I didn’t go to Singapore expecting to eat biryani. Firstly because there are so many other things to eat and secondly because I try to stick to the local cuisine when I’m travelling. This ‘rule’, if you can call it that, has been proven to be a stupid one on multiple occasions. The most notable being eating at a Chinese restaurant in Oslo – that made me re-evaluate quite a few notions I had about what to eat where.
Coming back to biryani, we ended up choosing Bismillah Biryani because the place I originally wanted to eat at was closed and Bismillah Biryani was within walking distance and had good reviews.
It’s not a fancy restaurant by any stretch of the imagination but it’s clean and the decor fuctional. It reminded me more of a canteen. They have limited items on the menu (and by limited I mean you can’t even get white rice if you want it) and we had the mutton dum biryani, haleem and raita. We sipped on mango lassi while we waited for our food to arrive and we didn’t have to wait long. The biryani was very spicy – so spicy that I thought my mouth was on fire. But it was so tasty that I kept eating and after a few mouthfuls the high heat levels didn’t bother me that much. The rice was flavourful and the meat succulent and just fell off the bone. The raita which normally isn’t fiery at all and offers respite from the heat was spicy too, so that was relegated to a side and we didn’t look at it again.
It was also the first time I ate haleem and absolutely loved it. I promptly mixed some of the haleem and biryani at the start and ate it and really liked the combination. Some time later the owner walked up to our table and said, “No matter what you do please don’t mix the haleem and biryani”. Oopsie. So I followed his advice and I must agree the haleem and biryani had on their own taste much better than mixed together.
I also wanted to try the nihari but unfortunately I’m human and not a cow so I have just one stomach and not four.
I did manage to make some space for kulfi. It had the flavour but was a low-fat, watered down version of the original.