Who doesn’t like a buffet restaurant with unlimited kebabs! Most of us do. As a result we see more and more new restaurants coming up with this concept. And Barbeque World is the newest addition to this group. But what actually made us happy was the location. Just few minutes from our home between Hatibagan and Shyambazar at Sikdarbagan. So, one fine evening we decided to give this place a try.
Housed on the first floor of a new apartment building opposite the famous Old Malancha stall, the restaurant is spacious and bright. White walls, simple decor, comfortable seating and bright lights will welcome you once you enter the first floor dining hall. The dining hall was almost empty when we reached around 7:15 PM. We chose a table and were asked our preference. When visiting a restaurant like these, we always opt for non-veg buffet including the veg options. Most places include the veg options in non-veg too and Barbeque World was no exception. We love non-veg, but never without the veg options.
The evening started with crispy chilli chicken. The chicken was not too soft, not even tough and the sauce tasted decent. Not bad, nothing to write home about too. They should not start with this item if they believe the first impression is the most important one.
The live grill was set and the actual kebabs started to come by the time we finished the first item. The first three skewers were of Murg Malai, Murg Tikka and Ajwaini Mahi Tikka. The chicken malai kebab tasted good, though was a bit on the chewer side. The chicken tikka however didn’t allow us to complain on any front. It was tasty, spicy, juicy and soft. It was made with meat from the leg and thigh area, which are the juiciest parts of the bird. The malai kebab on the other hand was made with breast part and hence needed more care.
But the show stopper in this section was the Ajwaini Mahi Tikka. It was superb. Soft, flaky and juicy with the right hint of ajwain (carom). This is one item they should be proud of. We could not help asking for multiple repeats of the fish skewer.
Thankfully the show didn’t stop here. The next item was the Tangri Kebab which again was superb. Soft and juicy meat and full of flavours. Wish we could consume multiple servings of this too.
The mutton sheekh kebab and the tandoori prawn which followed were good too. Not many places in Calcutta make good sheekh kebabs. And what we had at Barbeque World, though not among the best, was better than a lot of big names. The prawns were spicy and retained their flavour. Good work done here too.
The crispy chilli vegetables from the veg section was much like the crispy chilli chicken, only marginally better.
The hara bhara kebab that followed was a veg galawati made from spinach paste with a sweet and tangy sauce in the middle. It was excellent. Melt in your mouth texture and full of flavours. Loved it. Items like these make us fall in love with vegetarian dishes. Even if you a hardcore non vegetarian, we would suggest you to atleast try this one from the veg options.
The veg sheekh kebab tasted better than its non veg namesake. But there were more surprises from the vegetarian brigade. The Bharwan Tandoori Aloo and Paneer Tikka that followed were both excellent. The potato had the right balance of crisp and soft filling. The filling tasted great too. But the Paneer Tikka was the winner among the two. We often discard paneer due to its lack of flavour, and the texture which does not allow the marinade or gravy to go past the outer parts. But the paneer here tasted excellent. Yes, the spices were restricted to the outside only, but the taste of the paneer compensated this problem. We were really, really happy with the starters.
As usual we were almost full by the time we started our main buffet. So we decided to try only few items. To start with the Murg Shorba was bad. Watery and bitter. So we quickly went to the Lucknowi Murg Biryani. This was a dish we would remember for a long, long time. If you are visiting this place, how badly full you are, you must, must try this dish. Such was the flavour that, according to us, it could beat many top biryani joints in this city. We were really sad that we were almost full by then.
Both Murgh Makhanwala and Mutton Kassa were good with soft and juicy pieces of meat. The meat pieces were pretty big too and I desperate wished they were small, so that we could sample more and more dishes (we hate wasting food). The butter nan with which we wiped clean the gravies was excellent too. The only item I tried from the veg options was the Dal Maharani. And it was so good and creamy.
We have a weakness for salads and here there were options to mix and match to create your own salad from freshly cut onions, tomatoes, cucumbers along with greens, corn and onion-cucumber salsas and raita.
Coming to dessert the best item was the suji halwa. Simple and satisfying dish. The gulab jamuns were a tad too sweet for us. The mousses, especially the chocolate one was again excellent. The pasties and the walnut brownie were good too.
The staff was very courteous and the service was fast and well executed. The only problem was with the music. When we were almost done with the starters, the person manning the counter suddenly started playing songs. Though the selection of song was very cheap and not at all suitable for a family restaurant, it was still ok as we ignored it. But in no time he started to increase the volume. We asked once and our server immediately rushed to the counter and told him to lower the volume. But the person in the counter was not as courteous. Or maybe he thought this was the way to make customers happy. He finally turned it off when we requested for the second time. Whoever chooses the music must keep one thing in mind. This is not a local club picnic, but a family dining restaurant. People come here to eat and enjoy with their family and not dance with some cheap numbers. This one thing was almost ruining the excellent experience the chef managed to create with such hard work.
When we went the prices were rock bottom at 575 per head. It included service charge, but excluded service tax and vat. Also no drinks were included in the buffet. So ordering one will cost extra. Still at such price it was an unbelievable spread we got. We hope they stay like this and improve upon the weaker areas. We will surely be back soon.