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Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Quest For Briyani Part 1: Haji Mohd Yussof Warung Nasi Baryani

So I want to do this whole series on Nasi Briyani for the blog but there are simply too many for me to cover in just a few short posts or to just have a Battle on its own. So I decided to start on this epic quest...
The Quest for Briyani!

Quite a few recommendations came in on where I should start this epicurean journey but it just so happens I was in the area of Geylang Serai so what better place to start than the Geylang Serai Market.
At this melting pot of delicious food already got so many choices for Nasi Briyani alone I reckon I'll be visiting quite a few times so I can cover all the stalls!

And I'm not covering the stalls in any particular order just so you know.
All of the them have been recommended at one point or another so it's going to be random and at the of it all you can form your own decision on which is your favourite.

At the extreme end of the 2nd level of the market (the Joo Chiat Complex end) you will see a stall with a bright yellow sign and it will most likely have a long queue as well.

My darling wife received a recommendation to try "Yusoff Briyani" at Geylang Market.
This is not to be confused with Yusof Power Beryani Dam by the way. Completely different stall okay.
And when we arrived it seemed like the stall was living up to the hype because there was a considerable line of people waiting to get their briyani fix that Saturday morning.

And you'll see picture hanging around the stall - former President SR Nathan ate at the stall!
A little research showed that they stall was mentioned in The President's Award For The Environment in 2009. But was their briyani any good?

Chicken Baryani ($4.00)

Let me start of by saying that the spices used in the curry are very strong.
If you're the type that likes their curry to pack a strong punch, you're gonna love this one.
But although it's a strong curry, it's not too spicy to the point that you're gonna burn your mouth. It's actually just right now that I think about it.

However, because the curry itself is already packing so much heat and taste, you may end up not using the accompanying bowl of dalcha even though the dalcha on its own is actually quite tasty.
In fact, I didn't have more than 2 spoons of the dalcha because the curry on its own was enough. When I did have the dalcha with curry together, talk about flavour overload.

The rice itself was fluffy and fragrant. Quite a typical quality of rice you might get when ordering a decent plate or briyani anywhere. It pairs extremely well with the curry and the meats.

As for the chicken...
I'm not sure if the meat and chicken were cooked within the rice from start to finish (which how supposedly 'authentic' Dum Briyani is supposed to be prepared) but I'm guessing they may have been in the rice at some point or rather.

But then again, I saw them scooping the rice from a separate pot and then the meat/chicken with curry out of a another pot onto the plate before topping it all off with some more rice to cover the meat.
Cooked together then separated before serving? Or not at all? I'll be honest - I'm not sure.

But whether it's Dum or not, the chicken was exceptionally tender.
As you can see from the first picture, the meat is literally shredding itself from the bone and you can just use a fork to rip that tender chicken off. And the strong curry flavour really penetrates into the chicken flesh (a sign of the chicken being cooked in the curry?) so you really have an explosion of spice flavour when you chew.

Mutton Baryani ($4.00)

Now as you may have noticed by now, the Briyani is very attractively priced.
$4 for a plate of either Chicken or Mutton Baryani and $4.50 for the Fried Chicken version.
This is definitely cheaper (as much as almost half the price) of some other famous stalls where a plate can go for as much as $8 or more.

But this also means that the serving size is considerably smaller.

That's the mutton briyani above and that's the only piece of meat that you'll get in one serving.
And to be honest - it's not enough. I'm guessing that's not even going to be enough for people who consider themselves small eaters.

Sure there's rice but for people expecting what they normally get at other places and think that they're getting a really good bargain, well, the price fits the serving size is all I can say.

Oh and a little bit more on the mutton itself.
It wasn't tough or hard or anything like that but let's just say it wasn't the most tender briyani meat I've tried.
And it also tended to be a little dry (and stringy) so I wasn't really impressed with the Mutton Briyani.

And by the way - the achar wasn't really spectacular and a little on the sweet side.

Adam's Verdict:
Chicken Briyani 2.5/5 -- Mutton Briyani 2/5

Maryah's Verdict:
Chicken Briyani 3/5 -- Mutton Briyani 2.5/5

Okay so it may not be the best briyani I've ever had but it's actually not so bad.
But I have to say that the only reason it gets a passing mark in my books is because of the intense flavour which somehow grows on you and you keep wanting to take bite after bite of the chicken and rice.
And I'm a fan of Mutton Briyani so I was quite disappointed with that.

But at $4.00 a plate, I reckon it's reasonably priced... unless you're DAMN hungry.

Haji Mohd Yussof Warung Nasi Baryani

Geylang Serai Market
1, Geylang Serai #02-169

Operating Hours: 9.30am - 5.00pm


  1. Thanks for taking the time to write your foodblog.

    1. I should be thanking YOU for taking the time to read :)

  2. Hi, came by your blog in search of good briyani, thx for this effort! Sweet of you, wifey & friends to share your makan escapades:))
    Do check out halal buffets next ya?
    Besides Straits Kitchen, Carousel, Aqua Marine is ze next big thing in halal buffets :))

  3. Hi! Thanks do much for reading our humble blog!!
    We will be continuing our hunt for Briyani soon!

    And indeed we have been interested in Halal buffets for the longest time. We can definitely vouch for Carousel (our wedding dinner was catered by Carousel). I have heard so much about Aquamarine and we look for forward to officially reviewing all of the Halal buffets in SG!

    Watch this space!

    PS do 'Like' us on our Facebook page!