Just thinking about Biryani gets me salivating. Long, glistening grains of basmati ..
from the Hyderabadi to the Karachi…
from the Indian variant to the Pakistani, Bangladeshi or even Burmese version, it’s all good. If you know where to go, that is.
Here are our top 7 best Biryani joints in KL. Leave us a comment if you have a place for us to visit!
1. Nasi Biryani Pakistani @ KZ Restaurant on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman
On a nondescript corner of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, KZ Restaurant churns out some fabulous Biryani rice, to it’s mainly Pakistani patrons. The rice here is fabulous, and the place is most probably most famous for its breads – from Chapati to 7 types of signature naan, you’d be spoilt for choice.
The biryani served here is of the wetter sort. They offer a Chicken Biryani everyday of the week at KZ restaurant.
Ask for the special dhal that’s got other sauces mixed into the regular dhal. The characteristic dhal flavour is tweaked to a deep robust flavor.
The must orders here to go with your Biryani are the Mutton Karahi, Kofta(meatballs), Aloo Phalli (vegetables consisting of beans, aubergine). Their side dishes can be on the salty side, so you’re best off ordering rice to go with your dishes. Cold ice water here is free.
Best Mango Lassi in town for RM4 – chunks of sweet mango in thick yoghurt .. baby can’t t get enough of it:P
Chapati best eaten with Mutton Karahi and Aloo Phalli!
We tried several naans and chapati, but the Ajmeri naan gets full marks – Unusually deliciously sweet with coconut, almonds, cloves, sugar and other secret Pakistani herbs. From Chapati to Cheese Naan, Garlic Naan, Butter Naan, Paneer Naan, Roghni Naan, Keema Naan and Ajmeri Naan .. it’s bread heaven!
making the Ajmeri Naan (RM10) – different dough is employed from the other naans
crispy yet soft and billowy with holes where the airpockets used to be.. this naan is the bomb. Distinctive flavours of coconut, almonds & cloves assault the senses!
Definitely come here for the awesome Pakistani Biryani, Mango Lassi and Naans!
Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman,
City Centre, 50100 Kuala Lumpur
2. Nasi Biryani Bangladeshi @ Khabar Khabo Kotaraya
I duck out of the crowded streets on Kotaraya, seeking to get some reprieve from the blistering heat and humidity, that fine Saturday afternoon.
No such luck, the stairwell is almost as humid if not worse.
I glance up and notice the lights and scent of food, emanating from a restaurant at the top of the stairs. I am actually not hungry, thanks to the heat and the discomfort of my sodden t-shirt. All I really want is a cold drink. A lassi would hit the sweet spot right about now.
Ah… no matter, since we are here, might as well check out this potentially interesting restaurant to grab a bite at.
Walking into the small and crowded restaurant on the 1st floor, we are probably the only Chinese couple in the room. But instead of feeling threatened, we feel right at home. Maybe wide (and white) Colgate smiles great us, because we are somewhat of a curiosity, but later I realise that being welcoming and extremely hospitable is a hallmark of Bangladeshi culture.
We have a friend who is Bangladeshi and he tells us that growing up, friends and visitors alike were always welcome to drop in anytime at his house. There was always an extra plate of rice on the table for guests and open doors, sheer hospitality, and friendly dispositions were all an integral part of the Bangladeshi culture. Hmm.. actually this sounded a lot like my late grandma’s doctrine too, “Open door, extra bowl of rice and chopsticks” used to be her dogma while she was still alive. No soul was ever turned way hungry from our door.
I have to say that digging into my plate of rice, Khabar Khabo has some of best Biryani and Chicken Dosh I have eaten in KL. Deep flavors of Cumin, Coriander, Nutmeg ( Jaiphal), Mace (Javitri), Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves and Kewra essence (screwpine) are just intoxicating. Long grain Basmati Rice, well seasoned Chicken and crispy shallots fried till golden brown in refined ghee is the icing on the cake. The chicken drumstick cooked separately from the basmati rice, is fall off the bone tender. Once you select the juciest leg, they then ladle the rice, hard-boiled egg and cucumbers onto your plate.
Chicken Dos.. slathered in a sweet savory, spice infuse gravy that’s fragrant yet not too overpowering
Biryani.. best thing to eat here at Khabar Khabo
After asking if they can take photos with me (one at a time, and there were half a dozen of them), they allow me to get back to my Biryani. Ah yes indeed, I think that’s why I feel totally at home.. these guys are as good at taking selfies as I am… what a memorable time dining at the restaurant of these sociable Bangladeshis!
Friendly staff.. they chat with us, talk to us about their cuisine and insist on taking a dozen photos with us afterwards..
Khabar Khabo – windows double up as space for advertising their menu
Gulab Jamun and other Bangaldeshi sweets..
These are the boiled ghee balls as opposed to the deep-fried. Not as nice or as strong-tasting as the fried Gulab Jamon but it’s pretty tasty and sweet anyway.Add: Restoran Khabar Khabo,
1st Floor, Jalan Hang Lekiu, Kotaraya, 50100 KL Tel: 03-20221340
3. Nasi Biryani Myanmar @ Eaindra, Jalan Silang
On a nondescript block of buildings selling mainly spices, foreign goods, handphones and electronic accessories, the narrow stairwell up to Eaindra restaurant is easy to overlook.
However, ask any of the Myanmarese who loiter on Jalan Silang, Little Burma, and they will point you in the right direction. And for those who make it through the door, and up the flight of stairs to the first floor, they will be rewarded with some pretty decent Burmese food.
Burmese biryani is also known as “Danbauk” in Burma. At Eaindra Restaurant, the Burmese biryani is cooked together with chicken thigh, bone and all, inside a huge metal barrel. This is supposed to retain the flavors of the meat and make it more moist. Traditionally Burmese biryani is served with a salad of sliced onion and cucumber.
feasting on Burmese danbauk
Up a flight of stairs we climb. We enter a large room filled with Burmese folks about to dig into lunch. They look at us and we look back. We might be the only Chinese in the room at the moment. No matter, they are actually rather friendly and look on indulgently as I whip out my camera and start taking pictures. We walk up to the back of the restaurant, and decide we want what everyone else is eating. Briyani rice. A rather pint sized Burmese lady scoops a generous amount of Biryani from a massive stainless steal barrel onto a plate, and with a pair of tongs, she fishes out the largest piece of chicken from the depths of the container, and places on top of the rice. It has all been cooked together for ages and smells fantastic.
long grain basmati.. the best sort for briyani
Looking at the rice, I noticed that the grains were the longest I had seen in a long time and were perfectly fluffy. The unevenly distributed colour of the rice is common for Burmese-style of biryani. Explosions of spice, and meat wrapped in a nice carbo cushion meant that I was knocking at the door of briyani nirvana. The all essential ghee was super addictive and I felt flavors of nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, and garlic assault my tastebuds all at once. I confess that I also greedily ladled a huge serving of korma curry, onto my rice, and some Burmese minced mutton on the side for good measure.
Almost standing on tiptoes, the lady digs deep for a nice chunk of tender chicken
fragrant, fluffy and unevenly distributed colour of the briyani rice
Mutton minced meat
traditionally Burmese biryani is served with a sides of sliced onion and cucumber
Hearty and delicious, I found that Eaindra’s basmati rice was fragrant, with the perfect texture. Cumi found it a little too soft, but I liked it. What seemed like a mountain of rice, was reduced to just chicken bones within minutes. We also dug into a modest bowl of Mohinga. This is another one of my favorite Myanmarese dishes. We found the sauce had been thickened with a lot of nuts and chickpeas. Tasty as hell, but slightly too salty – just like how it is served in Myanmar. I guess that at Eaindra, they like to make the food as authentic as possible.
Then it was time for some Halwa. A rice cake pudding, this dessert is boarding on flavorless but just sweet. It definitely had ghee in it. Pretty OK but not the best thing we’ve eaten here.
Halwa.. we pass on this next time;)
the ever so crowded Eaindra. Food is halal so it’s inviting to all.
discussing the meaning to life, over tea and a fag
because it tastes better this way;)
climbing the stairway, to (Eaindra) heaven..
betel nut vendor, entrance to Eaindra.. and the Grease Lightning smile;)
Yes that’s right.. Jalan Silang in Kuala Lumpur might look like any other busy street yet, among the electrical goods shops and grocery stores there are tons of hidden gems to pick from – restaurants on the 1st and 2nd floor of the shop lots that cater to the people of Myanmar, Nepal, Bangladesh and many other migrant workers. This area is not dubbed Little Burma for nothing. One of our favourite Nepalese Restaurants is located here too. Jalan Silang is also home to a famous chinese beef ball noodle shop that has been around for yonks. It really is worth checking out if you can stomach the massive number of human bodies in the heat and in close proximity. There’s always a sense of adventure eating here, and that is why, me and Cumi love this place so much. We will never tire of it.Add: Eaindra,
No. 42A Jalan Silang,
Kuala Lumpur, 50050
4. Hyderabad Biryani House Brickfields
Follow your nose to the fragrant aroma of golden, long grain biryani.
Since @tummyleejones had mentioned this place earlier in the week, suggesting we check it out on the weekend, a tantalizing vision of fluffy, long grained briyani, heightened by phantosmia of aromas of turmeric, cumin seed, coriander seed, almonds, cardamom and cinnamon all toasted and fragrant kept plaguing my dreams. I knew I was a lost cause till I satisfied that itch.
So finally, the weekend arrived and we traipsed to Brickfields in search of Hyderabad Biryani House. The restaurant is situated on Jalan Berhala and is a wee bit off the main road. Some landmarks to look out for would be the Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia as well as some old apartments.
Anyway, once you see this red banner, you know you’ve found it.
Of course the thing you come here to eat is the Biryani rice. There is chicken briyani for RM12, mutton briyani for RM15, vegetable and plain briyani for RM8 or even egg briyani for RM9. After trying the mutton briyani, we found the mutton pieces a little small, and actually, the better thing to have done, would have been to order the vegetarian biryani and then just added your own side dishes because they have mutton as well as a whole host of other delicious side dishes to pick from.
The briyani rice comes with cut lime, pickled onions and cucumber and a small bowl of lentil (dhal) and raita on the side. Of course you may go to town with your side dishes – pick from a dozen or more tantalizing curries of meats, vegetables and rasam.
For us, the best dish was the spicy brinjal kurma it’s a must order. Also, too bad we already had the mutton biryani because the Gongura mutton is famous too apparently and a hot favourite with many diners.
Hyderabad Biryani House gets crowded past noon. Best come early to get a comfortable spot.
Masala Tea.. another must order.. it’s tiny but costs only RM1!
Love the mesmerizing layering of colors of the biryani rice imparted by masala… I like to see how the server’s hand dances across the big pot scooping bits of deeper orange colored rice, and mixing it with the lighter bits.
After lunch, a stroll around the area to work off the carbs. Hyderabad Biryani House is definitely my current favourite for good affordable biryani rice in KL.
Hyderabad Biryani House Brickfields
No 46, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2260 7036/012-2237036
Business hours: 11am -10.30pm, daily
5. JD Indian Recipes, Brickfields
So, following the Indian barber head massage escapade (watch the VID), we were told by our barber, to check out a Biryani shop, one of his favourites, just a couple of blocks down from his shop.
Having already tried Hyderabad Biryani House Brickfields, we were keen to see if this other restaurant would give that restaurant’s biryani, a run for its money.
Biryani just tastes better, eaten with hands.. agree?
When you arrive at the shop, you will notice the weekend specials, scribbled on the white board. Nothing fancy. Just either Mutton Biryani (RM16), or Chicken Biryani(RM12). So, one for @tummyleejones and one for me. First I have to give praise to the portions of Biryani. Absolutely massive.
The plates arrived along with Mirchi ka salan and Dahi chutney – fabulously spicy Biryani accompaniments. Also, my favourite, and I love soaking my long grains in this – the Dahi chutney (yogurt, mint, and onion). Baghara baingan (roasted Eggplant) is our favorite side dish actually, but they didn’t have it this time. We had deep fried vegetables instead – this was a little soft and not as crispy as we would have liked. Usually, a salad includes onion, carrot, cucumber, and lemon wedges but we didn’t get that this time either.
This style of biryani is prepared with meat marinated with spices overnight and then soaked in yogurt before cooking. The gosht (meat) is sandwiched between layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice and part of the ritual is uncovering the chunky meat particles buried under the yellow, long grain rice.
The basmati rice was beautifully defined and fluffy and whilst I could make out the taste of onions, spices, lemon, saffron. coriander leaves etc. I found the cloves just a wee bit too over powering. I mean, there was clove in everything, from the meat marinade to the gravies.
It’s finger lickin good!
All in all, @tummyleejones preferred the previous location, as he said the Biryani rice here was dryer. I liked the generous amount of mutton meat that came in my plate, and also the they let me take as much yogurt as I liked. While prices and portions were pretty standard, I’m still not completely sold that this is the best Biryani yet.. and so the quest continues!
JD Indian Recipes
Jalan Berhala, Brickfields,
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Phone:+60 18-226 4452
Hours – daily 7AM–10:30PM
6. Nasi Beriani Gam Putrajaya
Someone asked me, what on earth is Beriani Gam? How is it different from the regular Beriani (Briyani) rice?
Is it really gum that they use, or what?
Which got me pondering, and I had to do a little sniffing around to find out.
And one thing is for sure, you will definitely need your GPS (at the end of this post, or follow these next few simple directions well), to find this Kafe Beriani Gam Putrajaya. From Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway, exit at the Kajang toll plaza and head towards Putrajaya via the tail end of the SILK Highway. Enter the slip road that runs parallel to the main road. You will notice the Uniten building on your left.
When we were there on a Sunday, there was a food market just outside Uniten. Keep driving and you would be on the right track. Just before this slip road joins the highway, you will see the sign on your left – G.B.P Kafe Beriani Gam Putra-Jaya. Turn left into this road and it will bring you into the restaurant under a zinc roof. Drive further and you will reach a Hindu Temple where there are more parking spaces.
Once you get into the restaurant, you will notice a long row of steel pots and labels above, which clearly tell you what’s in them. Then you have the task of choosing your poison.. what meat should you go for. Incidentally this Beriani Gam (sometimes spelled, Dam or Dum) hails from Johor, and only Johoreans would be able to tell you, how close it is, to the original. I myself, have not eaten a Johor Beriani, so I could not say.
The prices, on the premium side, range anywhere between RM13 for the Beriani Ayam Merah (chicken), to RM28 for the Beriani Rusa (deer). Unfortunately they were out of venison that day, so I had to go for my third choice, the Beriani Kambing. I actually wanted the Beriani Kambing Kusi ( a different cooking style of the lamb) but again they were out of that too. Sigh.. just not my day that day.
So anyway, fate decided that I would take the lamb, and Cumi the beef.
Well, I am happy to report, that for the money you are paying for the beriani, at least the lamb meat is chunky and tender. There is no price discrimination on portion size so early diner gets the bigger chunk. The spices and flavor in the meat and gravy are up to expectations. The rice is a fluffy, long grain basmati rice, that’s cooked along with spices, vegetables and meat. Cumi’s beef was a rich and tender coconut beef stew which is explosively flavorful.
They serve an awesome Dalca (stewed vegetable curry with lentils) here too. Unlike the Indian versions which are normally much more sour and spicy, the ones here were more earthy tasting and with a coconut base. Goes fantastic with the rice!
I’ve always wondered about the origin of biryani. All those theories out there about how the Mughals brought biryani to India sounds a bit far-fetched. I think it’s probably more a pan Indian dish. Because nearly everywhere in India, wherever there is a Muslim community, there is a biryani. Here is Malaysia, it’s got its own version as well.
Rich in spices and rather heavy on the chillies, that’s for sure. The rendang kuah (gravy) that they serve in this case is a typical, spicy, coconut based Malay version. Rich also in flavours of the golden-hued ‘kerisik’ (toasted coconut),onion, ginger, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric and chillies.
And finally, the types of Beriani – some say that “gam” means that the raw meat is cooked with the rice, which is different to that of the beriani where the meat and rice are cooked separately, and then assembled before being finished with steam for a few minutes.
Anyway whatever the origins or the the meaning, there’s nothing quiet like a piece of chunky, fall off the bone tender, cartilaginous lamb, eaten with a massive spoonful of Beriani rice, redolent with gravy and dalca. Nothing. Oh, except perhaps, sucking the marrow out of the bone.. which I always save for last!
And if this hearty meal does not narrow your arteries, then it will definitely give you enough calories to run a marathon, and then some.Kafe Beriani Gam Putrajaya
7. Asian Rice Pot, SS5
Another place to check out for Biryani is Asian Rice Pot in SS5. The claim is that Asian Rice pot does not use MSG – we actually didn’t feel thirsty or sick to our guts, after eating here, so it just might be true. The restaurant is air-conditioned, clean, and well patronized by folks looking for an authentic South Indian fix. The specialties include spicy Kashmir chicken, Mutton fried rice, Thosai and of course, Biryani.
Long grain basmati, with tons of herbs and spices, and the most amazing selection of dishes that actually tastes fresh, and not cooked like weeks ago.
deep fried bitter gourd
The Nasi Biryani is only served on weekends.
selection of curries.. for nasi banjir!
This plate of Biryani rice cost just RM10. Real value for money!
My eyes were larger than my stomach! Here’s the my selection of Biryani for one. Wanted crab curry but apparently the supplier said it was not fresh, hence.. no carb curry that weekend.
well, there’s always prawn curry!
assortment of curries.. seriously could not fit anymore in on one sitting..
Definitely check out Asian Rice Pot for fantastic Southern indian cuisine at affordable prices. Nice friendly staff and a clean, comfortable environment are huge plus points too!Add:
No 11, Jalan SS 5a/11, Kelana Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor