Lucknow is currently seeing an inflow of chain restaurant. In 2007 Barbecue Nation was one of the first concept chain restaurant which had opened in Lucknow. More than a decade since then Lucknow is seeing many more chains coming to Lucknow including the popular names like Farzi Café, The Beer Café, The Bombay Brassiere, Pirates of the Grill etc. including the recent entrant like Molecule Air Bar.
Many local outlets have also tried their hands on the concept of Buffet, Barbecue and Live Grill, some of them are successful and some just sad copies.
The GT Road Lucknow (short for the Grand Trunk Road) is the latest entrant in this concept section. The concept chain owned by Bright Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. has numerous outlets across the Northern part of India and many of you living in cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Delhi NCR etc. would be familiar with this outlet.
The Grant Trunk Road or GT Road (2700 km) is one of Asia’s longest and oldest roads – east end being Chittagong (Pre independence Bengal, now Bangladesh) and west end being Kabul in Afghanistan. The road passes through major Indian, Pakistani, Afghanistani and Bangladeshi cities including Chittagong, Dhakha, Purnea, Patna, Varanasi, Agra, Delhi, Panipat, Ambali, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Torkham, Kabul etc. Sher Shah Suri who had revived this Mauryan era road was responsible for the concepts of Sarais (similar to the modern day motels) and Dhabha (road side eating joints), which in turn lead to some exciting dhabha cuisine styles.
The GT Road Lucknow is located on ground floor in Rohtas Summit, Gomti Nagar – same location where one would find the Farzi Café, the Beer Café, The Drowning Street, Bombay Brassiere and soon opening Barbecue Nation (another outlet). There is ample parking space available and its easy accessible.
Once in Rohtas Summit, you would be welcomed with a large olden style heavy gate (resembling the gates of forts, havelis in Northern India). Enter into an inviting foodie heaven through this gate. On the right hand corner one would find an antique heritage car – a unique interior concept of these outlets across the cities. There is ample seating arrangements. The outlet is well lit, beautifully decorated with various items like antique pistols, portraits etc. The buffet area also has a lot of space to walk around. The crockery is made from brass and copper and there was no use of any plastic items.
The GT Road concept restaurant is based on the concept of exploring the cuisines across the cities/areas on the Grant Trunk Road and creating a wonderful basket of Indian food (yes even the Calcutta China Town dishes have the distinct Indian touch). The outlet is a buffet cum live barbecue cum live counter outlet (for Lucknow guys – similar in concept to that of Barbecue Nation, Pirates of the Grill etc, but the food is only Indian and Indian Chinese. They have interesting options in non- alcoholic beverages too including the earthy Bantaas in variety of flavours – All those from Delhi & Punjab would vouch for superiority of this basic soda based flavoured summer cooler. The tea and coffee lovers are also spoilt for choices.
Both non vegetarians and vegetarians would be spoilt for options.
In the starters section the vegetarians are offered 8 dishes including the our favourite lip smacking Hari Matar Ki Seekh, Salsa potato and Crispy Corn (an Indian version tasting like a Cocktail Snack). The non-vegetarians are offered 6 dishes – our favourite being the Lahsooni Jhinga (prawn), Hyderabadi Macchi Tikka and Mutton Seekh.
Soup Section – One vegetarian and one non-vegetarian option
Salad Section – 15 items in vegetarian including pickles, papad and our favourite – Aloo Anaar ki Chaat (an interesting amalgamation of boiled potato and pomegranate dip), 2 items in non-vegetarian including tangy Jalpari Mircha Salad.
Main course – 9 dishes in vegetarian – liked the Daal Makhani, Kadhai Paneer and Pindi Chana. 5 dishes in non-vegetarian- liked macchi masala, fish in hot garlic sauce, didn’t like the Aloo Ghosht, felt it could become a wonderful dish with some improvements – the meat was not very tender. Roghani Murg also was different and commendable.
Raita (for the yoghurt or dahi lovers) – 2 types, our favourite – Masala Raita with fresh vegetables
Rice – 2 dishes in in vegetarian and 1 dish in non-vegetarian – Murgh dum biryani.
For those sweet tooth – 17 Indian favourites, the sweet toothed family that we are was spoilt for choices – we liked Sheer Khurma, Gulab ki Kheer (a good option for low sugar or no sugar lovers) the sweet syrupy sinful Hot Jalebi with Rabdi and the Custard Jelly.
Other than these they have a live Chaat Counter – 7 items, we loved the Palak Patta Chaat (only in India can we convert spinach into such lovely lip smacking dishes).
On a price point they are not over the top – mid level pricing (Rs. 400 – 870 + taxes). They have options differential pricing for vegetarian and non-vegetarian (lunch, dinner, kid’s lunch, kid’s dinner, ladies kitty party) for weekdays and Sunday.
We loved the entire experience. The entire team was helpful attentive and knew the nuances of hospitality service unlike many other outlets in Lucknow. Special mention to Mr. Ajay, Mr. Ravi, Mr. Bunty, Mr Tushaar and the entire team of chefs – without them our experience wouldn’t have been good.
Definitely worth a visit for all food lovers.
Improvement area – availability of wash rooms / hand wash areas somewhere connected to the outlet. As of now this facility is not there and could be a problem area for families with kids (who are not in the diaper age)
Ambiance: 4 out of 5
Location: 4 out of 5
Food & Beverages – 4 out of 5
Service – 4 out of 5