September 25, 2018

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Barbecue joint bursting with flavour

Meat-centric menu offers complex spices

Opinion

It’s not much on atmosphere, but this West End Pakistani barbecue joint has loads of flavour — most of it packed into meat, meat and more meat.

Much of the meat-centric menu features skewers, chops and kebabs charcoal-grilled or cooked over braziers and brought to the table in metal kadahi (sort of like steep-sided woks), on flat cast-iron griddles or big, loaded platters.

Add in some complex house-mixed spices, and you’ve got a lot of great food.

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It’s not much on atmosphere, but this West End Pakistani barbecue joint has loads of flavour — most of it packed into meat, meat and more meat.

Much of the meat-centric menu features skewers, chops and kebabs charcoal-grilled or cooked over braziers and brought to the table in metal kadahi (sort of like steep-sided woks), on flat cast-iron griddles or big, loaded platters.

The Taste

BBQ Hut — Pakistani Grill
435 Notre Dame Ave.
204-221-4144; barbequehut.ca

BBQ Hut — Pakistani Grill
435 Notre Dame Ave.
204-221-4144; barbequehut.ca

Go for: grilled meats packed with flavour
Best bet: beautifully spiced lamb chops
Grilled meat, chicken and fish: $9.99 to $14.99

Monday to Sunday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

★★★½ out of five

STAR POWER

★★★★★ Excellent
★★★★ Very Good
★★★ Good
★★ Mediocre
★ Substandard
No stars Not recommended

Add in some complex house-mixed spices, and you’ve got a lot of great food.

The owner of Barbeque Hut — Pakistani Grill also runs Grocery Bazar in St. Vital (1052 St. Mary’s Rd.), a food store, spice emporium and halal butcher, and all the meat at the restaurant is locally raised.

There are several big platters on the menu, including a massive mixed grill ($49.99) that could easily feed a tableful of people, or you can get smaller, separate dishes.

Barbeque Hut — Pakistani Grill owner Jehangir Khan shows off his pulao lamb chops. (Photos by Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press)

Barbeque Hut — Pakistani Grill owner Jehangir Khan shows off his pulao lamb chops. (Photos by Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press)

Kebabs made from herby, spicy minced chicken, rolled around skewers and grilled are good, as are the lovely flat-cut lamb chops.

Lahori mutton kadahi — mutton in this case meaning goat — is beautifully sauced with chilies, ginger and garlic. The mutton is cut into small bone-in bits, which can be tricky to eat but yield tasty, tender meat.

A really good butter chicken is rich, of course, with undertones of fenugreek and citrus, but there’s also an unusual amount of chili-infused heat to offset all that creaminess.

The fish tikka was brought to the table sizzling hot, literally, on a cast iron plate. It’s crisp, tender and finished simply with lemon and garlic.

Lahori mutton kadahi at the Barbeque Hut — Pakistani Grill. </p>

Lahori mutton kadahi at the Barbeque Hut — Pakistani Grill.

Offering an alternative to much of the meat-centric menu, the paneer kadahi is an absolute standout, the fresh mild cheese prepared with chilies, garlic, an edge of saltiness and intensely concentrated tomato.

The rice pulao is a little dry, though sprinkled with fat raisins. The naan, thicker than one usually sees and made with whole-wheat flour, are fresh and very good.

For straight-up vegetables, there’s a rudimentary salad of lettuce and big-chopped cucumber, tomato and onion that you dress yourself. Everyone at the table gets a bowl of yogurt chutney, flecked with cilantro, mint and chilies, which can be used on the salad, or as a handy garnish for chops and kebabs.

Most dishes come with a warming amount of spicy heat, though you can get that adjusted to your taste.

There is no liquor served. Lassi — which is foamy and light — can be ordered subtly sweet or salty, and there is a house-made lemon drink as well as the usual selection of pop.

Pulao lamb chops

Pulao lamb chops

Sweets include creamy frozen kulfi, a favourite Pakistani street food, brought out in ice-cold metal forms and then released at the table.

The venue is absolutely barebones and the floor was short-staffed one night, meaning that service was friendly — full of info, advice and stories — but shambolic. On another evening, with a full roster of servers, things ran more smoothly.

alison.gillmor@freepress.mb.ca

Alison Gillmor

Alison Gillmor
Writer

Studying at the University of Winnipeg and later Toronto’s York University, Alison Gillmor planned to become an art historian. She ended up catching the journalism bug when she started as visual arts reviewer at the Winnipeg Free Press in 1992.

Read full biography

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