Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bisimillah Oh Yum Briyani

I don't really like briyani (biryani? briyani?) all that much, but when a friend suggested that we check out this way kewl briyani place at Dunlop Street, I told myself we have to try new things and said lets go.

And what a lovely experience it was. The mutton briyani is eyes-rolling-to-the-back-of-my-head-toe-curlingly delicious. And the rice is so, so soft. I was rather quiet during the meal because the food was just. so. good. I don't think I've had such an aneurysm over Indian food since Mumbai.

The only thing I found a little disconcerting about the place is that it's got a lot more Chinese people dining in it than one would expect to find in a tiny little cafe somewhere in Little India. Both times I went, there were more Chinese diners than diners of other races. How unusual.

During my second visit, 2 guys sat at the next table. One was clearly there in his capacity as a food blogger. Ever since the phone companies started installing camera in their mobile phones, I've gotten used to people pausing to take photographs of their food before they start eating. Like the way people used to pause to say a prayer of thanks to God before they started eating. But now, they pause to take a photo of the food.

Anyway. After the initial pausing and snapping, I couldn't help but notice one of the guys start to deconstruct his briyani. He pushed the food all over the plate, dissected various chunks of mutton, pulled some of the mutton flesh apart, all the while taking photo after photo. I was a little bit torn up just watching him. The food which had been so well prepared, and which had arrived steaming hot at the table was getting stone cold. The soft fatty bits of mutton were starting to congeal. As I watched, his face and the camera (a point and shoot) got closer and closer to the food, until it started to remind me of the way we used to do dissections in junior college, our faces barely 2 inches away from the wax tray with the ex-cockroach scattered and pinned all over it.

Actually, he looked like he was conducting a mutton autopsy, with all that separating and scraping and photographing. Like the parents and family of the goat had asked him to put their minds at rest by determining the cause of death. And whether he could help them trace the perp.

Have you ever had one of those moments when it would be really really awkward to burst out laughing but you burst out laughing anyway, and then try to pretend it was a coughing fit? Yeah. I know all about that. The poor guy was so close to me that I could've reached out and touched him on the shoulder. Instead, I just spluttered and coughed into my lassi.

Their sweet lassi is pretty good too.


At 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From most of the food blogs I have seen, Bismillah Biryani Restaurant @ 50 Dunlop Street may be the bestest biryani stall in Singapore. Will pay it a visit soon.

At 11:29 PM, Blogger expat@large said...

And you can have a beer at the Prince of Wales afterward!

At 5:22 PM, Blogger knobby said...

zam zam. bugis. enough said.

At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the name of this " kewl briyani place" ?

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At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Qing said...

the best i had was actually at a staff canteen along keppel!!!! :) :) :)

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