Few things on earth are synonymous to happiness and food happens to be one of the few for us. India’s diversity when it comes to food is commendable and with the evolution of modern eateries they seem to have taken away the thunder. But of our love for street food, we did never like anything better. From Indore’s Sarafa to Delhi’s Chandni Chowk we would love to go on a gluttonous journey that we wish would not end. Barbeque nation brings to Amchi Mumbai the taste of Purani Dilli with the Dilli Wali Khau Galli Festival.
An invite for engaging in Delhi food at any of the Barbeque Nation outlets came knocking to our inbox and we could not keep our zeal, as it was a street food festival.
Here is our experience from that energetic evening that we would best describe as fun!
FROM THE DESIGNERS PERSPECIVE!
Barbeque Nation welcomes its guests with a warm Namaste. You enter a lively and colourful environment as this place celebrates the delicacies from the streets of our national capital. They have taken additional efforts to decorate the place to make it livelier by setting up street food like counters. They have also placed props like a colourful bicycle, led lights and drapes to add to the Delhi street vibe. The staff made the entire atmosphere more energetic and colourful by dancing their hearts out to cheesy Bollywood numbers.
The low laying chairs put across wooden tables offer a comfortable dining experience. The tables have a slot to hold the barbeque grill on which the skewered starters are places. There is a buffet area where you can pick the main course. A kulfi station is placed in the centre of the restaurant. They are pretty organised.
DRINK IT BABY!
Mocktails and cocktails are available at a reasonable additional cost. One could accompany their meal with a drink of their choice. Most of their mocktails are syrup based and must be selected carefully. We tried Aam panna, Purple mary and Mojito.
Aam panna should be ordered for the desire of a good drink and not for the authentic aam panna taste. As a drink it tastes quiet pleasant. It is a soda based drink with lemony flavour and panna syrup. If you enjoy lemonade, you would surely love this one.
Purple Mary is a kokum based sweet soda drink. It has insufficient amount of the main ingredient, kokum. A kokum drink is expected to be tangy, which is not taken care here. We passed this one.
Virgin Mojito is the regular mint mojito, which we savour at most places. It was quite decent.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD!
The Dilli Wali Khau Gali festival by Barbeque Nation is inclined towards presenting Luckhnowi Street food, which is known for its Non-veg delicacies. However the vegetarian food enthusiasts have not been neglected. They have a few live counters to give you the Delhi chaat experience. They have introduced offers on wine especially for the festival. Per pack charges for the meal remain unchanged inspite of the increased menu. Here is our experience from the vegetarian segment of this festival.
They serve three veg live barbeque starters, which are customizable as per the taste preferences of the guest. They have a flag on every table, which can be turned down when you have had enough of the starters and want to switch to the buffet. They also have a wide buffet spread followed with a kulfi station. In order to distinguish between vegetarian and non vegetarian guests they have different colour recognition on plates. The green-bordered ones are for vegetarians and the plain white ones are for non-vegetarians. Interesting! Lets begin with the food!
They have a live barbeque on every table and they serve 95% cooked starters on the table rest of which gets cooked right in front of you and one could cherish hot skewered veggies. They served 3 barbeque veggies, which were mushrooms, paneer and pineapple.
Barbeque Mushrooms were baby sized, tender and fresh with a melt in the mount feeling. They were marinated with some strong Indian spices and had a prominent flavour of garam masala. We enjoyed these.
Barbeque Paneer was marinated and skewered before being served on the table. The paneer was a little hard and chewy but was still satiable when eaten hot.
Barbeque Pineapple was a darling with awesome tickling tangy, sweet and spicy flavours. The flavour of black pepper was prominent as it was generously used. We enjoyed this one.
Other than these barbeques that the restaurant serves, the guest could also ask for additional barbeques line potato or baby corn and they will be happy to make it for you.
Dahi ke Kebab were a deep fried dish, which was crispy and the filling was a combination of sweetish and spicy flavours. The kebabs majorly had potato and capsicum filling. We cherished this dish and enjoyed it repeatedly.
Papdi Chaat is one of the most popular delicacies of Delhi chaats. The ones served here were quite good but not one of the finest. The puris were filled with potato filling and dahi topped with sweet chutney and sev. These need to be consumed briskly as they get soggy in no time. They are best enjoyed when crunchy.
Potato Wedges were sliced jacket potatoes deep-fried and seasoned. Fried potatoes always taste awesome. We asked for some chaat masala and lime to make it more customised to our preferences.
Nadru Kebab was basically lotus stem in a keema form, made into a tikki and deep fried. It was served with khajoor (Dates) chutney. It had mined and not mashed lotus stems and chunks of garlic making it crunchy. The binding was less which caused them to shatter when poked with a fork but this could not take away the beauty of its tenderness. We enjoyed this dish for its taste and texture.
Malai Seekh Kebab were well grilled seekh kebabs which were high on flavour but low on taste as it was a tad bit bland.
Dahi Bhalle were a little on the dry side as they were not well soaked in water and also the dahi topped was in less quantity. The taste was however good with a flavour of sauf that complimented well with the sweet chutney.
Chawdi Bazaar ke Choley Kulche is a north side delicacy which is found at the corner of every street like the way wada pavs are found in Mumbai. This dish has small round breads called kulchas which are served with chatpata cooked white peas. The breads here were soft and fresh but the chana had no taste. They were just boiled and served with no extra spices which disappointed us. They were complimented with some chutneys which made the dish better.
Aloo Chaat was prepared on a special request as we longed for the chaat we had on our last visit to Delhi. Here they boiled potatoes and tossed them with chutneys and spices whereas we craved what is originally served on Delhi streets. There they dice the potatoes and fry them on a tawa after which they are coated with chutneys and chatpata masalas. Even the thought of it makes our mouth water.
Aloo Paratha was made on a live station right in the centre of the dining area. The parathas were small, soft and thin. They had a filing of mashed potatoes and green chillies which was lightly flavoured but amusing.
Gobhi Paratha was served alongside aloo paratha. They were bland and did not seem to have any spices. We would prefer the aloo paratha over gobhi one.
After all this there was buffet awaiting us but we had to skip it as we were already full sparing some space for deserts.
Jama Masjid ka Shahi Tukda has been our favourite since childhood days as we cherished the ones made during diwali my mom. The taste was nostalgic. These are basically deep freies breads which are then dipped in sugar syrup and topped with rabdi. The ones here were delicious!
Galiyon ki Firni is served in mitti ka kulhad (clay pot) in a desi style. It is as delicious as it looks. The firni is fine textured and less sweetened making it more desirable. The portions are small and one could have multiple rounds of it.
Gulab Jamun was one of our favourite sweets served that evening. These were small balls one could pop one at a time and enjoy the sweetness as it spread across the mouth. These were so desirable that even after having a jam packed tummy we still managed to pop in a lot of them. Must Try!
Kulfi Station is one of their attractions as when a person sites this counter he surely makes sure he leaves space in his tummy to enjoy this one in the end. They have a colourful Kulfi station which serves kulfi sticks in different flavours and malai kulfi falooda. The taste was decent but the amusement was high.
HOW MAY I HELP YOU!
The staff is courteous and very well trained. They are all dedicated towards their job and each one of them makes sure you have a comfortable and happy experience. Starting from the manager who greets you in the beginning to the servers, all play a good host. To add fun vibes to the festival the staff performs free style on the beats of Dilli wali Girlfriend and other mood lifting numbers. We had fun witnessing their performance and the guests kept asking for more, the staff dint deny. All in all it was a delightful experience.
HAWK EYE VIEW!
Barbeque Nation is a place which is sure to make you commit gluttony given the wide spread, good food and the kind of service they provide. The place is vibrant and energetic making it welcoming. It is also large group friendly and the staff will sing along with you to make your celebrations livelier.
Aam Panna, Barbeque Pineapple, Nadru Kebab, Shahi Tukda, Gulab Jamun and Firni