Guest Foodie: Nikhil Mammen
“I’m pretty sure that eating chocolate keeps wrinkles away because I have never seen a 10 year old with a Hershey bar and crows feet.” ― Amy Neftzger
Location: For all you RTA users, you can take a 20 – 30 mins bus ride in bus X 13 going towards Satwa bus station and get off at Hudeiba bus stop 01. Which stops right in front of the restaurant. Al Mina Road, next to Ibis Style Jumeirah Hotel, Dubai.
Last week I was invited to the Grand Barbeque Buffet Restaurant by Mr. H. Gani (one of the partners). The restaurant opened about 6 months back. I truly understood the saying, ‘Do not judge a book by it’s cover‘, when I walked into Grand Barbeque Restaurant. From the outside, this might seem like a very typical and predictable place to dine. However,I was mistaken. I now know why they might have named it the “Grand” Barbeque Restaurant specifically. The decor, the seating arrangements and every such macro and micro aspect was top notch. The interiors were so exquisite and there was plenty seating arrangements with comfortable sofas and chairs. There was also a section for family or enclosed dinning wherein you could get a table which was secluded from the chitter chatter and chomping of food.
Mr. Sunil (Manager) walked us to one of the nearest tables to the laid down buffet. We started off with drinks. I had the fresh water melon juice and my co-foodie had some sweet lassi. The watermelon juice was fresh as ever. You could tell they did not add any additives as the watermelon was not too sweet and tasted freshly juiced! The lassi was delicious as well. They have a range of fresh juices, lassis, sodas and everything to go with the food that would follow.
Overview of what they had to offer:
Mr. Gani took us through their entire buffet counters and live stations. It was very well organized and not cluttered at all. There was a huge variety in their salad sections with fresh vegetables and salad fruits such as olives, tomatoes, carrots, pineapple, avocado and more. They also had Coleslaw, Red Cabbage, Arabic Salad, Hummus and much more. They had an array of fresh dressings as well to go well with the salad. Moving on, there were two soup options: veg and non-veg (Chicken Tulumein) I tried the non – veg soup. Next, he walked us to the starters section and we were astounded at the variety they had to offer. They not only had a HUGE variety in non-veg section with over 10 choices, but they did justice to our veg foodies as well. They did not only stick to the Indian cuisine but got their hands in Arabic, Chinese, Italian and Thai as well. The main course too had so much diversity so that it could please every palate. It is impossible for a person to enjoy and like each and every dish presented to them and Grand Barbeque understands that and therefore you are served so many different dishes almost all made to perfection.
They have live stations as well which I was so excited about. ‘Chaat’ Counter which served around five typical roadside delicious Indian chaat which you cannot.. no, should not skip on. The pasta counter was innovative as well with a variety of pastas, sauces, veggies, seasonings and cheeses. Dim Sum counter was love at first sight, as I love me some momos. Lastly, and most importantly, Desserts. You are going to be left wonderstruck. The miscellany of over 13 desserts got me elated.
What we had:
We made it a point to try almost everything that they had to offer and we actually did. I do not know how though. Please skip on brekky and lunch before coming here.
FYI: Please note that as they offer buffet, their menu is always on rotation. So what I had today, you may not get the absolute same the next day.
Vegetarian: Sweet Corn Soup, Hot and Sour Soup, Shahi Subzi Shorma etc.
Non- Vegetarian: Lamb Shorba, Chicken Tulumein, Lemon Coriander Chicken etc.
They had the Chicken Tulumein and I was not much of a fan. However, my friend quite liked it.
They offer Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, Bhel Puri and Paapdi Chaat. We had one of the Pani Puri, Sev Puri and Dahi Puri. The Dahi puri was the most amazing chaat I have ever had. It just melted in my mouth. The yogurt and chutneys were in the right quantity making it sweet and sour at the same time. The chat is served in a cute mini plate with a serving of three per plate. The Pani Puri comes alongside of two mini – almost – looking – tequila glasses with mint and sweet (imlee) chutney.
The pasta counter is such an innovative way of serving some freshly made pasta. We had the penne with white sauce with some mushrooms, chicken, chilli flakes and shredded cheese on the top. The gentleman put together the pasta under four minutes. The pasta lacked some garlic powder and basic seasoning. But was decent however.
They have the veg dim sums and also the non-veg (chicken or seafood) dim sums. The chicken dim sums were so delectable! I wanted to have more of them. Juicy and well steamed. The sweet chilli sauce it came with went so well with the momos. The vegetarian however, I did not like at all.
Vegetarian: Gobi Manchurian, Barbeque Mushrooms, Shanghai Potatoes, Barbeque Pineapple, Aloo Pudina Tiki, Hara Bhara Kabab etc.
Non Vegetarian: Honey Pepper chicken, Mutton Seekh Kabab, Tandoori Fish Tikka, Chilli Garlic Prawns, Chicken Lollipop, Lasuni Murg Tikka etc.
In the vegetarian starters, I loved the Hara Bhara Kabab and Shanghai Potatoes. These two were the best amongst the good. The Hara Bhara Kabab went very well with the sweet chilli sauce that we get with the momos or also the green (mint yogurt) chutney. The Shanghai potatoes were crunchy and truly amazing. Besides these two, I liked the mushrooms as well.. considering the fact that I absolutely dislike mushrooms.
For the non – vegetarian starters, the chilli chicken was quite good and my friend loved the Seekh Kababs. Was not a huge fan of the fish particularly. The Chilli Garlic Prawns were the highlight of the starters and we just could not get over them. They were so hot, crunchy and had the perfect light taste of the garlic. I would suggest you keep a side plate dedicated to this dish.
Vegetarian: Palak Paneer, Gobi Masala, Aloo Gobi, Paneer do Pyaza, Dal Makhni, Veg Kolapuri, Veg Malai Kofta etc.
Non Vegetarian: Mutton Saagwala. Butter Chicken, Chicken Kadai, Chicken Tikka Masala, Egg Masala, Goan Fish Curry etc.
Rice and Noodles: Veg/ Non Veg Dum Biryani, Veg/ Chicken Fried Rice, Singapori Noodles, Steamed Rice, Ghee Rice, Chicken Hyderabadi Biryani etc.
The main course got real. With so many things to pick from, we plated bite size portions of each (except mutton and red meat for me) veg and non – veg. They also got us our breads – Butter Naan which were really fresh, hot and buttery. (plain naan, butter naan, tandoori roti to choose from) I liked the fish curry and the palak paneer a lot. But the butter chicken was hand down the most delicious dish I tried at Grand Barbeque. The combo of the butter chicken and naan was really good. The pieces of chicken were tender and full of flavour. While the curry had a hint of sweetness and was very creamy and thick. I tried their noodles and other vegetable curries as well, the food was just exceptional.
Phirnee, Brownie, Gulab Jamun, Sugar Free Dessert, Cappuccino Mousse, Premium Ice creams (lemon, dark chocolate, caramel, vanilla) , Chef Special (on rotation – Lauki Ka Halwa, Gajar Ka Halwa, Shahi Tukda, Kaddu Ka Halwa), Chocolate Fondue and much more.
We had a bite from each and every one of their desserts. They have over 13 desserts and thats insane especially because not one dessert tastes less than average if not exceptional. Our favourites was the blueberry mousse, brownie – marshmallow – wafers with their rich Belgium chocolate fondue, Gulab jamun and Kaddu( Pumpkin) Ka Halwa. I was pretty sure I would not like the kaddu ka halwa because, it just sounds too nasty but boy oh boy! imagine my surprise when it was my absolute favourite from the whole lot. The halwa with a bit of the Gulab Jamun was the best thing I have ever tried. I loved the blueberry mousse and the vanilla pudding a lot! The Mahalabia was amazing as well.
French Fries and Nuggets.
Before Grand Barbeque, I was yet to find a buffet place which would deliver quality food at reasonable prices. There are high end restaurants which charge you exorbitant amount of money or small restaurants which tamper with the quality. Even while talking to Mr. H. Gani, you can tell he has a whole lot of passion and love for this venture of his. He has put in a lot of time and effort to serve us with the best and not to fall short of anything but stand among the best. I was pleasantly surprised at how well done the decor was, how impeccable their customer service was and most of all how exceptional the food was.
Nobody gets it right, right away and nothing is always perfect – I shared my concerns with Mr. Gani and he absorbed it all and actively tried fixing the problematic areas. I also had the opportunity to have a quick chat with the man behind the delicious food, The Head Chef, Mr. Bharat Singh. Also a huge shoutout to their serving staff especially to Namit to always tending to us and not ever leaving our plates empty.
There is ample parking and you need not worry about getting stuck with no where to park. They will also be adding a lot more additions to their menu, like the Ramadan Iftar and also getting a Gola stand which I’m so excited for.
Ambience: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Service: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Pricing: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Eating Experience: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Over All: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦