A Great rating on Zomato, a live grill concept & a New Year weekend combined prompted us to make the drive to AB’s Absolute Barbecues about a year back. It’s been exactly a year since & the time was right for my 8th visit to this place. They have hosted a lot of special food festivals, be it their Seafood festival, Best of Abs or their more recent Globecue which paired flavors from across the globe.
Concept: A live grill on your table with partially cooked skewers & a pairing of sauces & flavored oils to enhance the grilling experience. A Wish Grill (more on that later) & an extensive Main Course & Dessert Buffet. Having dined a lot in Barbeque nation of Mumbai, the question we went in was “Will this match up?”
Ambiance: Cozy, well lit & pleasant. But once, the tables fill in, it can get a bit chaotic. An outside seating available with the background sound of cars roaring on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Service: Fantastic. Right from the moment when the waiter explained the concept of the restaurant to the continuous attentive yet non intrusive service, it was a smooth ride. Being a regular patron, you tend to get extra attention, but the first timers also give back positive reviews on the Service here.
Food: The Starters were the highlights of the evening. Standout performers were the Churrasco Pineapple (Honey & Cinnamon glazed grilled pineapple) to the Lamb Cutlets (to die for), the American Cheese Potato (baked potato with a cream sauce topping), Thai Mushrooms (spicy) & the Jamaican Jerk chicken (tender & flavorful). The Crispy Corn added the required crunch to the proceedings.
They always have a specialty counter like the Indian Chaat for the vegetarians
Yesterday, they had a Grilled pulled lamb which can be paired for a stir fry with one of their sauces. I opted for the Black Pepper Sauce & it was a great pairing with the tender lamb & potatoes.
Wish Grill is a unique concept similar to a Mongolian grill where you choose exotic meats & veggies , pair them up with your choice of sauces & then they conjure a dish for you. I tried the Duck & Turkey with AB’s Dancing sauce & Wifey went for the Shrimps in the Tufani Indian Sauce. Both were extremely flavorful & bore semblance to Oriental wok preparations.
Drinks: There are some interesting combinations like the Chaat Masala flavored Margarita, the Cranberry Cooler or the Indian Twist, which is a Jaljeera with a twist.
Salad Bar: In case you are too full & want to skip mains, they a decent spread of Salads too.
Main Course: You would have lofty expectations from the Main Course after the highs of the Starters. It isn’t a downer but lack of ingenuity & creativity leaves you slightly underwhelmed. The Dal Makhani stands out every time, not so much the others.
The Dum Biryani is another dish that you may try in the Mains.
Desserts: Amongst the 10 odd options, the Ghewar with Rabdi & Phirnee leave their impressions.
But what stands head & shoulders above everyone is the Shahi Tukda. Ghee fried bread soaked in a creamy & drool worthy Rabri & garnished with slivers of almonds & pistachios. If this doesn’t activate your sweet tooth, nothing else ever will.
The finale is the Cold Stone Creamery where you mix and match the ice creams with topping to create a dessert of your choice. This is your sweet tooth Wish Grill… a perfect fit for this novel theme restaurant.
Every other time, they do have a surprise here as well, like the Kulfi on the drum roll that has to be scraped off & enjoyed.
Pricing: 80 Dhs per person, Absolutely worth the food & the experience.
Final Verdict: It bettered all the experiences of previous Live Grill restaurants. Hog on the Starters, skip the main course & reach for the desserts, you will come out smiling like we did. This is one place where vegetarians tend to enjoy as much, if not more compared to their meat lover friends.
Will we go back: Definitely yes, for the amazing Starters. Highly recommended even for vegetarians.