By Nikhil Raghavan
Is there an urgency to fill your stomach, quench your thirst and satiate your desire for a sweet round-off to your meal? An express-delivered meal? A Grill that Thrills? Candy floss and Goli Soda to give that authentic street-food experience? All this and more are now served in the recently opened 80-seater first floor restaurant – Axpress BBQ, touted as India’s first Barbecue QSR. Yes, a Quick Service Restaurant, bang on Rajiv Gandhi Road (OMR) in Karapakkam, Chennai, very close to TCS.
A brainchild of the concept-driver and man-on-the-spot at Axpress BBQ, Debabrata Misra, the restaurant is a combination place for dining in, take-away and online orders through Swiggy and Zomato – a kind of first for hot-grilled barbecue dishes.
With an extensive menu of a variety of combinations in non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes comprising of seafood, mutton and chicken besides a whole range of delectable veggies, Axpress BBQ practices eco-friendliness through a host of measures.
To start with, all dishes are served in eco-friendly, biodegradable cutlery and crockery. Even take-away dishes are packed in non-plastic and non-toxic materials like corrugated cardboard cartons. “While this is an eco-friendly measure, we also save on water which we would have otherwise used for washing the dishes,” says Debabrata.
A unique feature of the food served is that the portions are planned in a way to try and avoid left-overs. Accordingly, the dishes are also priced reasonably. “And, a portion can be shared by two persons and only if necessary, you need to order for another portion. If there are any left-overs, we encourage the diners to pack and take them away, dispelling the doubt that our kitchen may recycle any untouched items,” reveals Debabrata.
“We do love our patrons to dine in with their family members, to experience our hospitality and care. To ensure this, some items like our desserts – hot-fried jilebis, candy-floss encircled cone ice-cream are only served in-restaurant,” says Debabrata. Accompanying the food with an orange or lime-flavoured Goli Soda enhances the food experience.
The mainstay of Axpress BBQ is, of course, the range of barbecued and grilled dishes. Categorised under headings: BBQ Straights, Top Up Choices, Mix Grills BBQ Wonders, Kids Specials, Axpress BBQ Kebab Rolls, Sateys, Axpress Combos, Axpress Corporates, Axpress Specials, Axpress Desserts and a 4 pm to 6 pm Menu, the restaurant offers a mix-and-match, add-and-combine feature to every dish. Unlike traditional barbecue restaurants where the grill is placed on the dining table of the guest and he is allowed to eat right off the fire, at Axpress BBQ, the orders are prepared and cooked in a see-through kitchen. “We even encourage our guests to come into our kitchen to view the cooking process,” says Debabrata.
Carrying forward the eco-friendly nature of the restaurant, when diners celebrate a birthday or anniversary or any special occasion, the person is gifted with a small box containing two sachets of vegetable and flower seeds, with instructions on how to tend and nurture it in your own private garden or balcony.