There are many Indian restaurants in Hong Kong, especially in the Kowloon side. They range from small, dingy ‘hole in the wall’ eateries in Chung King Mansion to the mainstream “I used to come here with my parents” restaurants which have become institutions. You do find some exceptions and one of them is The Great Indian Kebab Factory (TGIKF).
Opened in August 2010 in the Miramar shopping complex in Tsim Sha Tsui, TGIKF is an ambitious and contemporary take on fine Indian cuisine. The interiors done tastefully with the Bar being the showcase. There is plenty of room and you don’t feel like you are eating on the MTR. With an impressive 11 course dinner set and extensive wine list, you do get a host of different and unique flavors. I decided to go for the Non-Vegetarian set dinner.
As soon as I sat, I was served with what looked like a palette of sauces which included Mango & Green chili and Tamarind. First up was a “Factory Salad” with baby corn, cucumber, iceberg, pineapple, watermelon served with a twisted strawberry and mustard dressing. You get a nice kick from mustard in the dressing which sets the tone for things to come.
Also served is a taster of 3 different lassi’s (Mango, Strawberry and Classic) which comes in test tubes. Its purpose is to clear your palate to enjoy the starters. The onslaught of starters begins:
Lahori Barra Champ – The course starts with a succulent lamb chop dripping with its own jus, with a rich aroma of spices that hangs in the air. It’s slightly fiery than mild but with lot of flavor.
Tandoori Aamrakh – I’m quite sure I’ve never had a star fruit that just came out of the tandoor. I admit being skeptical about the dish and thinking to myself, “A little too ambitious, are we”? I must say now, it is the most delightful dish in the menu. It’s zesty with mustard undertones and spices literally oozing out. Cheeky little dish there.
Gilafi Seekh Kebab – The classic minced vegetarian kebab with small pieces of onions and peppers topped up on the kebab by hand. Mildly spiced, not too dry, not too soggy. Cooked to perfection.
Punjabi Paneer Tikka –The luscious and velvety paneer doesn’t only melt in your mouth, it explodes with flavor. In my opinion, it’s the best paneer I have had in Hong Kong. The paneer is specially flown in all the way from India, 2-3 times a week.
Tandoori Gobhi –Not a big fan of gobhi, however this dish which is marinated in Ajwain (Carom Seeds) and mustard, was a good change of flavor. Gobhi, in context of Indian food is often is cooked till it loses its entire flavor. But here it was crisp and flavorful.
Tandoori Chicken – Of course, the star of any Indian set meal. As any other meat eating Indian man, I can call myself an expert on this dish. Tender, Juicy, aromatic and full flavored, all checked.
At this point of time I was asked if I there was any dish that I wanted more of (no charge!), so I said thanks and asked for the paneer tikka. Just had to have another one!
Soon after, the main course was served. There was butter chicken, which was not overly sweet, the Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) stood out in the gravy. There was the essential black dal, or as they call it “Factory Dal”; authentic, light and tasty. Also served was a delectable Paneer Lababdaar, a gravy powered paneer dish full with Indian spices. Served along was vegetable biryani, cooling cucumber raita the bread basket with garlic naan and laccha parantha the latter hitting the spot.
The dessert was paan ice-cream. It provided the high note to the end of a truly exquisite meal.
What I really admired was that the food was served on your plate and then taken away. Nothing was kept at the table. When you are done, you can ask for more. Which I think all restaurants should start doing as it reduces wastage.
TGIKF has the right amount of everything it takes to be an outstanding restaurant. It has the right balance of contemporary ambitions and old world respect with courteous and smiling staff (which is hard to find in Hong Kong).The set Dinner is excellent value for money. Overall TGIKF is a definite ‘must visit again and again’ on my list.
Set Dinner for HK$ 258 (tax not inclusive). The set menu changes often.
The Great Indian Kebab Factory (Kowloon) | 2nd Floor, Miramar Shopping Ccentre. 132 Nathan Road, TST, Hong Kong | Tel: 2317 7008