The Great Kebab Factory
Majestic Grande Hotel, Sukhumvit Soi 2
The Kabab Factory has 18 branches in India, one in the Middle East and the Bangkok branch, on the ground floor of the Majestic Grande Hotel, in Sukhumvit soi 2, marks its introduction in to South-East Asia.
The Great Kebab Factory describes itself as an Indian specialty restaurant. It is one of the largest Indian restaurant chains – but don’t let that put you off for the food tastes absolutely nothing like any restaurant chain. Think high quality traditional Indian fare, served in modern yet comfortable surroundings.
The Great Kebab Factory’s specialty is kebab, with a rotating daily menu that features a remarkable 400+ kebabs from all over the Indian sub-continent, incorporating recipes that combine the ancient with the contemporary.
The concept at The Great Kebab Factory is unique amongst Indian restaurants in Bangkok. The menu has but 2 choices – vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Choose one or the other and prepare yourself for a feast of fabulous dishes.
The menu might seem complex but it is in fact very simple – just choose the vegetarian or the non-veg and wait as the menu items are delivered to your table banquet style, item after item, a seemingly never-ending stream of delectable Indian dishes.
The daily menu features salad, 6 kebabs, 3 mains and desserts.
The first course is a light salad, perhaps the only item on the menu that could be described as underwhelming. Lettuce, tomato and watermelon – there was nothing wrong with it but it was, after all, just plain salad.
But from then on, every menu item was something special.
Before the first of the 6 different kebabs is delivered to your table one at a time, the waiter brings small pots of sauces. Then, as each kebab is served, he informs you what the kebab is, how it is cooked and spiced, and which of the sauces best matches that kebab. The knowledge of the waiters adds to the experience and the service staff are engaging and delighted to discuss the menu items and answer any questions you may have.
The venue’s name features the word kabab (distinct spelling with an “a”) and while the kebabs are not the main course per se, they are very much the highlight of the menu.
Like a buffet the quantity you consume is limited only by the size of your belly, so fill your boots! You can request more of any of the kebabs which are freshly cooked and brought straight to you.
Just be careful, with 6 kebabs, 3 main course dishes and dessert to follow, even big eaters will find there is a lot to sample!
The dishes are rich in flavour and delightfully spiced, and the level of spiciness can be adjusted to your taste.
Everything is freshly cooked with the exception of the dal which takes a full 24 hours to prepare.
The chefs come direct from India with some boasting experience in various locales around the world. The head chef has several years experience cooking at Indian restaurants in Japan.
Bangkok has its own Little India where small side alley Indian eateries are every bit as authentic as those in India – but which often means the premises are not nearly as clean as your kitchen at home. The kitchen in the Great Kebab Factory is immaculately clean and open for inspection.
The vegetarian menu items are genuine vegetarian – cooked and prepared in a separate part of the kitchen to the non-vegetarian menu items.
As good as the food is – and it is truly excellent – in some ways the highlight of the Great Kabab Factory is the service, which is quite exceptional. The wait staff are very friendly, patient, knowledgeable, efficient, speak excellent English and are on hand to offer information about each dish, advise on sauces etc. There’s an argument that more restaurants should have Indian wait staff.
Wait staff inquire not just ask about the level of spiciness you prefer, but the speed of service – you can choose the speed at which new dishes or extra helpings of dishes are brought to you.
The chefs are all Indian, the manager is Indian and all but one of the wait staff are Indian, making it feel like you are in India.
The name of this mocktail escapes me but imagine a drink with the depth of flavour of a pungent curry and you get the idea. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it, at least not in a glass.
The non-vegetarian kebabs were phenomenal and the signature dish, the Galouti Kebab, is seasoned with 123 spices! The curries were similarly outstanding; by the time the curries arrived – dubbed the main courses on the menu – we were already rubbing our stomachs and wondering how we were going to get through everything! The desserts rounded off the meal nicely although we were full by the time we reached the last part of the menu. Getting through the whole menu is like climbing a small mountain – you have to pace yourself!
At 1,100 baht for the non vegetarian menu and 1,000 baht for the vegetarian, it’s not cheap – but then this is not your typical back alley or side soi curry house. The Great Kabab Factory combines comfortable surroundings, exceptional service and fantastic food. Unlike most Bangkok Indian restaurants the concept is not casual dining, but a food exploration to be savoured.
Thais don’t always go for Indian food, but the offerings at The Kabab Factory are so good, the surroundings so nice and the service so incredibly good that even those with an aversion to the delights of Indian cuisine should be able to overcome their bias and be impressed.
If you wish to convince your Thai other half that Indian food can be a true delight, The Great Kabab Factory is the place to go. Or if you merely crave a sumptuous Indian banquet then The Great Kebab Factory is very much worth visiting.