Vidya Singh got together with an eclectic group of people to try the food at The Great Kebab Factory. Here’s what they thought of it!
It was an uber cool bunch of people meeting at The Great Kebab Factory at the Raddison Blu to have dinner, and if there are friends and food, there can only be fun! Chaitanya Rao, a designer who works with the stars of Kollywood, had just returned from a stint in Switzerland with a film shooting schedule. He works with the biggest there are in the industry from Trisha to Jeeva and Andrea and is currently working on five films with Taapsee, Ajith, Karthi and Shruthi.
Alisha Abdulla, the tiny powerhouse of muscle, the only woman motorbike racer in the country, who very nonchalantly told us that she dares to compete with the guys in the open category since the last twelve years and has participated in Formula BME, the National Rotax Championship and Indian Junior Touring Cars. She exercises every day, can do sixty push-ups in a minute and leg presses up to 300 kilos! She is definitely my hero!
The super cool Dr Ashwin Aggarwal and his beautiful wife Farah, who are totally disciplined, fitness people, Ashwin is up with the larks every morning, running five miles at the beach, before heading out to the hospital to surgery. This morning he had completed twenty five eye surgeries and can keep this level of work only due to his discipline. Very conscious of his food and nutrition, Farah tells us how conscious he is of what he eats.
We were an eclectic group gathered here with one commonality, that we had all eaten often at the Great Kebab Factory, that it had been some time since we had been here and that we had all loved the concept. This is a restaurant that has simplified the way to eat and I love it. We don’t need to worry at all about poring over the menu in trying to decide what we would like to eat! They bring it all out to us in an assembly line, like simulating a factory and I love the simplicity of the décor and the vibrant noisy atmosphere that allows you to enjoy yourself and join in.
Our dedicated server, almost like a sutradar of the story, will lead us through the meal, explaining in great detail what each kebab is and which sauce goes with it. He first brings us the aprons, which definitely encourage us to taste and use our hands and fingers and get as messy as we choose to! Then we have a deliciously cool Thandai, one of my favourites that I always love. With it on the table are an array of sauces, a traditional mint, a yogurt based one almost like a raitha, with coriander and mustard, then there was a peanut sauce and one made with tamarinds, that was rather tangy. There were the Laccha onions without which the kebabs simply cannot be eaten.
Our starter was a crunchy salad that came with a strawberry vinaigrette dressing, then came the kebabs in a seemingly never ending line, each with its accompanying paratha, or roti. The Galoutis, were the beginning and were unquestionably the best as the entire group asked for seconds, they were served with an Ulta Tawa Paratha. The vegetarian version – the Sabz Galouti – was made with yam, channa dal and ridge gourd and the non-vegetarian version – the Galouti Kebabs – were made with very finely ground lamb marinated in spices. The general consensus was that these were the best in the city and had definitely not changed in any way.
The Kandhari Paneer Tikka was superlative, with paneer flown in from Delhi that was softer than butter and virtually melted as soon as you put it in your mouth! This came with the Peshawari Chooza that was chicken marinated with yellow chilly, cumin and cashew nut paste, again such well blended flavours, served with a saffron flavoured Roti Shrimal. The Chaas, buttermilk that came next was a welcome change of taste.
The Aloo Ki Chaat were potato wedges marinated with red chilly, tomato juice and honey. The Nawabi Murgh Tikka was tandoor cooked and tender, having been marinated with cream, cheese and cashew paste. The grape sorbet that was to be a palate changer was itself so superb that some of us asked for more of that!! The Bharwan Zuchini, stuffed with paneer khoa and the Zaffrani Broccoli were quite differently flavoured, as was the Lamb Seekh Kebab.
The Subzi Ki Seekh came on skewers and was quite crunchy, the prawn marinated with red chillies and Garam Masala was presented as Tandoori Atishi Jingha was quite a hit with the troops. The Bharwan Simla Mirchi had an interesting twist to it as it was made with sprouts and dried fruit. The highlight was the Jalpari Ki Taj, that was lobster, crab and prawn all blended together into a seafood mix.
We were just beginning to think that this was the end of the meal and happy that we had eaten some superlative kebabs, when the main courses were sent out by Chef Virgil James, and there was no way we could say no to the simply outstanding Kaali Dal that was so light and delicious that we could almost eat it on its own as was the Yellow Dal that had a great homely taste to it. The selection of rotis included the methi paratha, a buttered naan and the garlic naan, all light and well made. The Sabzi and the Chicken Biryanis were delightfully light and well flavoured, unfortunately we were all able to taste only a couple of spoonful’s each. The Lamb Rogan Josh is always a favourite with most people.
There were still the desserts and we were groaning under all that we had eaten and enjoyed, so we begged our waiter to bring us just one portion of what they were showcasing to us. The little individual fruit platters were very welcome and just as we were beginning to feel virtuous, out came the range of Kulfis, my favourite was the Paan in which had actual pieces of paan in it. The classic Malai was good as was the Mango, the seasonal choice. The Pomegranate Kheer and Gajjar Halwa were good, as was the Semiya Muzzafar and the Kubani Ka Meetha all of which could be reasons to return to the Great Kebab Factory very soon.