When I was asked if I wanted to go for dinner at The Great Indian Kebab Factory, I knew I simply had to try it; I thought it could either be truly awful, or it could be pleasantly surprising. Thankfully it was the latter.
I, quite wrongly, associate the word ‘kebab’ mainly with Ebeneezer’s, which, perhaps again quite wrongly(?), is somewhere I would never set foot in, no matter how many jelly shots I’d consumed at Al’s Diner (OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration – maybe after a few). The Great Indian Kebab Factory (hereby referred to as TGIKF), however, is incomparable to that god-awful place; it is sophisticated and charming, with rich purple velvet chairs and elegant chandeliers. It is spacious and inviting, setting the scene for an enjoyable, leisurely meal.
TGIKF’s food is contemporary Indian, with a strong focus on kebabs, of course. There is an a la carte menu, but I strongly recommend trying the 11-course set menu, which changes every fortnight.
Our feast began rather unusually, with a salad consisting of cucumber, lettuce, watermelon and pineapple, served with an interesting strawberry and mustard dressing – a curious yet refreshing start to the meal.
Following this came three test tube shots of lassi – strawberry, mango and original. Without being overly filling and heavy, as I sometimes find lassis to be, these were wonderfully creamy, cleansing the palate in preparation for the myriad of kebabs to follow.
These kebabs, which are technically only a starter, are served individually to each diner, with the promise of unlimited further helpings should you be particularly fond of any (or all) of them. On this occasion, having chosen the non-vegetarian menu, they consisted of red bean and mint kebab (amazing, light and very delicate in flavour), Peshwari chicken tikka (just as it should be, with an unexpected fiery kick), peri-peri fish (wonderfully flaky, and again satisfyingly spicy), garlic and bell pepper prawns (fresh and heavily loaded with spicy ginger), paneer tikka (light, delicate and moreishly smooth), and last but not least a minced lamb seekh kebab (so good I had to have two of these).
Try, if you can, not to get too excited and over-order on the kebabs; after all this, there is curry! Butter chicken curry to be precise – creamy, delicious butter chicken curry that explodes with the rich flavours of cinnamon and cardamom. Served alongside this is a gloriously warming dhal, fluffy vegetable rice and a selection of freshly baked naan bread. Again, these are served directly on your plate by the timid yet friendly waitresses, who are ready to serve you second helpings to your heart’s content.
I warn you again not to get too excited, as the masala chai gelato is not something you want to miss out on. The other dessert of TGIKF Bengali garam rosoguilla (a cottage cheese dumpling soaked in saffron syrup) was not for me, given it’s slightly rubbery consistency, but I could certainly have had two (or three) helpings of the creamy, intensely flavoured gelato.
The 11-course set menu costs a mere $268. Add on wine and/or one of TGIKF’s exciting cocktails (try the ‘Slumdog M’ or the tamarind margarita), and expect to pay around the $400 mark. Service wasn’t remarkable, but neither was it bad. The only thing we found bizarre was how a place that served such delicious food for an affordable price was so empty. Perhaps people don’t know about it yet, or perhaps people aren’t sure about the name, but seriously, please don’t be put off by the name; this is definitely no Ebeneezer’s!
The Great Indian Kebab Factory
19/F, Wellington Place – M88
2-8 Wellington Street
(Also at Shop 202, Miramar Shopping Centre, 102 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong)
Tel: +852 2810 7000 (Central)
Tel: +852 2317 7008 (Kowloon)