Our family enjoys the distinct taste of mughlai cuisine. The newly opened Radisson Blu hotel in Coimbatore is also home to the restaurant known as ‘The Great Kabab factory’ . This restaurant is one of 22 such eateries that caters to diners across the country. The menu is fixed and has remained true to it’s original intent, that of showcasing the rich heritage of the cuisine of the North which bears resemblance to that of Persia and neighbouring lands.
We first sampled this fare many years ago at The Great Kabab Factory in Chennai. Since then over repeated visits we have found the taste and quality of the food extremely consistent over time.When we heard of the restaurant opening in Coimbatore we thought it best to give it some time to settle into operations before we checked it out.
It’s important to understand that to eat in such a place requires preserving one’s appetite. So I would highly recommend to keep one’s dietary intake light and simple before partaking of such a meal. In my opinion ,food of this kind must be celebrated and relished for it’s complexity in terms of flavour and execution. A Sunday lunch seemed the perfect opportunity to indulge the hunger pangs. A pre-workout is always a good idea before this meal, trust me ! 😀 😀
‘Kabab factory’ as we commonly refer to it as is open for lunch only on Sundays (makes sense I thought ) and is open for dinner throughout the week. The set menu has 2 options, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. It comprises of a selection of kababs that are brought to the table in single portions,one after another. The waiters are trained to offer suggestions to the customers about the pairing of each kabab with the appropriate condiments that are placed at each table. While at first we wondered if the quantity of the chutneys in the tiny shot glasses would suffice for a group of 4, we soon discovered that it was plenty. I loved the dainty spoons that peeked out of the glasses. The edges fashioned to resemble spirals added prettiness to the table setting.
After a serving of salad we settled on our choices option for both selections.The vegetarian comprised of the subz galouti , peshawari paneer tikka, aloo ki chaat, malai broccoli, subz ki tikki, ananas ki chaat. The non –vegetarian menu contained the famous galouti kabab, angara chooza, ajwaini macchi, gosht seekh kabab , kesari murg tikka and tandoori jhinga.
The first 2 kababs arrived at lightning speed, we requested our server to slow it down a bit so that we could enjoy our meal slowly,he apologetically agreed. Both the galouti kabab and subz galouti were delicious with a dash of the green mint chutney. The galouti known for it’s melt in the mouth textures were both spot on and left us wanting more ! In fact I opted out of the kesari murg tikka and sheekh kabab just to have another round of the galouti !!!
A small ceramic dish of pre-soaked lentils added a contrast of freshness and lightness to the richly spiced kababs. The waiters referred to the angara chooza as ‘chicken on bone’ and said to try it with the peanut ,curd chutney.We were apprehensive about pairing the two together given the brown masala on the chicken but we were wrong and happily so. The tomato chutney too was spot on with the fried ajwaini macchi . We couldn’t help but talk among ourselves about the subtle taste nuances that was brought out by each marinade that was vividly different from one another.
To cleanse our palates in between each kabab , we were served small glasses of thick lassi. A Punjabi friend of ours had regaled us about this drink here and we enjoyed every sip of it. It’s thick with bits of curd and an assortment of spice powders. So here’s thanks to him ! Had our stomachs allowed it we would have asked for seconds.
There wasn’t a single kabab that we did not like in the entire line up. Since each one is made to order there is very little that goes waste. The ananas ki chaat is another favourite, the big chunks of pineapple grilled to perfection with red chilli powder never fails to excite the palate.
The papdi chaat mentioned on the menu failed to show up at our table,we didn’t bother asking for it as we still had so much else to sample. Another practice that I like at this restaurant is that the diner can opt to not have any kabab on the menu and instead have seconds of any other kabab,it makes for a satisfying meal.
A choice of mutton or vegetable biriyani and different breads accompanied by dhal tadka, dal makhani and paneer is brought around to be served as the main course.The fragrant strands of saffron tinged rice grains along with the tender mutton in masala couldn’t be faulted either in taste or in presentation. The mutton was cooked really tender and made it a pleasure to eat with the rice. The mutton biriyanis which comprise of knobbly bits of hard meat are just not enjoyable at all are they ?! For once we paid little heed to the flaky pudina and laccha parathas (indian breads) in favour of the aromatic biriyani.
Unfortunately there was no photo opportunity for the rest of the dishes as the waiters were so busy and since we never tell the establishments if we are going to feature them or not in the newspaper, there was no way I could request for anyone to pose for a picture serving platter in hand and all.
The atmosphere of having a large vessel of food that goes around offering servings from table to table feels more like a large feast than a restaurant meal. It’s like in the days of the mughal era where huge gatherings of people sat about celebrating life while relishing a plate of mouth-watering biriyani !
The desserts too were offered in a similar manner.Each dessert was served in single sample portions for the guests to taste and request for whichever one they liked best. The sample portions suited us fine.The refreshing paan (betel leaf and condiment flavour) icecream and the milky semiya kheer were the clear favourites. The rasagullas weren’t as exciting but the carrot halwa was creamy , rich and sumptous. The paan icecream is a signature dessert of the Great Kabab Factory and it leaves a minty after taste in the mouth that is so welcome after having chomped on heavy masalas !
The restaurant manager Shipra Anand tells us that head Chef Junaid makes frequent visits from Delhi to keep a check on quality and hygiene. All the base masalas apparently come from their kitchens in Delhi along with the cottage cheese. The mutton too is sourced from Rajasthan as it is best suited to the making of the galouti kabab.
The ambience is a cheery open space with striped upholstered sofas overlooking a wide balcony on one side and the glass walled kitchen on the other.Dining at The Great Kabab Factory is undoubtedly a gastronomic experience and one that if indulged in must be done guilt-free!
Meal for one including tax is Rs.1514/-
For reservations please contact-0422- 2226000
Radisson Blu hotel
164/165 Avinashi road,