Starter Surprise

There are many sides to flavours in Indian fare — they can be fiery and robust to subtle and delicate. With kababs as the mainstay, honestly speaking, we were expecting meals at the newly opened The Great Kabab Factory (TGKF) to be masala-rich and hot, as most other places offer, but were left pleasantly surprised. For the uninitiated, the popular restaurant chain from Delhi is famed for its array of kababs that are either roasted on the tandoor or on a sighri, shallow-fried in a tawa or grilled.

The location, in Sector 34, is a novelty as there are few fine-diners that side of town and parking, now a clear issue in the city, is ample. Since it's a franchisee, the restaurant boasts of no-fuss interiors that are similar to any other TGKF outlet, so don't expect it to be plush. The wrought iron furniture and simple setting gives TGKF an open, casual look. Also there is no a la carte menu (except at the bar) and diners have to settle for a set meal (vegetarian or non-vegetarian) that brings in a selection of signature kababs followed by main course comprising dals, biryani, Indian breads along with a curry dish and line-up of desserts. The menu rotates everyday, though best-sellers like the galauti kabab find a permanent spot.

After a quick munch on some salad served before the first batch of kababs arrive, we savoured the galauti kabab. It's melt-in-the-mouth texture and flavouring justifies the hype around it. Served with an ulte tawe ka parantha and a very well made mint chutney that's thick and not runny, it was a delectable first bite. Equally appetising was the succulent dahi kabab that had a fennel flavour and had been lightly toasted on the tawa. Some thought has gone into the line-up for vegetarians as well but the fish tikka (we hear the fish comes fresh from Amritsar) and the galauti kababs should make one switch sides. The service is quick and the servers explain quite enthusiastically what they are serving each time. The starters, coupled with specialty breads such as the slightly sweet Bakarkhani, make the meal as good as a main course spread. It would be wise to save space for the biryani that follows along with the TGKF signature dals and one main course dish. Here again the spices were used deftly and each dish stood its own ground. Completing the meal are desserts like gulab jamun, kulfi but if the paan ice cream is on the day's menu, don't miss it. The souffle-like phirni was good too. The restaurant opens for lunch as well with an altered set menu.

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