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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Quest For Briyani Part 7: Bismillah Biryani

So a couple of readers had left some comments on our last installment of The Quest For Briyani Part 6 when we visited Saffron. And the same name kept popping up - Bismillah Biryani.

And it never really clicked until one day, one of our guest reviewers Raffiq, says he wants to bring us to what he calls "the best biryani" in Singapore. "Power!!" he says. Okay sure but where is this place?
And then he says it - "It's called... Bismillah Biryani".

Okay set!

So we make our way one sunny afternoon to Dunlop Street for this famous briyani.
And the first thing we noticed when we arrive at the shop is this sign.

You sure or not? Is it that tasty that we don't need any Dalcha? Is the rice so moist an fluffy that we don't need any gravy?

And then the next thing we noticed was the signboard with the prices. But more on that later.
Time for some briyani!

Kid Goat Biryani ($15.00)
Firstly - Yes. It's Kid Goat as in the young goat.
Secondly - Yes. It costs $15. But more on that later.

Overall, I have to say I found the serving quite small for the price I was paying. The most expensive briyani I've had cost me about $9 and it was a HUGE serving enough for 2 people but this one here looked like I might still be a bit hungry at the end of it.

But since it costs so much and the serving is not that big, that means they must really be confident with the taste of the briyani. So is it really that nice?

As you can see the rice is top grade Basmati. I didn't quite get the fragrant aroma of briyani you get when they first bring you the dish but I got a bit of it later which is actually quite weird. And I was right... the serving was way too small for a big eater.

The kid goat meat was really really tender. Again, the serving of meat was lesser than I expected but the little bit of meat I had was very tender. And not only was there no dalcha, there was no masala on the meat either!

So where exactly does the flavour come from?
Well, it seems they use a lot of dry spices in this briyani. Found lots of peppercorns, star anise, cloves etc in the rice and I guess that's where it comes from. Raffiq could definitely taste the spices and it seemed to be really spicy to him too.

I think the spiciness he was experiencing was from the accompanying dish of yoghurt which has onions and green chilli in it too. I thought yoghurt was normally served to cool you down when eating something spicy.... Hmmmmm...

Chicken Biryani ($8.00)

I think that after seeing how tender the chicken was, there is no doubt that their cooking method must be really solid because the meats here are really tender and well cooked. I guess the only thing I'm having a problem getting used too is the whole flavour issue.

Bismillah Biryani prides itself on its philosophy that it wants to serve you "good tasting" food but wants to make sure it's healthy for you too. "Taste counts but your health matters most".

This will explain why they do not use any Ghee in their briyani and also why there are no accompanying dishes of dalcha or acar and also no masala in their briyani. And somehow along the way of making this healthy dish, the prices seem to have gone through the roof.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to sound like some cheapskate but the briyani here is expensive.
I normally have the mutton (which costs $12 here) but we visited on a day where they only had Kid Goat and Chicken which cost $15 and $8 respectively.

Am I the only one who thinks that the prices are a little bit too much?

And I'm not saying that the briyani tasted bad. Not at all. It may not have been the best briyani I've ever had nor the worst tasting one either. But it's definitely the most expensive!!

Mango Lassi ($5.00)
And to add insult to injury, we wanted to have some coffee or tea after our meal but they didn't have any. So I ordered a Mango Lassi thinking to myself "Wah this Lassi surely gonna be the bomb one!".

So you can imagine my shock when the guy comes back 10 seconds later and plonks this bubble tea cup in front of me with Mango Lassi. And judging by the time he took to come back, this was obviously out a fridge and pre-prepared. I couldn't help but laugh a little...

Adam's Verdict:
Kid Goat Biryani 3/5

Azlan's Verdict:
Chicken Biryani 3.5/5

Raffiq's Verdict:
Chicken Biryani 3.5/5

I guess I'm glad we visited Bismillah Biryani so I could finally get it out of my system since everyone was raving about it. Again I say - there's nothing wrong with the briyani. But you gotta admit that the high price does kind of put you off a little doesn't it?

And I guess my idea of briyani is a little different. This may very well be authentic briyani according to some people. I guess I'll still be going back to joints like Saffron.

And by the way - Raffiq has tried all 3 versions (Kid Goat, Mutton and Chicken) and he says that the Mutton Biryani is actually the best!

Monday / Thursday / Sunday - Kid Goat
Wednesday / Friday / Saturday - Mutton
Every day - Chicken & Vegetarian

Bismillah Biryani

50 Dunlop Street

Operating Hours: 11.30am til 3.00pm / 5.30pm til 9.00pm Daily
Closed on Tuesdays (Unless it's a public holiday)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have to agree with you! That is the most EXPENSIVE Briyani I ever saw here in Singapore. That white yoghurt is known as Raita right? Usually I ate that with Naan breads and NOT with rice! I am shocked that the price is ridiculous expensive and add up to that there's NO even gravy, acar.. What even... Is the rice is fragrant?

    If you ever want to have the best Briyani, you have to try Hamid’s Briyani at the Geylang Serai Market. I have to say that Hamid's Briyani is the most affordable, tasty Briyani can buy in Singapore! (the rice is not a top grade Basmati rice but it is delicious, generous serving of Briyani rice!)

    The texture of the rice was near perfect. You can just eat the rice itself without any gravy because the rice has the buttery ghee and spices in it. Also the gravy is finger licking good!

    P.s. I got to know from my Dad that the owner (Mr Hamid) and my late grandma used to be a chef at a humble gerai.. LoL that was long time ago.. i think around 40 years ago? Hence, he is an experienced cook!

    Thank you for your honest review! I shall give Bismillah Briyani a miss.

    1. Hi Nieya! Thanks for your comment!

      Hamid's Briyani happens to be my Dad's fave briyani at Geylang Serai!
      Hope we can drop by soon for an official review!!

  3. Can i still give u suggestion?
    U gotta try Thohirah Bryani at Bukit Gombak.
    It was love at first taste that i bought their bryani 3 days in a row for breaking fast! Yes i am not kidding! The texture,the spices is all good to go. I would personally recommend their chicken masala bryani. Awesome pawesome. Give it a try! 374 bukit batok st31

  4. Fresh chicken is about $8 for 1kg or there about weight. Lamb or goat is starts from $30 and can be as high as $54 per kg. It is common practice in restaurant business to peg retail pricing of servings to their kg market prices. Is there a comparable quality meat and chicken biryani selling at lower then Bismillah's price? If not, Bismillah has still room to take the price of their goat to as high as $30 per serving.

  5. you should try biryani at makan bollywood basement of peninsula shopping centre

  6. This is a typical Pakistani authentic biryani. You have failed to put in your post that Bismillah Biryani serves authentic Pakistani biryani. If you visit Pakistan or North India, you will be served biryani like this. Biryani with dalcha and achar is typical in Singapore, not Pakistan and India. My mom makes the traditional biryani just like this and it tastes amazing. Near and rice is cooked together and you don't need any curry to further uplift the taste. :) yes, Bismillah is expensive, as even I don't go there often because of it's price. But being a Pakistani in Singapore, I feel that this is the most authentic Pakistan biryani place in Singapore. Singaporeans may not be used to its taste. Oh and we eat raita with the biryani!


  7. For a more spicy version, u must try hyderabadi briyani with raita nd brinjal divine combo!

  8. Indians/ Pakistanis have their briyani with raita! It was modified to suit local taste nd served with achar/ dalcha. Muthu' curry is good nd apollo's dum briyani ranks well too!

  9. Ah, you visited the place. Stop going when the price went up to $8 when elsewhere it was only $5/$6. The kicker was also I found all the mutton pieces in my take away were burnt to a cinder on one side.
    Went to Adam FC on 17 Dec for nasi lemak but due to the horrendously long queue (30 at least), stumbled on Pondok Satay's mutton biryani instead. It was surprisingly good. Recommended to try it.