We were unanimous about the welcome drink that awaited us at the table. Served in fluted champagne glasses, it was cool, refreshing (sham champagne?) which shavings of citrus fruit that lent a piquancy – giving the taste buds a jump start before the meal.

No complaints about the soup and starters – standard fare. However, though the hummus was perfect, where was the pita bread? What do you eat it with? I scurried off to the bread station to see if they had pita there, but no. Brought back a something that looked like an oversized tortilla chip and scooped up the hummus with that.

The barbecue was near perfect – you can hardly go wrong there. The selection of surf and turf was delicious. The barbecue was out on the terrace, under the open sky, bathed in the silvery light of the moon. A+ for ambiance.

The sushi, maki rolls and dumplings got mixed reviews. One of us had that as her main meal. I liked it, mostly because the generous helpings of wasabi that packed a wallop and cleared my sinuses! But the pickier one among us found the dumpling outer cases a bit too thick and doughy. He had a point there.

The pizza was perfect. There was both thick crust and thin crust pizza, freshly made with a variety of toppings. Pizza lovers will certainly come back to this station for another slice.

The steak, I am afraid, was a disappointment. The server at the steak station was slicing what seemed to be roast beef, and serving the slices in the name of steak. Sacrilegious! And even if you ate it as roast beef, it was still not quite up to the mark. It certainly was rare (I don’t even eat my steaks rare, let along these ‘steak’ slices).

The peri peri chicken was good, but a more generous amount of peri peri sauce would have made it even better. The Syrian lamb ouzi was a novelty for me. Delightful were the very refreshing spoonfuls of fresh, minty fish – as an appetiser or to refresh your palate midway between the meal.

Many more items there were,from naan-kebab to baba ganoush, noodles to grilled fish and more. But I am pleased to say that just as we were pleasantly surprised by the drink at the beginning, we were equally pleased with the spread at the dessert table. From the crème brulée to the desi mishti, a perfect ending to the meal. All’s well that ends well.

The buffet dinner at The Garden Kitchen is Tk 7999 per head. They have special By-One-Get-One offers for UCB, BRAC Bank and Prime Bank card holders. They said they are in talks with other banks and soon will extend this offer to other card holders too.

All and all, it was a pleasant experience, but the only snag for diners living in Gulshan and Baridhara is that after 10 in the night, most of the inner Banani roads are closed and that means bit of a circuitous route home. Ah well, c’est la vie! Such is life.