The Dhaka Food Diaries - BAR-B-Q-TONITE DHANMONDI
Great! After a hiatus of more than a few months, I’m back with a review of a very mouth-watering place – Bar-B-Q-Tonite! This restaurant is quite well-known in Dhanmondi Area and has been around for a long time. Compared to Panini Restaurant Banani and Cilantro Restaurant Dhanmondi, Bar-B-Q-Tonite is low on the décor and ambiance but high of flavours and is heavily dependent on the quality of the food they serve. It is more a family place for eating kababs and kababs and kababs J and is similar to Star Kabab but is more exclusive (and expensive, naturally) and has an outdoor and indoor dining area.
However, before I get into the review – just a bit of background! As I have already mentioned in my previous two Food Diaries (Panini & Cilantro) - I love food! I love to get out too! But hey – I don’t like the idea of getting ripped off by some wanabe faker :p The little time I spend out with my F&F should ideally be quality time with quality food and at a place with a better than average ambiance! This is why I get really frustrated when I end up spending an evening eating out at a lousy or mismanaged or unnecessarily overpriced place. I am willing to pay good value for good experience and quality food. This is why I decided to write the Dhaka Food Diaries series of blogs which focus on the different eateries in Dhaka. All thoughts and opinions expressed in these blogs are my own and I am not some hired lackey of any restaurant owners (I wish… haha). Basically I will try to keep adding more and more blogs as I experience the different eateries of Dhaka. My personal review will be based on what I experience and what I eat and what I see. The reviews will be accompanied by crappy mobile phone photos taken by me J. I will include locations, addresses and contact numbers of the places I visit for yours truly! So that you can glide from one eatery to the next with utter decadence and ease! :D However, a word of caution! The eating experience and quality of food may change over time and a good place may become complacent and an inferior may become better over-time! So don’t take my word for it, get out and experience!
I will rate the eateries on (1) Quality of Food (2) Ambiance/décor, (3) Price and (4) Service and based on these three, I shall provide an overall score. Read below for explanation!
BAR-B-Q-TONITE, ADDRESS: HOUSE-58, ROAD-16 (ROAD 27 OLD), DHANMONDI R/A DHAKA - 1209 [AT THE END OF ROAD 27/16, ALMOST ADJACENT TO SHATHMASJID ROAD, OPPOSITE TO THE BIG XENIAL RESTAURANT), BUSINESS HOURS: 4:00 PM - 11:30 PM, Phone 017-13037041 , 02-9120707]:
(1) Quality of Food: 4/5
(2) Ambiance/décor: 2/5
(3) Price: 3.5/5
(4) Service: 3.5/5
(4) Overall: 3.25/5 (but if you are there for the food alone, then consider it 4/5)
Over the years I have visited Bar-B-Q-Tonite many times with friends and family. We usually go there when we have a craving for quality kebabs and chicken tikkas and khatakhat (a delicious and unique mixture of brain, liver, tomato and spices). Located at the end of the old Dhanmondi road 27 (adjacent to Shatmazjid road), Bar-B-Q-Tonite has become a household name for quality food with a Pakistani/Indian twist. The place is possibly run by Pakistani management, or so I have heard! A lot of Pakistani expats also can be seen crowding the place during the weekends. When I first started going there the pricing of the food was incredibly reasonable but the last time I visited, during September 2013, I observed that the prices had been raised substantially. Other than that, over the years the quality of their food has been consistently good, which is one of the cornerstones on which any good reputable restaurant is built upon. Bar-B-Q-Tonite is the kind of place which is heavy on the food and taste and not too bothered about the ambiance/décor. Which is not to say that its shabby or dirty! More on the décor below.
Now a bit of breakdown provided below:
Price: As I have mentioned above, initially the pricing of the food was extremely reasonable, but over the years the prices have increased quite a bit, but that does not mean that it’s not reasonable. For the quality of the food that you are getting, the prices are still quite good but maybe not quite as good as it once used to be. When I visited Bar-B-Q-Tonite in September 2013, a meal for two cost around 1000 BDT inclusive of VAT. We had two chicken tikkas and two grilled kalija (liver) sheek kababs with rumali roti and paratha and drinks. Prices are quite reasonable, for example, chicken tikka costs 170 BDT, chicken boti kabab 150 BDT, beef sheek kabab 125 BDT, beef boti kabab 160 BDT, beef lahori 450 BDT, mutton boti kabab 170 BDT, mutton gurda kabab 150 BDT, khatakhat half 350 BDT, parata, roti, naan 30 BDT, Faluda 125 BDT, cokes and other drinks 25 BDT. However, please remember that 15% VAT will be added to the pricing.
FOOD: The food is the main highlight of this place. If you don’t like the food, then there is absolutely no reason to go to this place. Fortunately, for us food lovers, the food of this place is quite fantastic, if not the best kebab place at the price at which they are offered! That is actually saying a lot, since there are hundreds of kabab places all over Dhaka city. The food prepared at Bar-B-Q-Tonite is primarily focused on a variety of kebabs and a few gravy items. They serve chicken, beef and mutton and on special advance order, duck. The menu is not incredibly diverse but compared to the competition at Dhaka, it possibly caters to the most varied menu. The food prepared here is consistently fantastic and my personal favourites are the chicken tikka, chicken liver bar-b-q and the mutton khatakhat combined with some tasty parathas and rumali rotis. Aaahhhhh! Life’s good! I already feel hungry just by writing about the food! I have never had any complaints about their food till date and they have always tasted quite fantastic to me over the years, which is why I always return there time and again. There is no rip-off taking place here. The fantastic food combined with the very reasonable prices are an unbeatable duo!
Ambiance/Décor: There is no ambiance/décor present at Bar-B-Q-Tonite! J The sitting arrangement is very basic and comprises of plastic garden chairs and tables. The lighting is ordinary. It’s basically a “no-frills” place. But on the plus side, it’s a very neat and clean place. It has an outside area, where you can eat under the open sky or indoors in air-conditioned areas. The place is basically a converted residential building and very little has been done there in terms of redecorations. Go there for the food, not for swanky ambiance/décor!
Service: Service is quite good compared to the décor. Dedicated waiters are assigned to tables and they are attentive and well-versed in the ins-and-outs of the menu. Service is also prompt and the waiters are not over-bearing or rude.
Conclusion: The bottom-line is that Bar-B-Q-Tonite services fantastic mouth-watering bbqs and sheeks and tikkas. The pricing of the food is very reasonable. The décor is absent but neatness and cleanliness is present. It also has indoor and outdoor areas. The service is also good. Therefore, all in all, it’s a great family/friends hangout place primarily for the food they serve. Go there for the food! It’s fantastic!