Absolute Barbeques is re-inventing live grill barbque, a concept introduced in India by Barbeque Nation. With many choices for live barbeque table restaurants in India, customers are overwhelmed by the options that they find hard to choose what’s best for them. Barbeque Nation is undoubtedly the pioneer in live grill barbeque restaurants in India. The great taste with the Indian magic masala in barbequed meat and vegetables certainly set a trend in concept restaurants in India. But with the arrival of Absolute Barbeques, Barbeque Nation faces its biggest challenge ever.
In most locations, Barbeque Nation and Absolute Barbeques serve alcoholic drinks like beer, liquor and cocktails. In Chennai Absolute Barbecues T.Nagar branch does not serve liquor but Barbeque Nation serves because it is housed in a Boutique Hotel which is required for liquor serving license. Both the restaurants have bigger tables for large groups but not as large one would wish. Five star hotels like Park Hyatt have large tables which can seat 25-20 guests.
Barbeque Nation gives ample time to complete before re-filling while staffs in Absolute Barbecues visit the table at short intervals which is good in a way. Absolute barbecues has little edge when it comes to serving vegetarians which is one of the many small difference between the two most famous barbeque restaurants in India.
Both restaurants are booked well in advance. So if you are looking for a group hang-out, it is advisable to book at least 15 days in advance for weekends. Barbeque Nation and Absolute Barbeques find place in Indian history as the places that turned most customers away without seats available for bookings. Besides, they don’t offer take-away which makes it impossible to taste their dishes unless you find a table. Prawns are not good over barbeque though the mint chutney comes as a rescue. Absolute Barbeques has introduced a new concept call “Wish grill” where it gives the customer to try 32 (16 veg & 16 non-veg) different varieties of meat and vegetables including rabbit, quail, shark, duck, emu, baby octopus, tufani masala, chilli garlic tango and lemon curry.
Main Course is not customized in taste to match regional preferences. For example, both biriyani and non-veg curries have a Hyderbadi flavor in Absolute while Barbeque Nation has it little sweeter with more onions and tomatoes in the curry. Roti and Naan are served fresh though. Soups are better in barbeque Nation. Absolute Barbecues lags behind in main course unless you are a biriyani lover.
Desserts are very good in Absolute Barbecues and displayed very nice giving enough room to pick and try. The Frozen wish grill in Absolute is added bonus for ice cream lovers. Barbeque Nation has vastly improved it dessert line-up recently after heavy competition from local players in Bangalore, Mumbai and Chennai. It has also started customizing main courses to local taste especially in Hyderabad.
Bookings are a big problem especially for dinner and weekends. Absolute branches are bigger than Barbeque Nations by over 50% seating capacity. Parking is a big problem during weekends as both have branches in prime locations with very little parking reserved for them if any. Both are priced almost the same, but latest reviews in Zomato and Tripadvisor are highly biased towards Absolute which is not the case in reality. Still Barbeque Nation attracts a lot of customers each day and sends them happy and satisfied when they walk out of the restaurant.