Barbeque Nation, as the name suggests, serves a wide range of barbecued items. We (a friend and I) turned up at their Jangpura branch during an ongoing Kabab festival, which started on February 28th and continued till March 8th, 2015. They are using this event to promote their latest feather on the cap “Kulfi Nation” as well.
Jangpura branch of Barbeque Nation is strategically located in the ground floor of Eros Cinema Building, at a walking distance of just 5 minutes from the Jangpura metro station.
The entrance has been specially adorned for the Kabab Festival. A small path leads us to the delightfully decorated dining area. Each table has its own charcoal basket to keep the food warm and six different bowls of sauces to choose from. Also there’s a small flag, a typical BBQ nation custom, which needs to be put down when you want to discontinue receiving starters and move on to the main course.
Being hardcore non-vegetarians, we straightaway went for the “Kabab Garh Mansahari” starter dishes. We began with Teen Mirchi Jheenga. Apparent from its name, it is prawn marinated with three types of chilies: red chili, green chili and black pepper. No, it is not that spicy as you may think, nonetheless it titillates your taste buds.
Next was Hariyali Murg Boti Kabab, which is barbecued chicken marinated with coriander leaves and Indian spices. It was soft and tender to savor. Next we had Gilaafi Seekh, which is nothing but mutton seekh kabab. It goes very well with mint chutney. Now it was time for trying something new. We successively had two recently introduced items: Achari Murg Pankhuri and Bharwan Murg Tangri.
Let me tell the readers that they have launched few new items in this kabob festival. Eventually they are planning to keep all/some of them depending on the feedback received. Achari Murg Pankhuri is chicken wings marinated with tandoori spices with an added achari flavour. I would say they should roll out this luscious item on a permanent basis. However, Bharwa Murg Tangri, stuffed chicken leg was a bit disappointing. Perhaps they added too little spice for my taste. The fish item, Mughlai Tali Machi, batter fried basa fish, was decent but nothing extraordinary.
At this juncture, we were mostly happy with the food, but there was nothing miraculous. The turning point in our experience was when we decided to explore the vegetarian dishes. Our surprise journey started with Karela Kabab, yes that ugly bitter gourd I have hated since my childhood. They made it pleasant-tasting. You should try it with the sweet mango pulp chutney. The managing personal mentioned that they especially order smaller size karela for this dish, which are not that bitter.
Then we had a piece of Hara-bhara Kabab. These small crisp kabobs, stuffed with peas, fenugreek etc., made us realize that vegetarian kababs can be palatable for hard-core non vegetarians too. Although we were replete by now, we wanted to try a little bit of everything. So we asked for Chatpata fruit kabab, Kurkure Thal-e kabab and Aloo Mongolian. A glimpse of innovation and skill of the master chef was apparent in almost all the vegetarian dishes. The sweet taste of pineapple in Chatpata fruit kabab was a good taste breaker. They also provided a small portion of specially made sweet naan as a complimentary taste breaker. When you are continuously having spicy dishes, this staple with the aroma of kesar and pista gives a relief to your palate, though the bread could be softer. Kurkure Thal-e kabab was fried vegetables stirred with onion and coriander.
Aloo Mongolian was Chinese style potato fry and decent in taste. Well, a vegetarian meal stands incomplete if you do not try any paneer dish. The juicy Paneer Achari was a teaser to our taste-buds. We concluded our starter meal on a high note with few pieces of Teekha Kumbh, mushroom marinated with hot spices. Their master chef mentioned they put in a lot of effort to enhance the vegetarian dishes and this was very evident from the taste.
Unlike the starter dishes, they serve main courses in a buffet system. The master chef mentioned that most of their visitors directly go for dessert on completion of starters instead of exploring main courses. However, he particularly requested us to have Nizam fish curry. He explained how they painstakingly smash the fishes into small pieces before marinating and frying them. Then they are cooked in a curry made of secret spices. It was worth trying. I also tasted Nizami Biriyani, which had a wonderful aroma of Indian spices but could have been better taste-wise. Interesting to note, in spite of being named after the Nizam, it was nothing like Hyderabadi biriyani, in fact it was the less spicy version of Kolkata Biriyani (without potatoes).
Now we quickly move on to the dessert items: we had a wide range of options. We started with Khajur ki Barfi and Ghewar. Khajur ki Barfi was a bit sweeter for my taste, but Ghewar was great. The two must try desserts are Shahi Khurma and Gulkand Firni. Gulkand Firni is something they are serving for the very first time, the flavour of Gulkund with a perfect balance of sugar gave a nice touch to this dish made of coarse rice and milk, making it my favourite dessert Unfortunately our stomach was too full to try something more as we did not want to miss out on the opportunity to crave into the Kulfi Nation, the icy cool new neighbor of Barbeque Nation.
Kulfi Nation is an amazing addition to Barbeque Nation. From now on a visit there would be incomplete if you do not taste their Kulfis. We started with good old Kulfi-Falooda-Rabadi topped with Rooh Afza. Wonderful will be an understatement for it. Kulfi of this quality is very rare even in the best kulfi corners of Old Delhi. Apart from Kulfi-Faluda, they have five other major varieties. We tried pan-kulfi with rabadi & gulkand and strawberry kulfi. The strawberry kulfi was the best amongst the three. We were fascinated to know that they have around 800 different toppings for Kulfi.
Overall it was a marvelous dinner experience in a delightful ambiance. It broke one of my big stereotype notions as well: Barbeque Nation, already known as a heaven for non-vegetarians, is a messiah for vegetarians too. Also, the management deserves a special credit for coming up with the idea of Kabab festival, which gave us the chance to try a whole new array of dishes.
Article & Images By: Kaustav N.
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