In a nutshell:
Two weeks after tasting Hyderabadi Biryani at the Legendary ‘Paradise’ & cult Biryani place ‘Shadab’ in Hyderabad, this tiny new restaurant in Gurgaon surprised me by its offering – its biryani is surely better than that of Paradise & not too far from Shadab. Almost everything that we had here was close to perfect & as authentic as it can get in Gurgaon.
Address & other details: Biryani Blues
Meal for 2: Rs. 400 onwards.
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of theindividual iem ratings. What the ratings stand for : 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
It is inspiring to see more & more qualified people leaving comforts of MNC jobs & pursuing their dreams. In the foodscape of Delhi NCR there r quite a few such examples of people who have opened Regional cuisine outlets/take-aways that serve close to authentic Indian Regional cuisine e.g. Goan Cuisine -Bernandos, Bengali Cuisine – Ki Hangla, Awadhi Cuisine – The Kitchen of Awadh, Kerala Cuisine – Prima Kurien’s Traditional Kerala Kitchen , just to name a few. Biryani Blues is the new Kid in the block – The lady who owns it left her booming career in an MNC Bank to pursue her dream & she is doing a very good job with this restaurant.
This time around when I accompanied my wife to her tailor shop, I found it too crowded. So I decided to step out & hang around in the corridor of Supermart. I noticed a new Restaurant Biryani Blues in place of Wokabox with exactly the same furniture as Wokabox. First reaction – Must b another one of those numerous bad biryani places in Delhi NCR (I feel Delhi lacks good Biryani options). But with nothing much to do, I decided to peep inside & that is when something caught my attention – A set of cartoon characters on the wall speaking ‘Hyderabadi Bol’ with English translation.
It was then that the lady (owner) walked up & invited me inside the restaurant & I got to know a little bit about the restaurant from our little chat – She is from Hyderabad & she has got in a Chef from Hyderabad. There was an understated Confidence when she spoke about Quality & taste of her Biryani & it was then that I decided to give it a try.
The restaurant is a 16 seater (including open air seating). Furniture is basic. Interiors comprise plain white-washed walls with beautiful artistic shots of Charminar, a colored picture of the last Nawab of Hyderabad & the cartoons I mentioned. Air-conditioning is good to beat Gurgaon heat.
English music played in the background, I remember Akon among many others. I wud have loved to listen to Hyderabadi Music – say Nizami Brothers, or instrumental version of local popular music etc but I guess not all guests wud be impressed by that.
The owner herself discusses the order & gives the bill. Rest of the service is something that is good but not upto the levels of professionally run restaurants. There are 1 or 2 well behaved service boys who do a good job of serving food. However things like refilling of water without being asked for, clearing the dishes in time, giving fingerbowls in time etc are area with scope of improvement. To me personally it does not make a difference as I am happy as long as the food is YUMM. I mentioned this coz I have seen some of my ‘Delhi’ite friends getting irritated at these things to the extent of their mood for the evening gets spoilt.
Food rocks & that is what matters to me. I am willing to travel even 50 miles to get good food & am lucky that this place is just across the road for me. They also make the famous Hyderabadi dish ‘Haleem’ on order of minimum 2-3 plates as it takes 7-8 hrs preparation time. Orders need to be placed 1 day in advance. I also noticed that the menu card had many local dishes usually not available in Delhi ncr.
I overheard another takeaway customer recommending the use of big pieces of meat in Mutton Biryani as ‘People in Delhi prefer big pieces’. He was told that it is not a good idea as dum cooked food cannot have big pieces – chances that it will not cook well. He then started referring to use of boneless meat in biryani ……………… I was overhearing all that conversation & hoping that the Owners do not give in to this kind of ‘localization’ pressure & keep the food as authentic as. Else it will end up the way Chinese has become Chinjabi…….
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
We started our dinner with Nargisi Kabab – Boiled egg, wrapped with minced meat & crumb fried. The meat layer is almost like a fine paste unlike the textured meat that u get in a similar Anglo Bengali dish Dimer devil. The External crumb layer was crispy. The minced meat layer was well spiced & exuded good flavors. Chatpata Masala sprinkled on top gave a new dimension. Very good if u r an egg lover. Wud not recommend it on ur first visit as this is a subtle dish. I wud give this a 4/5.
Second starter was Hyderabadi snack Mutton Shikampur. The menu card describes it as ‘Lentil based fried patties of ground lamb stuffed with spiced yoghurt cheese’. The outer layer was crispy. The meat & lentils were made into a fine paste & a distinct filling cud be seen in the center. Overall the taste was Subtle but very good. Loved the flavor of the meat, daal & spices. Texture was super – crispy outside, smooth paste within & a lump in the center – 3 in 1. Chatpata masala sprinkled on the top added to the taste. I wud give this a 4/5 again.
Andhra fish fry was also excellent. It was crisp deep fried fish with robust spicy taste & flavor. The fish was flaky but not juicy inside. Loved it as it is. I give this dish a 4.5/5.
Next dish was THE MUTTON BIRYANI that I was so impressed with (by the way it is very difficult to impress me with Biryani – read other posts). The biryani was absurdly & unbelievably good. It had super long grains of aromatic rice in different colors – dum cooked with layers of curried pieces of mutton. The ghee amount was just optimum – as balanced as it cud get. The result was melt in mouth, wow, flavorful Biryani. The mutton pieces were soft and tasty as well. I had to pinch myself to make sure I was not dreaming. One of the best biryani a in Delhi NCR outside of the top 5 stars. Spicy and hot but not the obvious type – strong but understated. I give this a 4.5/5.
Mirch ka salan served with the biryani was awesome as well. Did not want to murder the good Biryani by adding salan to it. So had them separately. The salan was grainy, robust to taste 7 had a character of its own. Surely better than the salan at Paradise & Shadab Hyderabad. I give this a 4.5/5
Laccha paratha was made of atta & was soft, layery, mildly flaky at top & very good to taste just like that. I give this a 4/5.
Mutton Dalcha was ‘mutton & chana daal cooked with fenugreek leaves’. A bite into this yielded several reactions. Loved the strong flavor of the daal, the full grains of the daal , flavors of mutton, spices & the mildly sour taste – not to forget the soft & tasty mutton pieces. Loved it & rate it at 4.25/5.
The last dish we had was Dum ka Mutton. Wow. Recommended by YUMMRAJ. My co-diner friend was almost full till this dish came. He said he is ‘done’. While watching us eat, he dipped a tiny piece of the paratha into this curry & casually put it in his mouth. His eyes shined. He gave up his declaration & quickly joined us back to finish off the curry. With a base of coconut & khus khus, this was a unique preparation. Rich & dense, the gravy was a delight. The mutton pieces were surely super soft & falling off the bones. I rate this at 4.5/5.
Khubani ka meetha, a typical Hyderabadi dessert is usually a unidirectionally sweet dish. To balance the sweetness people use different things like cream, ice cream etc. Shadab used dollops of rich milh malai & that made a huge difference. The thickness of this sweet in Shadab was also very high. At Biryani Blues, they had used cream & the resultant taste was good but not as great as that of Shadab. Also, the thickness was less here. Inspite of that it was a good dessert & I rate it 3.5/5.
Double ka meetha was a bread based dessert & this was surely better than the one at the famed Paradise. Mildly Charred sweetened bread with loads of dry fruits & a sauce base, this dessert floored me. I rate this at 4.5/5.
Overall, Rating of food at Biryani blues adds up to 4.2/5.
Loved dining here. Cannot wait to try the Hyderabadi veggie delights like Baghare baingan / seafood like prawns masala / Andhra Chepa Pulsu……………….. Look forward to revisisting. Will keep u updated.