Chennai Restaurant Reviews

AB’s Absolute Barbecues

In all probability, I might be in the minority in calling this place ‘good, nothing extraordinary’ ! Finally managed to push myself to Absolute Barbecues, more than a year after they opened. I was quite keen on visiting this place as soon as they opened, but after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to reserve a table on phone, and a couple of failed walk-ins, I gave up. Since then I have never attempted to visit this place.

Today, I was supposed to take my family out for lunch. Suddenly, out of the blue, I remembered Absolute Barbecues. Since it was a weekday, decided to take a chance and walked in around 1:20PM. We were 4 Adults and 2 children. We got a table immediately, that was a big relief.
As soon as we entered, the interiors were strikingly similar to any other grill-on-the-table restaurant, the place was big, crowded and noisy too. We told the waiter our preference that we were all Non-Vegetarians. Bottled water was complimentary, and that was good. Orders for drinks were taken and we ordered almost all of them on the menu since we were 6 people. Virgin Mojito, 2 Lemon Ice Tea, Lemon Soda with sugar, 2 Blue something. Drinks were good, no complaints. I liked the Ice Tea the best.
The grill was placed on the table and the skewers started to come. Typically, the items are the same everywhere, in fact very similar, be it Barbeque Nation or Coal Barbeque. Chicken, Prawns, Fish, paneer, and mushroom skewers were placed on the grill on the table. I had to request them to keep seafood a little away from chicken and veg. I had to tell this more than three times as different people came to the table with skewers each time. I’m not complaining, that’s just me and my weird preference. I eat chicken, but not seafood 🙂
Meanwhile Mutton Sheek Kebab, Cajun spiced potatoes, Crispy corn, Veg Peanut Kebab, Tangdi Kebab were all served one after another and I tried mutton after a long time. 🙂 Just one piece, and it was good. Not keen on tasting more though 🙂 Rest of them were fine. Tangdi Kebab was a dampener. The piece I got wasn’t very well cooked on the inside and I’m not a fan of bland chicken, even if it is cooked. The spices on the outside were completely missing on the inside. I had to be satisfied with the chicken on skewers and that was much better. Paneer was good, and Mushroom was okayish, corn cob was good too. I did not see Grilled Pineapple, did not ask though. The three sauces on the table were good, I liked the mustard sauce the best. The mango sauce was good too. After repeating the starters for a while, finally decided to stop 🙂
Went up to the Live counter and the pani poori counter. It was closed around 2:20PM and no one was around. I asked a waiter nearby if there was someone to serve pani poori, to which he said counter was closed. I felt that was a bit weird, so took a little portion of main course and headed back to my table. Normally I skip the main course, but since a few other options were not available, I had to take something before desserts. Took a small helping of pasta, veg pulao and curd vada. All the three were tasty. Meanwhile, I was curious to find out why the counters were closed to early and asked the waiter about it. He immediately spoke to someone and then came back and offered to serve pani poori, and wish grill. I told him it was only to know why, and I wasn’t keen on tasting as I do not eat any of the exotic meats. I had lost interest in pani poori by then, so wasn’t keen with that too.
Headed to the dessert counter and I picked almost everything there and made up a neat dessert platter, all for myself 😉 Everything was good and I finished it off in no time. Finally ice cream counter was a bit free and asked for a Pan ice cream. The first 2-3 spoons were awesome, but a bit too strong after a while, and I felt the pan flavor should have been a bit subtle to be able to eat the whole scoop. With that we ended our lunch.
In spite of pointing out that my son was 10, they only charged a child tariff for him and thats a nice gesture from them. Normally kids between 3 and 9 are charged so. We ended up paying for 4 adults and 2 kids. The lunch set us back by 3.4K rupees.
Now, coming to how I felt about the whole experience. Except the Tangdi Kebab, I did not find anything worth complaining, food was tasty. Service was courteous and good, no complaints there as well, except that the Live counter was not available for sometime and we had to miss out on Pani Poori, so that’s ok too. Now, I wouldn’t blame the restaurant for this, but I should say, the place was very very noisy. Especially the table next to us, there were a bunch of 8, and they were screaming at the top of their voices. Of course everyone comes to have a good time, but then, a bit of courtesy to fellow diners would do no harm. I found the TASMAC in Velachery to be less noisy ! 🙂 Another thing worth mentioning – With two kids, I couldn’t literally go anywhere near the dessert and ice cream counters for at least 10-20 minutes. There was a continuous line and never ending queue. Standing patiently in a line with two kids, waiting for my turn to come, is not my idea of a pleasant lunch.
So to conclude, was it extraordinary? No!! It was good, thats all, definitely not extraordinary! With my limitation to eating different meat, I wouldn’t be very keen to go back again. In fact, a glass of beer would be more appealing to me, and I would prefer a similar place that serves that !

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