We spotted land as the men camped the starboard side rails. We approached our destination which was a small nation in itself, Barbeque Nation.
Life had been quite busy for me as a Food writer since my first trip to BBQ Nation last year. I could not get the time to try their other outlets until today. Barbeque Nation at Atria is a much larger restaurant when compared to my Marol Experience. Its perhaps the only island (or a nation if you will) of fun in the otherwise stark Atria mall.
BBQ Nation attempts to recreate the magic of Mohammad Ali road with its own festival by the same name. While it obviously does not clone the same atmosphere and variety, it does give one a more than worthy consolation prize for missing out the original thing sans the crowd and pollution. Sit in the comfort of the restaurant's fine dining premises. Savor in the aromas, the festive ambiances and the enjoy seeing the staff who are dressed for the occasion. If you are fortunate, they may even put a song and dance performance into the night.
I was part of a motley bunch of bloggers and food journalists which had been invited to a special event to sample the Mohammad Ali Road fest menu. I loved my table as it was full of friendly and affable fellas who I had a nice dinner chat with.
The evening started with house invented virgin cocktails.
As with all BBQ Nation outlets, their appetizers were stellar.
Captain : A True man of the sea enjoys his drumsticks.
Crewmate : A nice Captain shares his grub with his mates.
Captain : Be happy with your drumsticks lad.
Crewmate : Drumstick. Not Plural :(
The mains were decent in comparison to my previous BBQ Nation experience.
Captain : Long long ago, in a place far far away.
Crewmate : Whats this ? Episode 7 The Food awakens?
Captain : I had food that felt just like this.
Chicken Angara(Right side in picture) is a dish that symbolizes the delicacies usually found during Ramadan. Its a spicy dish that is slowly cooked over charcoal. The flavor here was spicy, salty and savory. Imagine walking through a street with tandoor stalls at both sides. That typical aroma that tantalizes one's olfactory senses while walking through this lane is literally converted into flavor you can eat in this dish. It has a smoky, street side rustic feel to it.
Captain : I feel like I am dining with the Mughal Emperors with this one.
Crewmate : I feel like I am a Mughal Emperor when eating this.
Captain : A Mughal Emperor to sweep my decks next week, ha that's something.
BBQ Nation has a large Dessert platter which offered as many as nine different desserts. Additionally they also offer Kulfis which are made in a live counter.
Captain : Legend has it that a funny whimsical fella accidentally created this mixture.
Crewmate : Isn't that how some of the best foods got discovered Captain?
Captain : A serendipity of some sorts eh lad?
Crewmate: I wonder who that fella is.
The pricing at 800 INR per person could feel a bit on the higher side. But considering the fact that its a buffet with unlimited grub and desserts at your disposal, I think it actually balances out. In fact if you are a hearty mate like me, then this is quite a steal of a deal.
The service was interesting. Yes you read that right, 'Interesting' - the servers were polite, professional and they even put up a little dance show in the late evening. Their dress code and scarves look very much like traditional Iftar attire.
To wrap this up, I'd say they actually infuse three elements into their festivities - Service, Food and decor. BBQ Nations Mohammad Ali Road festival is a fun stop for gourmands and adventurers alike. Be here for the food, the feel and the festivities. This festival ends on October 18, 2015.
The Captain's Score : 8/10
"A fine nation tis' be. For now we leave but who knows when the winds will blow us again to these shores."
4th Floor, Atria Mall,
Dr. Annie Besant Road,
Phone : 022 60600000
-I was invited by the Restaurant to sample the Mohammad Ali Road menu.-