Mister Biryani is a newly opened biryani restaurant in the England Cluster of International City. It’s also the first non-Asian restaurant I am reviewing there. Established and run by first-time restaurateur, Sofiya, who greeted us with a happy, sisterly smile as we entered; I later joked with her that Mister Biryani should actually be called Mrs Biryani, reflecting the fact that it is owned and run by a woman. There’s an amateur honesty to the haphazard interior of the restaurant. It kinda grows on you (ever so slowly). I loved the feminine touches which could only have come from Sofiya herself, the plastic place-mats, the salt and pepper shakers, the banana leaf plates…
One normally associates biryani with Hyderabad or Lucknow NOT Chennai where Sofiya and her banker husband are from (yeah, their chef is from Chennai too). Let’s just say that I didn’t like their Chennai biryani. But hey, that’s just me. I’m sure people from South India will totally dig it. I didn’t like the Chicken Masala Fry either. It shouldn’t have been on the menu. The Chicken 65, a Chennai classic originating from the Buhari Hotel, would have been my favourite of the dishes we ordered if it had been garnished correctly with fried green chilli and curry leaf. Top slot therefore fell to the very lightly tempered Daal Tadka, the closest I have had to home cooked daal in ages.
Like its menu, the food at Mister Biryani is evolving. Today, it offers more value and volume than anything else – their prices really are ridiculously low. Although this is good news for the residents of the England Cluster, in my humble opinion, if they want to attract diners from greater Dubai, they’re going to have to either go hard core Chennai, or tweak their recipes to appeal to a broader audience. Quality rather than quantity is also something they will need to address. Service though, was the best I have encountered anywhere in International City. For the time being, consider this restaurant if you are on a tight budget and have a horde to feed.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.