Barbeque Nation has a simple yet a great concept; unlimited kebabs on the table at a value-for-money pricing with maincourse as part of the buffet, if there is still any place after stuffing yourself with starters. No wonder, it does well. So when The Ancient Barbeque (TAB) starts a chain basis a similar concept, can it do any better than the experienced rival, and is there a place for both in the market?
The GoodEarth City Centre is the new upcoming mall in the heart of Gurgaon. Some how when it was even under construction, I got a very positive vibes out of this place and recommended it to lot many of my restauranteur friends. Even though none of the deals actually materialised, I was looking forward to my visit here. And then as soon as I head TAB is officially open, I made a visit with my family who are fond of Barbecue Nation concept and are happy with the food too.
The Ancient barbeque occupies a big space on the second floor including an al fresco setting that can easily accommodate over 125 guests. Only issue is that it looks like a big marriage hall with no division in the entire décor. It might be operationally effective but certainly does not lend itself to a feeling of privacy. The tables have a place to keep a small grill which keeps the kebabs warm and the seats are comfortable too. I am waiting for the outdoor terrace seating that is to be open soon, and will be a lovely way to welcome winters. And yes, a live singer daily is an added attraction who is sportingly asking everyone for their favorite song request.
There are some twelve kebabs available including chicken, mutton, fish and shrimps. No buffet offers everything brilliant hence it is just fair to see if there are more good dishes than bad. Here, amongst my favorite dishes is tawa mutton champey. Ginger juliennes topped on the meat are cooked to perfection. Mutton is a dish that is worth the entire money one pays for this eloborate menu. Anything more is a bonus. The grilled pineapple is slightly caramelised and finds a lots of fans among my family. Another innovative dish is american corn done with chopped onions and mayonnaise. It may not be gourmet but kids love it.
What I did not like is the fish that is too salty and tad over cooked. Yet there are many more dishes to choose and as I said focus should be on the ones you like. After few more starters and some interesting mocktails later (alcohol license is still awaited), I call for the Chef Nikhil Chopra. My only question to him is what makes TAB different from Barbecue Nation. The crux of our discussion is that TAB a) Serves continental dishes also apart from Indian and Chinese, B) Has a kitchen in every outlet to make dishes fresh, c) They make small portions and change the dishes in buffet every 15 min, and d) Inspite of all that they are atleast 20% cheaper than the competition. I have met many chefs who like to remain behind the cover but Nikhil comes out to be quite confident and outgoing. I am sure this young chef will do well in his career.
Even though nothing else is required, we still end the meal with a selection of desserts, after all we Indians wants to have the maximum bang for the buck. I come out pretty happy with the experience and if I have to go for a buffet (which is rare), The Ancient Barbeque (TAB) will certainly be my choice.
Ratings (Out of 5)
Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 3.5 | Service: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Meal for Two: Rs. 1400 (Price per person: Lunch: 499/589 (V/NV), Dinner: 619/699 (V/NV) | Credit Cards: Yes | Alcohol: License Awaited | Timings: 12 noon-3.30pm and 7 pm to 11PM
Address: The Ancient Barbeque (TAB), 223A, Second Floor, Good Earth City Centre, Sector 47-50, Gurgaon | Telephone: 0124-4690667 / 4690668
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.