the recent thread on indian in somerville got me excited to go try kebab factory. i am under the impression that they have a lunch buffet. is it good? how does it stack up against tamarind bay's lunch buffet?
for what it's worth, i've only been to punjabi dhaba once, but i liked my lunch there even more than i did my lunch at tamarind bay. on the other hand, more run-of-the-mill americanized indian places, e.g. bukhara in jamaica plain, bore me to tears.
I haven't had the opportunity to do the lunch buffet at Kebab Factory in about six months, but early last spring it was terrific, perhaps the best Indian lunch buffet I've had in Cambridge/Somerville. And IMHO it was markedly superior to the buffet at Tamarind Bay, which I sampled more recently.
kebab factory has a good lunch buffet (certainly, in my mind, better than the standard indian lunch buffets like bhindi bazaar) with more selection than a lot of the harv sq indian buffets (particularly tanjore which tends to have limited choices, especially for vegeterians). that said, i think KF's strength are, as the name suggests, in their kebabs which aren't available at the lunch buffet. so if you get the chance, i'd highly recommend going for dinner.
I didn't love the buffet - it was okay and selection was decent, but I thought the food lacked on flavor and heat because that is my preference. But I think they are attempting to appeal to the masses on that so I am going to try it again and order something from the menu. The price is right - it is worth trying to see if you like their versions of popular dishes.
I've had the buffet once. I thought it was excellent (though not spicy/authentic). I've had dinner there numerous times, and think it competes with Tamarind Bay for best in Boston. Try, among everything else on the menu, the sheermal bread, the mahi mahi kebabs, and the malai kofta. Try ordering your food "Indian hot."
I go to the KF lunch buffet at least once a week and think it's awesome. The food is always different and the kebab chicken (staple) is absolutely spectacular. There is always soup and salad and dessert but the best thing is the variety -- it's odd but they sometimes do ribs or dumplings as appetizers instead of same boring samosad. The owners are Pakistani I think so the spices are a bit different at times and more variable than the standar buffet (think mango chicken...!). Definitely give this place a try it's a great bargain. Note that Tamarind Bay is in a different class given their emphasis on traditional spices and intense flavors (I love TB and KF... they are just very different).
Good point. The quality of their food (more flavorful) and the variety they have built into their buffet spread spares them from the curse of sameness that afflicts lunch buffets at most Indian restaurants in the US.
For starters, in addition to a soup, there is usually a chaat (street food) item, most commonly paani poori. But as you correctly point out, the stand-out item is their chicken kebab - the last time around, there was chicken kaali-mirch (pepper) served with sauteed, julienned bell peppers and onions. Yumm.
The main course options and dessert, while tasty, were disappointingly common. The one standout was the inclusion of a goat-meat achari which one normally doesn't come across elsewhere.
Including masala chai in the buffet is another nice touch which other Indian restaurants would do well to emulate.
Lastly, I think the owners are Indian Sikhs, not Pakistani.