was a firey drumstick in a traditional Jamaican Jerk sauce, char grilled jumbo prawns in a Spanish Valencia sauce and a typically Mai Thai sauce encasing juicy Basa pieces.
Overall, out of all the marinades we tried, we enjoyed most of them. I liked the unusual paring of certain sauces with certain veggies and meats. A decent spread of dishes and worth a visit if you like grills.
If you’ve dined at Barbeque Nation previously, you’re pretty much aware of what the mains and dessert options are like. Besides, no one really has stomach space for the mains since you’ve pigged out on the starters by now. The mains covered Indian gravies like- Nilgiri Kofta curry, Gosht Dalcha, Paneer Rogini and a few International dishes such as Jamaican Jerk Vegetables, Fish in Mexican Style and Singaporean Noodles that honestly did not look all that appetizing. Of course, there’s the mandatory live pasta counter that is a must at all buffets.
The dessert options range from pastries, assorted mousses in tiny glasses to Indian sweets such as gulab jamun and phirnee which were definitely my pick of the lot. By now I was so stuffed, I could hardly eat any dessert.
What works in the favour of Barbeque Nation, and what has caused it to sustain all these years remain its fair pricing. Lunch prices from Monday to Saturday are only Rs. 600/- and Rs. 660/- all inclusive, for a vegetarian and non-vegetarian buffet respectively. Dinner from Wednesday to Sunday is Rs. 860/- and Rs. 980/- all inclusive, for a vegetarian and non-vegetarian buffet respectively. Prices vary on the day of the week and the time you visit (early and late bird discount).
The Grills of the World festival which is on till 31st of this month is an innovative twist to the tikkas and kebabs that we associate with grilled food. Here you get the opportunity to try out different marinades on a live grill, all specially curated by a renowned international chef. Overall, we had a pleasant meal. And the pricing is quite pleasant too!
4th Floor, Atria Mall,
Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai.
Other outlets in Lokhandwala, Andheri east, Thane, and Nerul.
Check out www.barbeque-nation.com for more deets!
The Grills of the World Festival by Pat Chapman on at all Barbeque Nation outlets till the 31st of October, 2014.