Barbeque Nation goes to Chettinad

Barbeque Nation has a habit of "doctoring" its menu, but not in a bad way, let me hasten to add! Every now and then, they come up with a twist and this time, they've brought in the "Flavours of Chettinad" festival.

Rangoli at the entrance

Chettinad decor

The 140-seater restaurant at Bergamo Mall was buzzing with diners on a Tuesday afternoon; it was also where a press conference was arranged. Ritam Mukherjee, Regional Manager, South told us they had recreated the flavours of the region known for hot and pungent dishes. Typical Chettinad spices were used as marinades for meat and veg starters, tangy and spicy main dishes like meen manga curry, kozhi roast and desserts like paal kozhukattai and jigarthanda were other specialties from the region. The decor of the restaurant also had touches of Chettinad - the rangoli at the entrance, terracotta wall hangings, saris woven in the area and eco friendly mud serving dishes. Even the service crew was dressed in ethnic clothes!

Dressed for service

Chef Siva

Chef Siva may look like a rookie but looks are deceptive here - he has several years of experience in cooking this cuisine. He told me that up to 22 different spices could go into a typical Chettinad dish. To standardise tastes across the 5 restaurant branches in the city, all the masalas are made at a central location and sent out everyday.

Nanari sarbath
Working the grill
Neer moru or nannari sarbath... I chose the latter and it was refreshing. Starters as always, are served at the table, the portable grill was affixed and skewers with tandoori paal katti triangles, fragrant and succulent karuveppilai melagu era and Chettinad kozhi roast were placed over it. Oh those prawns - so succulent!

Vazhaipoo vadai, bharwan khumb, lamb sheekh kebabs and mirchi masala tangdi  kebab were some of the other starters served at the table.

Karnakazhengu rawa podi; podi-tossed idli

One of Chef Siva's specialities is the karnakazhengu rawa podi - thin slices of yam coated with rawa, fried and tossed in podi. What a stunner of a dish - a beautiful blend of soft and crisp textures and mild warmth from the podi. 

Parottas & dosa

At the live counter, the chefs were making parotta which were shredded and made into delicious chicken and veg kothu parotta. Also crisp dosas and uthappams with minced mutton, mushroom, veg and even cheese as toppings.

Salad counter

Even the salads were southern specialties - sundal, raw mango and onion salsa, boiled peanuts and a pea and beetroot salad.

Chettinad chicken curry; karveppilai poondu; meen manga curry

Chettinad chicken biryani; nandu masala; ennai kathrika

Two soups are also served but everyone at my table made a beeline for the chicken biryani, Chettinad chicken curry, nandu masala and ennai kathrika. While the biryani was not too spicy, the flavours were just right and the accompaniments were perfect. Meen manga curry was so delicious - tangy, spicy and both the idyappam and the urulai kothamalli roti were great for soaking up the delicious gravies. Every dish was a celebration of Chettinad flavours.

Dal-e-dum; ghee rice

Curd rice

There was dal-e-dum, mutton roganjosh, baby corn capsicum masala and ghee rice for those who preferred North Indian flavours. And curd rice to end the meal. Why is it always possible to overeat at Barbeque Nation?

Thaen mittai cheesecake, coconut cake, brownie, kaapi tiramisu & kulfi

And then there was dessert. So difficult to choose just one! My most favourite was jigarthanda, luckily it was served in a shot glass.

Paal kozhukottai, gulab jamun

Yummy kulfi, jigarthanda with sabja seeds

Flavours of Chettinad is on at all branches of the restaurant till November 20th, 2016, both for lunch and dinner. There's live music by a 2-man band and if you like retro music, well, that's the place to be.

The price per head is given below, these rates are applicable only at Chennai:

The Nungambakkam branch of Barbeque Nation is at Bergamo Mall, 2nd Floor,
5/3 Khader Nawaz Khan Road
Chennai 600034.
Do call 044 60600000 for reservations.


  1. There's something immediately dignified about these event venues - it is beautifully designed, tasteful, and understated. Went to this comfy place recently, just the right temperature, good food and great experience.


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