This meal at Bismillah Briyani at Little India happened some time ago, but I have no impetus to blog about it until now, until Michelin Guide awarded it its Bib Gourmand.
Huccalyly brought me there because she said it is the best briyani in Singapore. She married an Indian man, and works in an Indian company, so she knows what she’s talking about.
The lamb briyani we ordered costs a whooping SEVENTEEN DOLLARS (I think. It was some time back). Wow. It’s big enough for two persons but I didn’t know briyani could be so expensive.
The server (or maybe owner), who is warm and friendly, explained that they used Australian lamb, and that’s why it’s expensive. Erm… Ok. But what ingredient isn’t imported to Singapore?
Let’s talk about taste. It’s ok. It’s not extremely aromatic, and although the lamb isn’t gamy, it’s not tender and the meat portion is pathetic. It’s middling. I find the rice too dry, and hard to swallow. When I compare this to the briyani I ate at Dindigul Thalappakatti in Chennai, it is a far cry from what a good briyani should be.
I don’t find Bismillah superior to other briyani you can find in Singapore. If I want to eat briyani, I won’t travel all the way to Little India; the one below my block tastes as good.
I understand the reason Michelin Guide picks most of their Bib Gourmand—some times it’s the fame of the shop, some times it appeals to a Western sensibility (not taste)—and Bismillah belongs to both categories. I don’t hate the biryani but it is overpriced and it is not an exemplar of a good briyani.
For other Bib Gourmand’s establishments,
Lagnaa – Indian restaurant
Zaffron Kitchen – Indian restaurant
True Blue – Peranakan restaurant
Kok Sen – Cze Char
New Ubin – Cze Char
JB Ah Meng – Cze Char
A Noodle Story – Singapore-styled ramen, hawker
Chey Sua Carrot Cake
Sungei Road Laksa
Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice
Tiong Bahru Hainanese Boneless Chicken Rice
Balestier Road Hoover Rojak
Liang Zhao Ji Braised Duck Rice
Bismillah Biryani Restaurant
50 Dunlop St Singapore 209379
11.30am-9.30pm, closed Tue
T: +65 9382 7937
Outlet: 1 Fusionopolis Link, #01-03 Nexus@One-North, Singapore 138542; +65 9270 7649; M-F 11am-7.30pm, Sat 11am-5pm
Decor/Ambience: NA (kopitiam)
Overall rating: 3.25/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.