The Great Kabab Factory
Dinner yesterday was at the recently opened The Great Kabab Factory in Jubilee Hills.
Frankly, the name did not inspire a lot of confidence in me the first time I heard it. Kababs (I prefer this over the badly spelt but more poplar Kebab) are supposed to soft and delicate and factories are supposed to be places that make steel and other such non-edible things. Combining the two does not quite give a high-end restaurant feel. Moreover, it reminded me of Ram Gopal Varma’s Factory. Couldn’t get worse than that.
So anyway, the place was mostly empty when we reached and I and my cousin decided on a corner seat. But the place was darn cold, so we decided to move to a not-so-cold place. But that was hard to find. The only table we liked was already reserved. The waiters were dressed in Foreman’s clothes. Must admit that at first I thought they were cleaners, but there were so many of them moving around that I had to change my mind.
The manager bought us the drinks menu that we humbly returned. He then proceeded to ask us if we knew what the system was. Though I was partly aware, I asked him to explain. And he rattled away. There were two meal options, Veg and Non-veg. Each had 6 kababs. At first we thought it’d be better to go for one veg and one non-veg meal, but the good fellow told us that he would be glad to give us some of the veg kababs too. He then disappeared with the menu before we could try and memorise the names of the items. Apparently, they don’t allow you to look at the menu once you’ve decided which version of the meals you want. (At this point I was wondering whether they served anything else apart from Kababs at all.)
Moving on, we noticede that all the kababs would be served as and when ordered. This is perhaps what sets TGKF apart from the other kabab-based restaurants like Barbeque Nation and Chhatis. This and the fact that they don’t put a barbeque stove on your table so that you can serve yourself. And the shown-for-a-minute-then-taken-away-menu too.
The kabas started flowing one after the other. Note, not together. First came the Chicken Galouti Kabab that had to be rolled in a small roti and eaten, with a sprinkling of mint chutney. It turned out be rather hot, but nice and soft too. This was followed by Chicken Tangdi Kabab, then Amritsari Fish Kabab, then Chicken Malai Kabab, Mutton Chops and something called a ‘Chapeli’* Kabab. All except the last one were good. The veg kababs we ordered were Kela and Kaju Kabab* and Achari paneer. The former was soft and looked much like Galouti, but the latter was a large chunk of paneer the size of a bath soap with gravy spread over it. Could not go beyond one bite.
After we were done with the Kababs, we waited for about 10 minutes for one of the foremen to tell us what was next. It was then that I came to know that there was main course to be served. I had missed it during the brief look at the menu, but my cousin did not. And here’s how it looked: Two Daals, one curry (all veg.), choice of breads and Biryani. This was followed by desserts. While it looked OK then, I am really baffled when I think about it now. Just four items on the main course? Must say the Biryani was surprisingly good.
Then came the desserts. We were told what all was available and were asked to choose. This part of the serivce had become a bit uncomfortable by then so we asked him to get plate of each. They turned out to be nice, esp. the Paan Ice Cream and Gulab Jamun. There was a Kulfi that I tried desperately to cut into two but failed, so I gave up. The kind foreman asked us after we were done washing hands if he could get another one, we declined.
The total bill came to 1500 bucks with service charges included. And for the first time in the short span that I have been a regular to restaurant goer, I declined to tip even though I did not completely dislike the food.
The food is good, but the way it is served is a little…ummm…uncomfortable. At a time when most of the restaurants offer buffets, it is also against the flow.
It is most certainly overpriced, at 600 per person, even for a weekend, given the number of items on the main course.
Overall rating 3/5.
*Not sure that was what they called it.