Chennai Restaurant Reviews

Coal Barbecues

A lunch with family after a gap of two weeks. Had no problems deciding on where to go, it had to be some place we haven’t visited, and what better than Coal Barbecues that was right across the road, a stone’s throw from our place.

Initially, I was very skeptical to try a new ‘Grill On Table’ restaurant after a not-so-pleasant dining experience at Grillbox, Mylapore. So the moment we had ‘grill on table’ on our minds, it had to always be Barbeque Nation or Sigree Global Grill. As Absolute Barbecue was almost impossible to reserve, never attempted to go there so far! Since this place was so close, and some vague intuition that it would be good, we decided to head there for lunch. I called up and reserved a table for four, at 13:30 hours. Reached almost at that time, probably five minutes late. We immediately got a table.
First look, I was surprised to see a full house ! But for a few tables, rest were all occupied. The interiors were neat and classy. Overall, quite a large seating capacity and the place was very very ‘happening’ ! That gave a very first positive vibe and we were kinda looking forward to the food now. Asked for a bottle of water, and the waiter assured us that they served RO water! 🙂 I was really happy. Instead of selling a water bottle at the first possible opportunity, they had in fact, recommended their RO water. Gladly went with it. The waiter noted our preferences – all of us non-vegetarian, and we were okay with veg, chicken, prawns, and fish! I happened to see Mr. Nawaz Mohamed, the owner of Coal Barbecues and introduced myself to him.
A nice chilled welcome drink, orange juice with a fizz, was served in a cute-looking bottle. Then the starters started to come one by one on the table. Cajun Potatoes came first, it was good. Honey-glazed rice-corn tikka was wonderful, kids loved it. Tangdi Kebab was soft, succulent and yummy, loved the smoky flavor ! Meanwhile the waiter asked us if we liked to have soup and we just wanted to taste, asked for 1 veg and 1 non-veg soup. They had Lemon Coriander soup (Veg) and Chicken Yakhni Shorba(Non-Veg). Frankly, both the soups were not to my liking. I found the shorba too watery and a tad too salty. Lemon Coriander soup was missing something, lacked the punch. So just left both of them and continued with the starters!
Soon the grill was placed on the table and the skewers started to come ! Chicken was very good, I did catch a subtle flavor of coconut oil, it was very nice. Family loved prawns and they said it was very juicy and tasty. The veg skewers were decent, I liked the Mushrooms, Paneer and capsicum. Paneer was good, but not the best I’ve had. All the while, the service was very polite and they made sure they checked at regular intervals, if we needed anything else. Fish was the last to come, but was good too !
Finally done with a good dose of starters, we proceeded to check the Live Grill. This was a Teppanyaki live grill counter and the concept was nice. Choose what you want to grill/pan-fry in a bowl, select the sauce of your choice, and wait while the Teppanyaki chef does it for you. I wasn’t very particular, but just for the sake of trying out, I chose some noodles, veggies, onion, cottage cheese, and chilly and selected Schezwan and Chilly Garlic sauces and waited for it to be pan-fried. I got a nice bowl of noodles with a nice flavor. A decent try! The non-veg section was quite crowded, hence stuck to vegetarian. It was nice to see a clear demarcation between veg and non-veg. Even the color of the bowls were different – yellow for veg and red for non-veg! First I didn’t quite understand what the clips were for, and then realized it was to denote your selection of sauces. It was interesting ! 🙂
As we always do, we did not try the main course and headed to the dessert section. This is a usual pattern we follow when we visit similar places – Eat lots of starters and finish with desserts 🙂 So I can’t comment on how the main course tasted. I did click a picture of the buffet section and the spread seemed to be elaborate.
First look at the desserts counter, there were quite a few choices of Indian sweets/desserts, tried a bit of everything Gulab Jamun, Jalebi, Shahi Tukda, Gajar ka Halwa and everything was tasty! Not the slightest complaint with any of it. Then proceeded to the chocolatey dessert counter and picked up a mango shot, chocolate shot, a couple of cakes, kesariya phirni and back to my seat ! Overall, all of them were tasty, it was an overdose of desserts and absolutely sinful indulgence. One chocolate cake was okayish, rest of them were very good !
The cold stone ice cream counter was quite crowded and wife managed to wait for a while and get a couple of icecreams, one with gulkand and nuts and another was a scoop of vanilla with some topping. I liked the flavor of gulkand. Wasn’t as good as the pan ice cream in Pind, but still was pretty good!
Overall, it was an absolutely wonderful dining experience and we had spent close to two hours and didn’t once feel it. The time just flew by and the whole time, the place was packed ! The waiters were polite, pleasant and smiling. They were more than ready to serve and that was worth a mention. During the course of the meal, Mr. Nawaz Mohamed and a couple of others checked with me about my experience and I did convey to them that our family really enjoyed the visit !
The tariff was Rs 749 (on weekends) for an adult and 350 for a child aged 4 to 9 years(all days).  so we were 3 adults and 1 child.  The lunch set us back by about 2.6K and I would say it was absolutely well-spent! Mr. Pradeep waited on our table. He was extremely pleasant, and made our dining experience wonderful! While I paid the bill, and was about to leave, then came the SURPRISE !! 😀
A welcome cake was brought to our table, all the waiters and staff assembled there and sang a welcome song. 😛 I am really not very comfortable being the centre of attention and I should admit, I was a little shy with all the attention :p while my kids thoroughly enjoyed it! I would like to thank Mr. Nawaz Mohamed for the wonderful gesture and I would certainly recommend this place to friends and fellow-foodies. Living in close proximity, I will definitely visit again !

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