The new kid in town ‘Grillicious’ had been drawing a very mixed response in social circles and so the place had been on our radar for some time now. Some of us had even paid a visit and tried the experience first-hand; but to take the feedback a level further we were invited for a detailed chat session on how Grillicious can be the sought after brand for foodies in town. The location is slightly off and in by lanes, from bustling Baner main road but that in fact is better as it cuts out all the din and dust; for when at Grillicious it’s not only the cozy interiors but also a beautiful alfresco area that you get to unwind at, as you enjoy your food. The place is spacious and simple in terms of décor.
We had lots of options that day but none of them made sense as to why the name of the place should be ‘Grillicious’ for the customer don’t get to be a part of the grilling process. Later on I found out that they also cater to private catering parties of 10 or more people and take bulk orders wherein they provide grills, charcoal and the entire kit needed for the barbeque party along with choice of veg/ meat dishes starting for as low as 285 pp. More details in the pic below:
We started the evening with some mocktails and soups. Lemon Grass mint mojito was a pleasant surprise with subtle taste however the Green apple & Lime Glacier failed to impress as it was more of a sorbet (or should I call it barf ka gola?) and lacked any definite flavour. The green apple flavour wasn’t standing out.
In Soups the smoked mushroom soup was brilliant for its buttery texture and taste. The accompanying garlic bread needs to be improved however. Murg Adraki Rogan soup was another soup that came up and to our surprise it was served with papad munchies. The rogan soup was decent but not everyone could appreciate it for the soup was spicy and slightly oily in nature.
The appetizers came in quick succession and were way too assorted for it saw a wide variety from mushroom to mango paneer to piri piri prawns. We started off with some Mac and Cheese samosa which were loved by one and all. The puffed pastry was brilliant and the stuffing of mac and cheese paired just too good. The 3 cheese mushroom tikka was just ok for it failed to leverage on the taste of mixture of 3 cheese that went in. The green mango paneer tikka also failed to impress as the use of raw mango was not evident and it felt more like aamchur powder being used. The paneer was overdone with the use of marination and if you take a cross section, the flavors hadn’t reached till there. We were also served a masala Papad platter with special dips which was a nice surprise. The dips and sides included mint chutney, creamy curd chutney, besan sev, tomato onion salsa, gunpowder mix and some boondi. This is their unique dish they usually want their patrons to try. Apart from these, they have their standard 4 dips and sauces placed onto every table for patrons to mix and match as per their preference. These included Garlic sour cream, Mango chilli mayo dip, BBQ sauce and a chilli garlic dip.
For non-veg appetizers we were offered Thai Red Chicken Tikka which was super succulent and adequately spicy for Indian palate. This is #MustHave at the place. American smoked barbeque wings were nice and juicy with barbeque sauce being a tad bit sweet. What you can do as a choice, is pair it up with the spicy variant of barbeque sauce available by default on table to customize it to suit your preference #UniqueConcept. Mex Indian Chicken Tikka was deceptive for it looked as if had a blend of spices but was much bland in taste in actual. Piri Piri Indiana Prawns too were not spicy to the extent of Piri piri and the marination couldn’t sell itself as Piri Piri coating.
Mains: The Bhatti Dal Makhni and Kacchi Dal Tadka were nice and showed a strong presence of Ginger and Garlic respectively. The Dal makhani could be made to taste slightly different if you do not appreciate ginger but this recipe was slightly different than the regular run of the mill Makhanis out there.
Next came veg and non-veg siblings in the form of Paneer Lababdar and Butter Chicken Lasagne and this is a good news for vegan people as both were almost same in taste. The paneer/ chicken stuffing were very generous to the extent that lasagne sheets fell short on imparting its own taste. The topping of Papad however was not appreciated at all by anyone.
The evening had another sibling pair waiting to be presented to us and no sooner did we had the lasagne; were we served with Paneer Kalimiri and Murg Kalimiri kebab pie. These were yet again very similar in taste and were better than most other dishes even lasagne for that matter. The dish used very creamy gravy with freshly grounded pepper to give it, its distinct taste. Yet again the papad garnishing was uncalled for.
Mushroom Afghani masala and Murg Bauchhi korma were the last of the mains that night. The dishes were high on spices used and showed a dominating taste that came from use of Cinnamon. I personally felt that spices and cinnamon in particular were used more than needed which made the dish very hot and strong overall.
With all the dishes, we had a constant supply of Khameeri Ghee roti and Naan being served on table. The breads are unique and paired well with the mains. The chicken Kebab pulao was a unique dish served and impressed almost all instantly. The rice was served on a bed of chicken kebabs prepared in a curry. The dish is a standalone dish and doesn’t really need to be paired up with anything else. #LovedIt
Desserts:The desserts were the start attraction for the night. We relished some motichur rabadi gulab jamun parfait and Dark Chocolate salted caramel Oreo pie. The rabdi was thick and a sweet overload all thanks to motichur and gulab jamun used as pair, while the chocolate pie was absolute gooey, drizzling chocolate type pastry that you can’t get enough of. The desserts just killed it with their presence.
To summarize some quick pointers on hits and misses:
1. The spicy items are really good
2. Desserts are sorted and can win hearts
3. The recipes conceptualized are fairly unique and are something people would like to try
1. Do not overkill using papad in everything, not cool.
2. Go easy on spicy quotient, use spices like cinnamon, cardamom judiciously
3. Focus on bringing sharp contrast in flavors when two potential flavors are paired together. One should not kill the other.
4. More proactive service would go a long way in helping build image.
5. Centralized kitchen is a good concept but recipes need to be perfected first.
A special thanks to Amit Goel, his team, Zubair Poonawala and Abha Surwade for inviting us over and taking the feedback so constructively. We would like to wish you all the best and great success in future endeavors.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own and from the single or multiple experiences that I have had with the food joint. While you are free to disagree with the opinion below; please respect the originality and fairness of the content. The taste and experience might differ from the one portrayed for varied reasons like the Chef and staff that serves you, Ingredients used and other factors that change from time to time. The opinion/ review is purely based on my experience and there is no biased, favoured or commercial angle to it. At times, I might have used a few references from the freely available information on the internet to draw a correct more accurate picture but the sole intent of the is review is to give back a piece of my experience to the foodie community.)