Address: New No. 10/3, Old No. 28-B, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai
Cuisine: North Indian – Vegetarian Barbeque
Barbeques everywhere! When I take the oath that I am done with the barbeque places; a fellow foodie friend Muskaan Dutta invited me to try the new BBQ entry for 2016 at Nungambakkam, “Holy Grill”. As they all are the same when it comes to concept or food; I had the question, “What way is this BBQ place unique?” And they said it’s the first pure-veg BBQ restaurant at Chennai. Though I prefer veg food over non-veg, “BBQ = Non-vegetarian”, that’s how simple it is for me. In addition, vegetarians always have less options to eat. But Holy Grill is a definite savior for all those who couldn’t visit BBQ restaurants just because they are multi-cuisine or have less veg options.
You would definitely need a map to find the place unless you know the nook-n-corner of Nungambakkam or reside there. Take the road just opposite ‘New Yorker’ and where the road ends there starts ‘Holy Grill’! Though a small space, they have made the ambience look vivacious with lovely wall-quotes. It’s food-time! Except for the salads and desserts they offer a sit-down buffet for starters and main-course. With a small space, I would prefer them to serve the desserts as well at the table to avoid the fuss at dessert corner.
Disclaimer: There food menu changes for every few days, so here’s my take on the food I happened to taste.
Drink & Soup: Lemon Mint Mocktail – The blend of lemon-mint was great; a good start to the meal. Sweet Corn Veg Soup - Tasted good.
They serve four cold salads and green salad (some fresh-cut vegetables).
Aloo Peanut Chat – The chat-pate chat; loved this spicy-tangy salad. My pick among the salads.
Pasta Salad – I don’t favor cold pasta; but the plain fusilli pasta with subtle cream wasn’t a disappointment.
Apple Broccoli Salad – To toss the apple and broccoli in the cream sauce did made them taste better.
Toss Salad – This salad just refreshes your palate with fresh vegetables tossed with spies.
Starters on Grill
Moroccan BBQ Grill Veg & Lemonaise Chilli Garlic Mushroom – Didn’t try both these grilled ones as I am not a fan of plain grilled veges or mushroom. Those who tried didn't enjoy them much; and the mushroom being spiciest.
Hara Masala Ka Paneer Tikka – The killer on the grill. Soft paneer with hara masala was bang-on.
Chat Pati Gobi – The chilli were again over-powering and Gobi was dry so it was hard to chew. They could absolutely make a better one.
Starters from Kitchen
Cajun Spicey Potato – Being a die-hard fan of these potatoes has been my reason to visit BBQ places though I eat less. My craziness lead me to google the recipe and make them at home to cut-down the restaurant bill. Though they weren’t keen to add cheese like other restaurants do, the potato by itself was over-fried that didn’t taste good. Crispy outer crush with soft-juicy potato body with more sauce would have felt better. The second set of potatoes with these changes tasted much better; great to see them take our comments and make a new batch of potatoes for us.
Jaipuri Subji Sheek Kebab – Not sure what they have put into the kebab; but it was that one time I liked a veg kebab.
Crispy Chilli Babycorn Dry – It was best among the ‘starters from kitchen’.
Paneer Makhanwala – Oh, I am drooling thinking about the gravy. A rich-creamy gravy with bang-on flavors and soft paneer. This gravy could even make a bland rice or dry roti taste better.
Bharwan Capsicum – Stuffed capsicum cooked in a gravy; I haven’t seen or heard about any such gravy. So just the thought amazed me and the taste was brilliant too.
Dal Fry – They couldn’t get wrong here. It tasted good.
|Paneer & Capsicum Sabji|
|Bread & Dal|
Vegetable Balls Manchurian – Not the best tasting Manchurian balls but I liked the gravy; it is a good compliment for the noodles.
Hakka Noodles – Though they got the flavor elements for a noodle right; the noodles seemed to have been cooked unevenly with stick-like noodle string hindering my teeth while eating.
Kaju Pulao – Take spoonful of Kaju Pulao with Paneer gravy; Oh, yeah! That’s comfort food for me. Loved it.
Assorted Indian Breads – I tried their Butter Naan, Garlic Naan and Roti. The roti’s were more like crispy pappad; making them thicker could be better. The naan’s were perfect.
|Pulao, Noodles & Manchurian|
BBQ place are known for their ‘ON GRILL’ starters & desserts. Even with ample dessert choices I find only a very few taste good. But the Holy Grill team got everything right with their desserts.
Angoori Gulaab Jamun – Velvety and soft jamuns. Match them with ice-cream and enjoy the meal finale. Yummmm!!
Walnut Brownie – They looked dry but tasted just how brownies are meant to be; “soft and chocolatey”.
Shahi Tukda – Another favorite; I find very few places offer them and fewer make them good. This was one of those delicious ones.
Coconut Rice Pudding – The pudding bangs the first place for me. Perfect texture, subtle sweetness and the coconut shavings; yum-yum!
They as well present us with Seasonal Fruit & Ice Cream (Vanilla & Mango) with extra toppings. And looking at the complimentary mini cupcakes (they provide) brought a lot of happiness but tasting them didn’t; the cakes were dense and lacked moistness.
They price their buffet at Rs.575 INR per person (exclusive of taxes) for weekday dinner. Though I felt the pricing on the higher end; the unlimited portions, varieties and taste do justice for the price we pay. Serving a few more starters on the grill will do good for their name as well give a better barbeque experience. Hoping for new ones on the grill! One place I was quite impressed with the service in recent past.
Pricing Details (per person excluding tax): Lunch – Weekday: Rs. 500 INR, Weekend: Rs. 600 INR. Dinner – Weekday: Rs. 575 INR, Weekend: Rs. 675 INR.
Breaking Down Points
Location & Parking: Positive. A spot at Chennai’s food destination with huge parking space and they score full-marks.
Ambience: Good. They have planned so well to make a small space look vibrant. Once there live mocktail counters are ON, the atmosphere would amp up.
Food Variety: Good. A well-thought buffet spread. I did needed more starters, atleast on grill. With four on-grill starter I tasted just two; so with more options I get the freedom to eat more food.
Taste: Good. I enjoyed quite a fair amount of dishes they served. Again, a few starters could have tasted better.
Quality: Good. No complaints. Every dish was presented with finesse and care.
Quantity: Positive. Unlimited BBQ buffet. Just dug in!
Service & Pricing: Positive. They pulled off the service brilliantly during a busy evening. Though they have priced at par with industry-standards, I still feel they fall under “Expensive” tag.
My Favorite Dishes: Aloo Peanut Chat, Hara Masala Ka Paneer Tikka, Crispy Chilli Babycorn Dry, Paneer Makhanwala, Bharwan Capsicum, Kaju Pulao and all the Desserts.
Holy Grill would be a holy place for the vegetarian BBQ lovers. It’s time everyone enjoy BBQ; an ideal place for those who couldn’t dine at other BBQ outlets (as they serve non-veg). Either by adding or by tinkering the taste and BBQ dishes they could definitely become a favorite and evoke threat among their food competitors. Service is brilliant. Pricing, a tad expensive considering the locality, variety and taste.
P.S. The write-up is based on my food palate & dining experience during my restaurant visit. On-the-house invite for Holy Grill for tasting session. Remember, no two person’s palate can be same.
Grilling the Vegetarian Way - Holy Grill Reviewed by Divya Srinivasan on 15:17 Rating: