The Great Kabab Factory (TGKF) is the first locale that springs to my mind if I am in a mood for a high protein kebab meal. Kebabs derive their origin from the rich culinary heritage of the 14th century Mongols when they were just a piece of meat, salted and barbecued. However, now they are refined to be a melange of meats, vegetables, spices, dried fruits, and nuts that are either roasted in a clay oven, deep fried in a kadhai (wok), fried on a tawa (griddle), or even steamed in a pan.
TGKF is located at Radisson Blu Marina Hotel, Connaught Place and MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket in Delhi.
I tried the Saket outlet.
The seating is ample. The decor seems to be a sort of take on the Mughal period, but honestly, I felt it was a tad tacky and could appeal to foreigners looking for an 'authentic' Mughal experience. It felt very 70’s sort of restaurant or maybe a typical Mughlai restaurant in New York.
The waiters are dressed in dark blue overalls for the 'factory' look - Cutesy! They were well-informed about the dishes and were courteous and nimble on their feet – definitely a plus from my side.
There is a fixed menu for the day. It starts off with Vegetable and Fruit Salad served with an interesting, though little ‘essence-y’, Strawberry Chutney. The highlight of the menu is obviously the kebabs, but the only ones that hit the right notes were Galauti Kababs (minced lamb with nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and bay), cooked to a smooth consistency, mouth-melting, with a burst of flavours, served with tiny ulta tawa (inverted griddle) Paranthas and Amritsari Fish, which was fried with a hint of chickpea and caraway. The chicken was a very typical, unexciting barbecue as were the vegetarian kebabs, which included tandoori aaloo (roasted potatoes), paneer (curd cheese), broccoli, and pineapple – very run-of-the-mill.
My favourite part of the meal was actually the accompaniments to the kebabs – the interesting Tomato and Tamarind Chutneys and the breads – Bakarkhani and Sheermal. Bakarkhani is legendary bread named so after the tragic love story of Aga Bakar and Khani Begum. It is a flaky puff, pastry-like layered, thin crisp bread, which is baked in clay oven with saffron flavour. Needless to say it is awesomely delicious and worth its weight in gold. Sheermal is a soft inner and crispy outer scrumptious flatbread, akin to a scone, with a hint of sweetness and cashew paste.
The main course of Biryanis, Dals, Chicken Korma, and Vegetable Navratan is avoidable – very routine spread.
The dessert ranged from an above average Paan and Rose Ice-Cream, good warm Gulab Jamuns, average Shahi Tukra to superb, almost best I've ever tasted Phirni. Like most Indian meals, the meal ended with a traditional paan.
All in all, I was a little disappointed. If the aim of the chain is to attract foreigners or NRIs who want to try a simple, traditional, and old times-type Mughlai meal, then maybe they fit the bill, but at Rs. 995 plus per head. However, if The Great Kabab Factory wants to be considered as a regular option for any discerning foodie of Delhi, then they need to keep up with the times. The same menu for over 10 years can't pull people in today, and innovations and experimentation in the menu are merited for today's discerning clientele. At present, the only attractions for me were Sheermal and Bakarkhani, but I don’t think that’s enough to get me back in again!
Published On: Thursday, July 16th, 2015