The Ancient Barbecue or TAB has recently opened an outlet in Sohna Road. This all you can eat restaurant is the same in concept as Pirates of the Grill/BBQ nation and judging by the teeming crowds, it is a very strong concept.
The restaurant itself is a very big space and has a huge open plan seating arrangement along with a pretty big terrace. I felt that the seating was planned well and inspite of there being so many people inside, one could still have space to themselves.
Coming to the menu, we started off with an array of Indian appetizers namely tawa machchi, paneer tikka,murgh tikka and mutton seekh alongside an interesting keema tart. I found that most starters were very heavy on the garam masala and it completely masked the flavour of the meat. However one good thing was that TAB can customise your dishes according to your taste so one can never go wrong. Once the spice levels were adjusted I found the kebabs better. The keema tart had a great keema filling but the tart let it down. It was sweet and I was told that it was the same pastry base that is used for their desserts. Although I can appreciate the thinking behind the sweet tart and spicy keems , but I did not think it worked completely here.
Their non Indian appetizers though were a different story. We were served crispy prawns, crispy corn, salsa potatoes and tawa mutton. They were superbly made. The prawns were sweet, spicy and juicy in the middle. The corn had a great crunch to it and the natural sweetness of corn made it a winnign starter. The salsa potatoes were creamy, crispy, crunchy all at the same time and the best starter of the day. The tawa mutton again was a bit of a letdown. The mutton was cooked well but i found the pieces fatty and the curry separate fro the main dish.
So full I was from all this eating that my main course was limited to a few morsels of Gurdaspuri chicken, rawalpindi mutton, few spoons of chicken biryani and tandoori rotis. The chicken dish was nice and tangy reminding me of Kadahi chicken. The mutton was a nice wintery sort of dish adn had a generous dose of garam masala. the rotis, fresh from the tandoor were very nice and although seem trivial are an important component of the meal.
This takes me to TAB’s dessert spread. The chef told me that they have a dedicated pastry chef and halwai and it clearly showed in the quality of their desserts. The crunchy strawberry pastry was an absolute winner. The pastry had a layer of strawberry crush at the top which was mind blowing. It was even incorporated in the pastry cream and it truly was delectable. The moong dal halwa also requires a special mention as it hit the right spot. They even had a superb brownie, moist and goeey, a sweet tooth person’s absolute delight.