Bangalore is a cosmopolitan city which has rapidly transformed from a sedentary and salubrious “Pensioners Paradise” to a vibrant IT capital of the country. This rapid growth with the influx of people and cultures from across India and the world has also impacted the food scene in the city. The city now offers a mind boggling selection of cuisine for the connoisseurs, ranging from traditional South Indian fare to Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Continental, Vietnamese, in short, the works! Of late there is a spurt in the number of Barbecue styled restaurants which are vying with each other to garner more and more footfalls. We have been to a couple of them and last Saturday we decided to have lunch at Absolute Barbecue.
The Location and Ambiance
We had booked a table for three in advance and were asked to reach by 12.15 in the afternoon. We drove down to the restaurant, which is centrally located. After handing over the car keys to the Valet, we made our way inside the restaurant, we were ushered in and comfortably seated in a table that had been reserved for us. I looked around and saw families and couples seated at other tables, the restaurant was pretty much full, considering that it was a weekend. The restaurant is quite spacious and the tables are spaced reasonable apart. It is also well lit and abuzz with activity with waiters moving around, taking care of their respective customers. We found it a good place for families to eat and converse together.
The ambiance was just right, however if you were looking for a quite lunch or dinner for two in a dimly lit room with a candle on the table and soft romantic music playing, then this definitely is not for you or for such an occasion.
Being vegetarians, we did not have much expectations as these kind of restaurants do not have much for our ilk except the ubiquitous grilled Capsicum, Paneer(Cheese) and Potatoes! But the restaurant was a pleasant surprise, not that it had anything extra from the usual for vegetarians, but the range was wider and the taste also quite good.
We started with mocktails, I chose a Mojito, which was quite cool and refreshing, served with a topping of mint leaves, while the others opted for a Sweet Lime soda.
The Barbecue was placed on our table and was loaded with skewers holding neatly cut pieces of Paneer, Corn, Capsicum, Watermelon,Pineapple and Tomatoes.
As these slowly cooked on the Barbeque, we were served with other starters which included Spicy fried Corn, Green Kebabs, Potato tornadoes, etc.
I was particularly fascinated by the BBQ Churrasco Pineapple, Waiters moved around with huge cooked pineapples wedged on big skewers and served portions of these, the sweetness of the pineapple combined with the spice it was dressed in, gave it a nice tangy taste. For Non-Vegetarians there is a feast of starters consisting of Shrilankan Crab Curry, BBQ Texas Prawns, Singaporean Chicken Wings, etc.
The restaurant also has a live counter which caters to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian palates. Here one can choose veggies or meat from a wide variety that includes exotic stuff like Bamboo shoots, emu, quail, rabbit, shark fish etc. and the cook will have them served at your table, cooked in the sauce of your choice.
The Main Course
We have found that in these type of restaurants, the starters are actually the Main course, with most people feasting on the starters and completely ignoring the main course or eating sparingly. The main course consisted of Biryani, both the vegetarian and non vegetarian versions, an assortment of curries which included Kofta, Ladies Fingers and lentils along with a choice of Rotis, Naan and Kulchas (Indian Bread)
We found the food tasty and with just the right level of spiciness, not too less nor too much.
If you have a sweet tooth, you will definitely be tempted to binge on some awesome desserts that the restaurant serves up. We started with the traditional and famous Indian dessert known as Gulab Jamun and moved on to savor some really cool ice cream which included exotic Fried Ice cream, Ice cream with a flavor of Paan, etc.
We indulged our palates further with generous helpings of pastries and Phirni, which again is a traditional Indian Dessert.
We found the Desserts to be quite literally the icing on the cake in this restaurant.
Absolute Barbecue restaurant has a very friendly atmosphere and the staff is well mannered and cheerful lending an extra edge to your dining experience. They hover around you without intruding on your privacy and go that extra mile to ensure that you are having a nice eating experience. They also inquired if we were celebrating any special occasion like a Birthday, Anniversary, etc., as they would then celebrate with us by cutting a cake, on the house .
Overall we had an enjoyable lunch and left the restaurant with a sense of satisfaction. We would rate the restaurant – Absolute Barbecue as Very Good and a nice place for a family lunch or dinner, however if you are a non-vegetarian you would be able to do full justice to the spread that the restaurant has.
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