There are few names in a the food business that just have a legendary status. In terms of high end North Indian cuisine, The Great Kabab Factory is definitely one of the ones at the top of the food chain. A legacy of more than 20 years (starting in 1998, at Delhi) they have multiple locations across India and the globe. With more than 450 Kababs, ranging from Punjabi, Awadhi as well as Moghlai style, it is a force to be rekoned with. Fun fact, they have more than 200 vegetarian kababs as well, which is a testament to how detailed and well thought out their repertoire is!
In Pune, like almost everywhere else, they are located at the Radisson Blu, Kharadi. The ambiance is absolutely stunning, classy extremely well appointed but with a few rustic, industrial elements. After all, it is factory! I have to mention the service, the staff extremely well trained, very knowledgeable and always on their toes to provide the best service possible.
Chef Zameer Ahmed is the nephew of the legendary chef who started everything (and still heads) the original Kabab Factory in Delhi. Being from Lucknow, himself, and trained under the wing of his uncle, his grasp of the cherished family recipes and the kababs is unmatched!
Unlike most ‘unlimited food’ places, all the food is served on the table. They have an ever changing menu, but with a set pattern of 6 veg and 6 non-veg kababs, 4 veg and 4 non-veg mains and 4 desserts. The price for all this is just Rs. 1199+ taxes. The final amount comes to about Rs. 1400 or so which, according to me is absolutely value for money. The variety of kababs and their quality is unquestionable. The mains and desserts equally good. The top notch service and experience just tops it off.
STARTERS & ACCOMPANIMENTS
You normally don’t write about this stuff but, even the most trivial matters are handled with aplomb, here. They serve a small ‘cutting chai’ glass of fantastically refreshing Jal Jeera topped with a masala papdi, a light salad and a cute micro sized cooker with Corn Chat. Then there are some fresh fruits with a delicious Strawberry Spiced sauce. This is all to have along with your Kababs as a break or palate cleanser, which is turn soothes the stomach and helps in digestion too, apparently! Wonderful concept and beautifully executed.
You also get 4 chutneys to go along with your kababs. A mint chutney, tamarind chutney, tomato chutney and lastly a creamy mayo sauce.
I was served Maratha Empire! A delicious guava-orange mocktail spiced up with corriander and chaat masala to make it as bold as it’s name.
Coming to the heart of the matter. The kababs were ridiculously good. Each one prepared with loads of technique and care, amazing blend of spices and perfectly tandoored!
Soft, delicate and lusciously minced lamb, almost the consistency of a paste, subtly spiced with a blend of 87 carefully selected spices! Quite big in size and it was fantastic! Served on an Ulte Tawe ka Paratha prepared with a dough made out of milk and saffron instead of water! If you ever needed an example for the word ‘Excuisite’, this could be it!
This was another masterpiece. Juicy, meaty, buttery and smokey! The meat was pink and perfectly cooked to the core and tantalizingly charred on the outside. I couldn’t get enough of them!
Orange Marinated Salmon Tikka
Chunky pink salmon steaks, finished off perfectly in the tandoor! So succulent, mildly spiced with a hint of orangey tanginess and an orangey tomato sauce. A perfect fusion of European flavours with an Indian twist.
Deep fried crispy juicy fish! As they used Rawas (Indian Salmon) the fish itself was very flavourful with a wonderful spicy marinade. It was served on a roasted papad and topped with chaat masala!
Murgh ke Parche
A midly spiced, juicy chicken kabab with a hint of a continental touch, topped with bell peppers, garlic and black pepper.
Dahi ke Shole
Absolutely delectable, crispy on the outside, and creamy beautifully spiced dahi filling on the inside. Just impossibly delicious!
Stuffed Paneer Tikka
Soft paneer stuffed with capsicum, heaps of dry frits (almonds / cashews) and wonderful mildly spiced cashew paste based masala! Perfectly tandoored making it so smokey, rich and delicious.
Their version of Dal Makhni. They cook and smoke their dal makhni for 16 hours, which is twice as long as most others. So the dal and the spices literally just melt together and almost becomes an unified paste. The smokiness and spice just imparting incredible favour. This one is not to be missed.
It was such a surprise when they brought this out! Starchy, meaty slow cooked deliciousness served in an earthen bowl! It was so good, with a few chunks of meat, so intensely flavoured with ghee and caramelised onions. It was a tad too starchy for me and had more of a pasty texture than a stringy meaty one. Different to what I’m used to but still really good! Top it off with some mint, onions and lime, and relish!
Gosht Dum Biryani
Awadhi style biryani! Very mildly spiced and devoid of any excess masala but fragrant with meat and whole spices. The lamb was absolutely wonderfully cooked, but the rice felt just a tad dry. The chef explained, as they use less ghee as it’s a Star Hotel, that’s the result. I would really have loved more ghee and for it to be a little more moist, with the same flavour. Nothing beats the Awadhi biryani at Jamawali Biryani for me (Pavillion Mall, SB road).
I didn’t try any other mains as I was so full!
I asked the server to just serve me 1 or maximum 2 of their best desserts, so he suggested, Paan Kulfi and Bharwan Langcha, but Chef came to see me and said that I had to try their special Mango Phirni as well, to which I obliged!
Mango Phirni was soothing, cold, creamy and delicious. I’m not a huge fan of mango desserts, but this was done well and the mint and mango pieces really added character.
Bharwan Langcha was amazing! Gulab Jamun stuffed with gulkand and a few dry fruits. So good! But I definitely wanted a few more dry fruits like roasted cashews and almonds inside. That would have added a lovely crunchy texture and a hint of smokiness to the stuffing.
Paan Kulfi was quite good, soothing and refreshing after all the spicy food, but the paan flavour was a bit mild, I would have loved a bit more punch!
The Great Kabab Factory is almost the ultimate place for high end Kababs and Indian food in general. Extremely luxurious, 5-Star service and really good food. All this at relatively reasonable prices. What’s not to like? It’s perfect for family celebrations or cozy dinners or just a tummy bursting feast! The quality and taste of food is genuinely incredible.