Food blogger Shanthini Rajkumar enjoys the grilling at Barbeque Nation

Located at the top on the 6th floor of the Metro Park Inn at Town Hall is the new restaurant in town, Barbeque Nation. The immediate impression is one of bustling space, tables filling up and darting waiters. Barbeque Nation runs successful outlets across the country, and now, it is in Coimbatore.

Matt black stoneware gleams as it waits for the food to be served. The placemats carry information about the origins of grilled food from around the world. There are also helpful suggestions on how to play around with the various sauces offered at each table, by pairing them with the different starters.

A mobile grill is placed into a square cavity at the centre of the table. In a flash, skewers start arriving, laden with vegetable, fruit and non-vegetarian delicacies. The triangular pieces of succulent pineapple provide a burst of flavours in the mouth – sweet and spicy. The trick is to pop it into your mouth as soon as it gets a light char and you have basted it with some red chilli vinegar. It’s all very dramatic, smoke shooting out every now and then, the clatter of metal skewers and the onslaughts of delicious smells. The DIY element on the table is perfect and adds a special experience to the meal.

The must-try vegetarian dishes are the grilled pineapple, the grilled mushroom which has a lemony chilli taste and the melt-in- the-mouth paneer, ideal for kids. The hot muttar kebab goes perfectly with the chilli mango sauce. They have a fried corn dish that is crunchy, soft, sweet and spicy all at the same time. The spiced Cajun potatoes even looks delicious. But, the real surprise is the grilled watermelon. The fruit stood up well to the robust spices and the grilling!

Hospitable

The nuggets of chicken, chilli fish and pistachio prawn are grilled to perfection. The starters are unlimited and the favourites are quickly replenished. Chef Manohar personally meets the diners to assure himself that they are happy.

There is just a subtle hint that alcohol is served here. And, their list of fruit martinis sound really pretty. ‘Pomegranate n passion fruit’, ‘Apple n dates’, ‘Watermelon n kiwi’, ‘Ginger n mint’ , ‘Orange n peach’… The buffet also serves breads, rice, salads and soup. We try a small quantity of roasted papad, adhraki ghosht and the sweet bread – a big thumb’s up for that. Counters of both Indian sweets and pastries are lined up at the end of the table. The tiny anguri gulab jamuns look perfect for a last sweet bite.

Once you descend to the lobby and get back to the road, it is a bit difficult to reconcile the contrast in the sounds, vibrations and ambience. Check out the experience for yourself.

For reservations, and more details, call 04226066161.

A meal for three adults and two kids with unlimited starters and mains, bottled water and soft drinks costs Rs.3300.

Read more on Shanthini’s web page, www.pinklemontree.org