3 Places

5 Suggestions

Expand Map

3 Places

5 Suggestions

Restaurants & Bars

Cambridge Indian Lunch Buffets:Tanjore and Kebab Factory

opinionatedchef | Feb 26, 201509:14 PM     3

We used to go to Kebab Factory (KF) once a month or so for their lunch buffet but we stopped going last year because the food just did not change enough and was not great quality.

The other day, we went to our first Tanjore(T) buffet (Eliot St in Harvard Square.) My overall feeling is that the T food is better than KF and ~ $1 higher ($10). You certainly will want to pick and choose, but the deal is still a significant one. Were I living on a strict budget, this would be where i would have my daily meal. The food is not greasy (it is often greasy at KF, with pools of oil) and the spicing varies dish to dish. The owner is present and a very nice relaxed fellow. (<You want a freshly cooked dosa? No worries- I'll bring you some.>). He had a partner when he owned 3 places (including Rangoli and ___ in Brookline, beginning some 20 years ago) but he's down to the easier life of one place now, and no partner. But I'm guessing he lost his original chef, as the food is def not as good as it was for many years. sigh. Their tika masala sauce has taken a dive in flavor and richness; KF's is much better. There was another surprise: while T's samosa filling is good and complex, the potato dosa filling was the blandest i've ever had.
But the other dishes were very good. Physical set up, seating and ambience are much better than KF, where it is tightly packed and awkward. As usual, Buffet items change daily though many dishes are a constant.
Today's Tanjore buffet:
Chicken Tika Masala
Potato in Tika Masala
Tandoor Chicken- on and off bone
Goat Korma
Basmati Rice
Eggplant w/ chickpeas and Potatoes
Black Dal
Spinach Paneer
Masala Dosa- on buffet and made to order
Assorted Kulcha
Kheer- cardamom rice pudding
'Halva' made w/ flour, sugar, ghee
Masala Tea
KF typical buffet:
Chicken Tika Masala
Tandoor chicken w/ onions and peppers
Shrimp do piaza
fried chicken wings
eggplant or okra
pakora sometimes
masala tea
plain naan served fresh at table

FWIW, I don't think Indians would be pleased with either buffet; I wouldn't be surprised if they said that they were raised with home food considerably more sophisticated and better prepared than these efforts. But there are plenty of people who do enjoy these buffets ( and they certainly are cheap.) I'm hoping others will chip in with any other Indian buffets they have tried in Boston.
I still haven't gone to the Somerville Indian buffet on Highland? but I think I passed on it after a CH described it and it sounded pretty identical to KF. I had heard some very good things about the Indian place on the second floor of the Galleria but I don't know if they have re-opened and if they even have a lunch buffet.

The Kebab Factory - An Indian Bistro
Longwood Galleria
Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Amazon's Best Cookbooks (& Other Food Books) of the Year...So Far

Amazon's Best Cookbooks (& Other Food Books) of the Year...So Far

by David Watsky | Amazon has announced its list of best food and cookbooks of the year...so far, as chosen by their...

10 Things You Need to Make in Your Instant Pot, From Wine to Vanilla Extract
Recipe Round-Ups

10 Things You Need to Make in Your Instant Pot, From Wine to Vanilla Extract

by Marisa Olsen | Instant Pots are a fabulous invention. They make that everlasting “What should I make for dinner...

How to Make Fruit Salad That Doesn't Suck

How to Make Fruit Salad That Doesn't Suck

by Jen Wheeler | Fruit salad is a staple of hotel breakfast buffets and brunch spots (and hospital cafeterias and elementary...

11 Fresh & Hearty Summer Salads You Can Eat Alone (Or as a Side)
Recipe Round-Ups

11 Fresh & Hearty Summer Salads You Can Eat Alone (Or as a Side)

by Jen Wheeler, Christine Gallary, and Amy Wisniewski | Next to a hearty grilled cheeseburger, steak, or rack of ribs, leafy green salads can feel too dainty...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.