Arsalan (Park Circus, Kolkata)

In a nutshell:

Best Kolkata mutton Biryani in Kolkata. Aafreen Biryani tastes better but that is not mutton biryani.

Address & other details: Arsalan

arsalan (exterior view)

Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards

Cuisine type: Predominantly Nonvegetarian with vegetarian options thrown in

pictorial & 'historical' table mat at Arsalan

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

The menu card is long. My reco to friends is that do not waste time & energy & imagination – just order Arsalan special Biryani with Mutton kosha, ishtew & chhamp as side dishes. For Kolkattans, a Mutton Burrah wud alsob a good idea. For Dilliwallas, The Burrah of Karims is a few shades better.

Detailed Description – In case u have the time to enjoy reading:

The gentleman serving us at the restaurant was known to us – so we heard stories of Arsalan during Pujos – He said it opens at 12.00 noon & serves till 3.00 am on initial days & almost 4.00 or even 5.00 am on shaptami, ashtami, navami. He was saying – ‘ U know , people come & order full course meal even at 4.30 am, straight with starters & ending at desserts. ‘ Needless to say there r queues during the Pujos & waiting time is maybe 10 mins to 30 mins.

Kolkata Biryani is a version of Lucknow Dum Biryani in which the spices, meat & the rice is slow cooked together, (sometimes with milk instead of water). This ensures that the flavors of the rice & meat mingle & a unique taste & flavor emerges. You get a piece of half a potato & a boiled egg as a part of The Biryani.

yummilicious mutton biryani at arsalan

The rice strands of the biryani melt in the mouth, burst with flavors of the spices & the meat & most importantly the rice strands do not stick to each other. The meat flavors are unique due to the spices used & slow cooking tenderizes the meat to an extent that it melts in the mouth. The potato is cooked with the biryani – so the flavors enter it & the egg is unnecessary but interesting & nice.For the first time out of maybe the twentieth visit to this place, we found few mutton pieces of the Biryani not so ‘melt in the mouth’. The rice is less oily (Ghee) than the Lucknowi version that I have mentioned in the review of Kainoosh. I think that has to do more with cutting down of costs rather than trying to serve healthy food to customers.

burrah kabab

History of Kolkata Biryani: When Wazid Ali Shah, the Nawab of Lucknow was deported by the British to Kolkata, he got with an entourage of cooks, nautch girls, poets & many more people & things that appealed to his taste. What has predominantly remained intact is the cuisine that those cooks introduced to this part of the country with some modifications.

mutton korma at arsalan

Regarding the meat dishes, all of them are unique, sip water / cola between the two dishes – u will distinctly understand the differences. The meats are cooked in the gravy & hence are full of flavors. They are surely oily & not for the faint hearted.
The Ishtew (stew) was the best of the lot with also the maximum oil & the best of the spices. It does not even faintly relate to the bland, toned down version of the British Stew that is given to patients. Super soft meat in a thick flavorful, yummy, ‘make a statement’ kind of gravy. The korma was also very good & comparatively lighter & was served with a large piece of potato & a full boiled egg (with the curry).

mutton ishtew at arsalan

For desserts came phirni – Milk & rice powder cooked together & set in tiny disposable earthen pots – Yesterday’s one was made in the morning, hence unrefrigerated & was simple awesome – first time ever. Usually u get it straight out of the refrigerator.

phirni at arsalan

To end it all – Your taste buds will thank u for taking them to Arsalan – U just have to do a bit more of cardio next week to burn those extra calories:)

14 thoughts on “Arsalan (Park Circus, Kolkata)

  1. Dear Yummraj, I have been drooling over all your posts. We have just come back from Kolkata post Summer vacation and this post took me on a rewind mode. We must have had blown up thousands on Arsalan home delivery on various occasions. I agree nothing beats it like being there and eating but still… I would like to recommend the special chicken kebabs they have – kebabs are wrapped in cheese and baked again. Well, we have never had something like this before. Its is absolutely heavenly and no matter how much cardio you do for the next months can eliminate the cholesterol that comes with it. I would absolutely recommend that if you have only one life to live go for these special kebabs!

    1. Hi Ishita,
      ……………..will surely try one of these days. actually have a confession to make which u can see in my ‘about’ page. Its about chicken:)

      enjoyed the fun note fully though.


      1. Hi Ishita,
        Tried the chicken cheese kabab on ur recommendation – excellent . Thanks so much.

        YUMMRAJ hereby recommends the cheese chicken kabab at Arsalan Kolkata:)

        note: In case u take a home delivery of the same, pls heat it for 1 – 1.5 mins in microwave so that the cheese melts & gives the soft & creamy wow taste.

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