One Friday night, Mark and I found ourselves at the streets of Jumeirah, where the venue of our foodie feast is. I got an invite from the owner of Grand Barbecue restaurant to try out the restaurant's pride, their buffet. The restaurant may look unassuming from the outside, but a grand and elegant ambience is what will welcome you when you enter the restaurant.
The restaurant is aptly named because of their vast dining area and their extensive buffet selection. The place has ample-spaced and comfortable dining area and some private sections for more intimate gatherings, which leads to a nook at the farther end of the restaurant where the buffet tables are stationed.
Grand Barbecue offers buffet style dining which generally caters to Indian diners but there is also a wide selection of Chinese, Singaporean, Italian, and Arabic dishes.
They have the salads section with 15 varieties of vegetable, meat, and fruit salads plus dressings which you can mix and match.
Carnivores can indulge and satisfy their cravings while fitness junkies can load themselves up with protein with Grand Barbecue's grilled meat offerings.
Vegetarians need not fret as Grand Barbecue also got their needs covered with not just one but 11 vegetarian dishes. How about that?
If you're up for some Italian dishes, their live cooking station for pastas must not be missed. Asian dishes like steamed dumplings and noodles are also present.
Indian favorites such as poppadum, chaat, biyani, and curries along with freshly cooked naan of course won't be left out.
A special section for the little ones are also available where kids can get to enjoy chicken nuggets and fries, and satisfy their sweet tooth with the grand chocolate fountain and selection of ice creams up to their hearts' and tummies' desires.
Also part of the desserts are international sweets like cupcakes, puddings, cheese cakes, and fresh fruits; plus Indian specialties like Gulab Jamun and Gajar Ka Halwa. A good variety of drinks are also offered from fresh juices to sodas and the traditional Indian Mango Lassi.
After going through a rundown of the dishes, with the owner of the restaurant explaining what each dish is, I already had some favorites in mind which I made sure to check out. I helped myself with some dumplings and grilled meats, some rice and noodles, and some vegetable cracklings.
Both Chicken Dumplings and Vegetable Dumplings were good, I love how the wrapper was thin making way for the generous filling, but the sauce that came with it was overly spicy. From the grilled meats, the Chili Chicken and Awadhi Seekh Kebab were my top picks— both were flavorful and had the right amount of spiciness. The other grilled meats only differ in variety (chicken, mutton, and fish) but tasted just the same, and well yeah, a bit spicy for my liking (but I'm still not that into spicy dishes, so this one's subjective). While the Shanghai Fried Rice was seasoned just right and wasn't oily at all, I found the Singaporean Noodles a bit bland.
Mark also enjoyed the rice and Chili Chicken that he helped himself with it even had his second plate.
Aside from the dishes that were already in the buffet spread, Grand Barbecue also offers diners some freshly cooked mains straight from their kitchen which are served right at each tables by their enthusiastic staff. For that night they offered Chili Garlic Prawns and Pepper Toast Prawns. Being a sucker for shrimps, my eyes sparkled when these were served. Both were delicious but I must give it up for the Pepper Toast Prawns. It was so good it was gone in no time that I wasn't even able to take a snap of it! :p
I was craving for Naan, so when the staff mentioned that they serve it freshly-baked, I was sold. I knew the curries were already oily so I just had the plain Naan. It was served hot on a bread basket which I enjoyed eating with Awadhi Mutton Curry and Butter Chicken, the latter being my top pick.
I had been wanting to know how that little crispy spheres taste like and I immediately fell in love with them when I first got to try them at Farzi Cafe, so imagine my delight when I saw the Chaat Counter. Mark can attest to how many times my eyes sparkled as I bugged him to also try it with me. :p
I just tried one of each kind as I might not be able to finish all nine pieces. I had Pani Puri, Dahi Puri, and Sev Puri. Just still not sure which is which, but I enjoyed two of them—one that's sweet and tangy and another one which has that distinct onion taste. My least favorite was the one with mashed potatoes (I guess) at it kinda felt weird to the bite.
For desserts, I did away with the usual and tried the Indian favorites—Gulab Jamun and Gajar Ka Halwa. The Gulab Jamun had the right amount of sweetness and the Gajar Ka Halwa tasted just like carrot cake and was best eaten with vanilla ice cream. Both were actually good, but I'm just still not accustomed to something cold, wet, and spongy/mushy on my mouth, so I'd still go for chocolate desserts if I had to choose, which unfortunately was lacking from Grand Barbecue. Not sure with the other diners, and although the chocolate fountain was decent (though only had mallows to go with it), Mark and I thought that adding more chocolate desserts wouldn't hurt.
Although only a few dishes stood out (at least from the ones that I tried) and there's nothing really spectacular with the buffet spread, overall dining experience was still good. Mark and I both left the place with full tummies! Service was also commendable, staff was well-versed with the dishes they offer and I can see that service was consistent as for other diners as well. Apart from barbecue options, a variety of dishes both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians are offered, I lot of options for the vegetarians I must add. I also like the idea of the buffet dishes which keep changing on a daily basis as it allows diners to have a totally different experience every single day. And to top it all, the buffet only costs AED 79! Such a steal, yes, but only if most of the dishes tasted spectacular, I must say.
And for Ramadan, they also offer the same buffet experience for Iftar, just with some added Iftar staples like dates, Ramadan drinks, and Lamb Ouzi.
GRAND BARBECUE BUFFET RESTAURANT
Al Mina Road, Next to Ibis Styles Jumeirah Hotel
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 (0)4 437 6028
Table reservation recommended.
We were guests at Grand Barbecue and our meal was complimentary, but as always, this post is sincerely written and all views and opinions are my own.