More than 20 years ago, in 1998, at Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi Hotel, Mahipalpur, a buffet restaurant, specialised in kebabs, caught the attention of Delhiites and outsiders visiting the city. At that time when traditional buffet was a trend, this joint revolutionised the Indian restaurant industry with their new approach and unique service concept of the white-tablecloth operation and a roaming buffet. Patrons found it exciting and budget-friendly. It remains crowded and popular even today, with 22 outlets operational in India and abroad.
If the suspense is killing you, well, the restaurant is none other than The Great Kabab Factory (TGKF).
This August, TGKF turned 20, and to celebrate the special day the talented chefs out there had curated a special menu, listing out their best options and few new additional items.
I and a friend had visited the Ansal Fortune Arcade, Sector 18 Noida outlet for lunch, last weekend, on invitation. The blue hued space, with hints of red, brown and golden, has a dimly-lit ambience, however, bright enough to read the menu. The seating, a mix of couch, wooden sofa and metallic chair, is elegant and comfortable. We overheard few customers discussing the new menu and how excited they were to avail a flat 20% off on food bill, on the special occasion.
“This is your first time?” the friendly young lady representing the management had inquired, handing over the special menu. “You’re going to love the food.”
To start with, Chef Vakil Ahmed presented us a glass of warm Tomato Shorba with Bakarkhani. Flavoursome and so comforting, the light tomato soup went well with the sweet flaky puff pastry like bread.
To arrive next was Raw Peanut Salad – herbs with Thai-inspired dressing and topped off with a handful of crunchy peanuts, we couldn’t help but asked for a beer to go with it. It was an absolute bliss.
Coming to the kebabs, there were plenty of options to choose from. However, we tried out four from the expansive list.
The Galauti is one of the signatures and most-loved dishes. The chef served those melt-in-mouth delights with an Ulte Tawa Ka Paratha and mint dip.
The Recheado Tawa Machhi, a spicy, tangy, shallow fried fish using the traditional Goan Recheado masala, was my favourite and the star of the menu. What set it apart wasn’t the ingredients or cooking, top-quality though both were, but the vibrant brilliance of the seasoning. From our first bite, it was clear that the spices had been newly crushed, and every subsequent dish served only to confirm this.
Lahori Mutton Chops was another stunner. As explained by Chef Vakil, the Pakistan dish involves marinating lamb chops in a fiery blend of spices before barbecuing the chops to perfection. Highly recommended!
Murg Tikka Narangi – tender chicken chunks marinated in sun dried orange peel, fresh herbs, vinegar and cream, and then grilled on skewers in the tandoor was, what we call, a treat for the eyes and feast for the tongue.
Before proceeding to the mains, we were offered a glass of chilled Butter Milk and Paan-flavoured Chuski, which I were told were recently added to the menu to enhance the dining experience.
From the main-course, we asked for the mildly-spiced and flavourful Mutton Rogan Josh and rich in texture Moong Masoor Dal Tadka. With Reshmi Naan infused with sesame seeds and plain Tandoori Roti, it was quite a treat.
To sweeten the affair, we were offered an array of desserts that were hard to say “No” to. From Pista Paan Phirni to Shahi Tukda, Gulab Jamun to Poorani Dilli Ka Halwa Parantha (the best of the lot) to Paan and Rose Ice creams, I had them all.
Overall it was a beautiful experience. The warm hospitality made it all the better.
The festival menu is available at all The Great Kabab Factory outlets – Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi, Radisson Blu Marina Connaught Place, MGF Mall Saket, Sector 18 Noida, Radisson Noida, and Park Plaza Gurgaon.