Ditch the utensils and get your hands dirty at these biryani hotspots
While the true origin of this iconic ‘local’ dish is uncertain, it’s said that biryani hails from North India. The biryani rice is the fragrant basmati grain, which cooks to a wonderfully light and fluffy texture. A chicken or mutton gravy (usually a big heaping) is served along with it, and achar, a sour yet spicy vegetable pickle made with carrots, cucumbers and pineapples. Have we gotten your appetite going yet? Great!
Allauddin’s Briyani Pte Ltd
Another biryani paradise situated in Tekka Centre is Allauddin’s Briyani. But be warned: be prepared to queue and wait for your food especially during lunch hours! Order its chicken or mutton biryani and top it all off with a sweet glass of teh tarik for a ‘shiok’ local dining experience!
Allauddin’s Briyani Pte Ltd, #01-232, Tekka Centre, 666 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210666
Bismillah Biryani Restaurant
Looking for the best dum biryani in Singapore? Bismillah Biryani Restaurant at Dunlop Street has several prominent food bloggers in Singapore raving about them, received a shout-out on world’s #1 travel guide-book The Lonely Planet, and even appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s Singapore Layover Show. Using authentic basmati rice, not only is the dum biryani here tasty as the basmati rice soaks up the flavours of the spices, but it also exudes a fragrant aroma that makes its really appetising. What’s more? The meat is cooked to perfection – tender, and lacks the gamey flavour from being blanched in hot water before marination.
Bismillah Biryani Restaurant, 48 & 50 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209379
If you’re craving scrumptious Indian fare, Sakunthala’s will charm you with every bite. The menu is packed with North and South Indian (and Chinese) dishes but our eyes are on the prawn biryani. Skip the typical chicken and mutton options and dive right into the crustacean variant. The prawns here are cooked with the basmati rice a la dum biryani – delish!
Sakunthala’s, various locations
The Banana Leaf Apollo
Famed for its fiery fish curry, this is one place where you shouldn’t skip out on the biryani. Here’s our little hack: Instead of choosing the set, opt for biryani with vegetables and get different sides to go along with it. Our top picks are chicken masala, mutton mysore and fish cutlet. Oh, and don’t forget the salt lassi, if you need to cool off from all the spices.
The Banana Leaf Apollo, 48 Serangoon Road, #01-32 Little India Arcade, Singapore 217959
Singapore Zam Zam
While this name is synonymous with delish murtabak (Indian flatbread stuffed with egg, minced meat and onion), Singapore Zam Zam is also popular amongst foodies in Singapore for its mouthwatering nasi biryani. Having been around for over a century, this Kampong Glam institution has devotees coming from all corners of the island to savour its mutton, beef or chicken biryani – perfect for late night suppers after partying along Haji Lane. But it’s no one-trick pony; also on the menu is a mind-boggling array of classic supper fare like mee goreng (fried noodles), murtabak, prata and many more.
Singapore Zam Zam, 697 – 699 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198675
Yakader Muslim Food
For your affordable biryani fix, Yakader Muslim Food at Tekka Centre is the place to be. Its dum biryani, served along with pappadam, a bowl of dhal and a plate of cucumber drenched in tomato sauce, is practically legendary. The hot seller amongst locals is definitely its mutton dum biryani.
Yakader Muslim Food, #01-259, Tekka Centre, 665 Buffalo Road, Singapore 210665
A groundbreaking Indian-Muslim restaurant opposite Sultan Mosque, Victory Restaurant offers timeless favourites such as murtabak and also biryani. Here, not only can you find the usual chicken and mutton biryani, they also serve a fish option.
Victory Restaurant, 701 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198677
With 96 years of heritage and experience, Islamic Restaurant is indeed a household name when we talk about biryani in Singapore. Islamic Restaurant’s biryani was a massive hit back in the ’70s, with dignitaries, sultans, ministers, and businessmen attesting to its flavoursome taste. The best pick here: its mutton biryani. Good rice texture, succulent and tender meat; what’s not to like about it?
Islamic Restaurant, 745 North Bridge Road Singapore 198713
Yes, we know that COMO Cuisine doesn’t come to mind when someone says biryani, but hear us out. If you look closely at its menu, you’ll notice a little dish called lobster biryani. Using sustainably-farmed Canadian lobsters, it is cooked with a rich tomato masala and then steam baked with basmati rice. And since extra carbs make any dining experience a whole lot better, don’t hold back from polishing off the naan bread that covers the fragrant dish.
COMO Cuisine, 18A Dempsey Road, Singapore 249678