In Pune, like almost everywhere else, they are located at the Radisson Blu, Kharadi. The ambience is stunning, classy extremely well appointed but with a few rustic, industrial elements. After all, it is a factory. I have to mention the service, the staff extremely well trained, very knowledgeable and always on their toes to provide the best service possible.
Chef Zameer Ahmed is the nephew of the legendary chef who started everything (and still heads) the original Kabab Factory in Delhi. Being from Lucknow, himself, and trained under the wing of his uncle, his grasp of the cherished family recipes and the kababs is unmatched.
Unlike most 'unlimited food' places, all the food is served on the table. They have an ever-changing menu, but with a set pattern of 6 vegs and 6 non-veg kababs, 4 veg and 4 non-veg mains and 4 desserts. The price for all this is just Rs. 1199+ taxes. The final amount comes to about Rs. 1400 or so which, according to me is absolutely value for money. The variety of kababs and their quality is unquestionable. The mains and desserts are equally good. The top-notch service and experience just top it off.
Starters & Accompaniments:
You normally don't write about this stuff but, even the most trivial matters are handled with aplomb. They serve a small 'cutting chai' glass of fantastically refreshing Jal Jeera topped with a masala papdi, a light salad and a cute micro-sized cooker with Corn Chat. Then there are some fresh fruits with a delicious Strawberry Spiced sauce. This is all to have along with your Kababs as a break or palate cleanser, which in turn soothes the stomach and helps in digestion too. Wonderful concept and beautifully executed.
You also get 4 sauces to go along with your kababs. A mint chutney, tamarind chutney, tomato chutney and lastly a creamy mayo sauce.
I was served the Maratha Empire. A delicious guava-orange mocktail spiced up with coriander and chaat masala to make it as bold as its name.
Coming to the heart of the matter. The kababs were ridiculously good. Each one prepared with loads of technique and care, an amazing blend of spices and perfectly tandoor.
Galouti Kabab - Soft, delicate and lusciously minced lamb, almost the consistency of a paste, subtly spiced with a blend of 87 carefully selected spices. Quite big and it was fantastic. Served on an Ulte Tawe ka Paratha prepared with a dough made out of milk and saffron instead of water. If you ever needed an example for the word 'Exquisite', this could be it.
Lamb Chops - This was another masterpiece. Juicy, meaty, buttery and smokey. The meat was pink and perfectly cooked at the core. Perfectly charred on the outside. I couldn't get enough of them.
Orange Marinated Salmon Tikka - Chunky pink salmon steaks, finished off perfectly in the tandoor. So succulent, mildly spiced with a hint of orangey tanginess. A perfect fusion of European flavours with an Indian twist.
Macchi Anardana - Deep fried crispy juicy fish. As they used Rawas (Indian Salmon) the fish itself was very flavourful with a wonderful spicy marinade. It was served on roasted papad and topped with chaat masala.
Murgh Ke Parche - A mildly spiced, juicy chicken kabab with a hint of a continental touch, topped with bell peppers, garlic and black pepper.
Dahi Ke Shole - Absolutely delectable, crispy on the outside and creamy beautifully spiced Dahi filling on the inside. Just impossibly delicious.
Stuffed Paneer Tikka - Soft paneer stuffed with capsicum, heaps of dry fruits (almonds/cashews) and wonderful mildly spiced cashew paste based masala. Perfectly tandoored making it so smokey, rich and delicious.
Dal Factory - Their version of Dal Makhni. They cook and smoke their dal makhani for 16 hours, which is twice as long as most others. So the dal and the spices just melt together and almost becomes a unified paste. The smokiness and spice just imparting incredible favour. This one is not to be missed.
Haleem. - It was such a surprise when they brought this out. Starchy, meaty slow-cooked deliciousness served in an earthen bowl. It was so good, with a few chunks of meat, so intensely flavoured with ghee and caramelised onions. It was a tad too starchy and had more of a pasty texture than a stringy meaty one, so different to what I'm used to but still good. Top it off with some mint, onions and lime, and relish.
Gosht Dum Biryani - Awadhi style biryani. Very mildly spiced and devoid of any excess masala but fragrant with meat and whole spices. The lamb was wonderfully cooked, but rice felt just a tad dry. The chef explained, as they use less ghee as it's a Star Hotel, that's the result. I would have loved more ghee and for it to be a little more moist, with the same flavour. Nothing beats the Awadhi biryani at Jamawali Biryani for me (Pavillion Mall, SB road).
I didn't try any other mains as I was so full.
I asked the server to just serve me 1 or maximum 2 of their best desserts, so he suggested, Paan Kulfi and Bharwan Langcha, but Chef came to see me and said that I had to try their special Mango Phirni as well, to which I obliged.
The Mango Phirni was soothing, cold, creamy and delicious. I'm not a huge fan of mango desserts, but this was done well and the mint and mango pieces added character.
The Bharwan Langcha was amazing. Gulab Jamun stuffed with gulkand and a few dry fruits. So good. But I wanted a few more dry fruits like roasted cashews and almonds inside. That would have added a lovely crunchy texture and a hint of smokiness to the stuffing.
Paan Kulfi was quite good, soothing and refreshing after all the spicy food, but the paan flavour was a bit mild, I would have loved a bit more punch.
The Great Kabab Factory is almost the ultimate place for high-end Kababs and Indian food in general. Extremely luxurious, 5-Star service and really good food. All at relatively affordable prices. What's not to like? It's perfect for family celebrations or cosy dinners or just a tummy bursting feast. The quality and taste of the food are genuinely incredible.