Idris Hotel (opposite Police Chowki, Patanala, Lucknow)


In a nutshell:

An eatery with no signboard, no proper entrance, tiny eating hall where one shares table with strangers …………. It is also the eatery that makes food with a passion for perfection leading to impeccable, unforgettable food with awesome taste & flavors – stuff that turn into legends & memories.

facade of Idris hotel
facade of Idris hotel

Address & other details:  Idris

google map pic
google map pic

Meal for 2: Rs. 100 onwards

Cuisine type :  only 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.

We paid Rs. 317 for 2 mutton biryanis, 1 mutton Korma, 2 rotis & a bottle of water on day 1 & Paid Rs. 115 for 2 kulchas, 1 beef nihari, 1 beef paya, 1 water. No bill.

I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item 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:

This Foodie madness post is a part of a series called Culinary pilgrimage – On a weekend in Jan 15 we decided to travel to Lucknow on Culinary pilgrimage. A 2 day trip to Lucknow just to eat out at the numerous streetfood shops that have survived over time……….We ended up eating at 9 places in a span of 26 hours & spent a total of approx Rs. 1200. The cost of staying at Lucknow & travelling to Lucknow from Delhi was, needless to say, many times more.

Another view of the facade
Another view of the facade

Few years bk we were in Lucknow for tourist purpose – we moved around town in rickshaws, seeing with great interest the historical monuments & eating out at local places. We had heard of Idris then. A attempt to visit Idris had to b shut down as there were massive gathering for Muharram near the shop. We had come back dissappointed & have always thought of going back.

the dining room
the dining room

In the meanwhile my fellow blogger YUMMDOOT had visited this place & had written about it.To read his wonderful review pls click here.

A view of outside from inside Idris hotel
A view of outside from inside Idris hotel

The shop is on the main road bang opposite Patanala police chowki. Very easy to locate.

mutton cooked in milk - a step in the making of  awesome biryani
mutton cooked in milk – a step in the making of awesome biryani

The shop had no signboard, as mentioned above. One had to enter the shop from a narrow passage in between two elevated surfaces. The place was full of activity. Some people were solely concentrating on making rotis / kulchas. Some guys were running around attending to customers. Some people were working on preparing the curries, kababs & biryanis.

the owners r fully involved in the day to day, hour to hour business
the owners r fully involved in the day to day, hour to hour business

The two brothers who own this place were constantly monitoring what was happening with their 5 senses – asking people to check the biryani from its aroma, telling a guy to add ‘mirch’ just by seeing the color of the kabab paste and so on.

IMG_4473
the elder brother

Their father started this shop long back & ended up creating a unique recipe. The two brothers r the only ones he passed the secret.

A view of outside from inside Idris hotel
A view of outside from inside Idris hotel

They were so humble & nice that I was pleasantly shocked. The elder brother said ‘Agar koi chook ho gayi hai to bataye’. Means ‘In case there has been anything suboptimal in the food pls let us know’. I culdn’t believe my ears. The guy who made the best biryani I have had in a long while asking me this question!!!!!

the younger brother (seated)
the younger brother (seated)

The place was full of big utensils with curries and biryanis at different stages of preparation.

mutton cooked in milk - a step in the making of  awesome biryani
mutton cooked in milk – a step in the making of awesome biryani

We saw a stage in the making of biryani where rice was being poured into meat cooked in milk.

All cooking was happening in copper vessels.

copper vessels being used to cook food
copper vessels being used to cook food

The dining room had a big table in the middle and two benches on both sides. People sat with strangers, ate the food & walked out. The seats were never empty. There was no dull moment.

the dining room
the dining room

The waiters were warm & nice to us. They were a bit shy seeing us as we probably looked different than their regular customers.

Lucknowi Kulcha
Lucknowi Kulcha

There was no menu card. The waiter wud rattle off the items on the menu.

notification
notification on the wall

Food was outstanding. In my teaser post I had said ‘Biryani made by God’s own hand’.

Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:

Day1:

We tried Mutton Biryani. The Biryani aroma reached us while the plate was still a meter away, as the waiter walked towards us. Big deal coz we were sitting on chairs on the side of the road, dogs around, motorbikes zipping past, thelas, cycles, men, women, kids & all.

Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani

The biryani was impeccable. It was not over greasy like the one at Rahim’s. It had the right amount of fat in it. The super long, aromatic grains of rice were independent, super soft, melt in the mouth & just too good to taste. The rice had incorporated flavors of meat, spices & the rice itself.

Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani

The taste was perfect in terms of seasoning, hotness etc.

The biryani had been cooked in traditional Awadhi style (dum). The meat was was cooked in spices & cow milk & then raw rice was added to it & then both were cooked together. We saw this process happening in front of us.

Rate the rice of biryani 4.95/5

Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani

The meat pieces were absolutely melt in the mouth. They had robust meaty flavor, intense taste & were just amazing. Rate the meat pieces 4.95/5 as well.

Overall rating ofBiryani averages out to 4.95/5

We then tried Mutton Korma with roti. It was one of the finest mutton curries I have had in a while. Layers & layers of flavors & discoveries. Not too thick gravy that tasted awsome & stunning – needless to say we finished it till the last drop.

Mutton Korma
Mutton Korma – this pic did not capture the color properly. The next pic did. This pic captured the texture well.

The meat pieces were falling off the bones & were melt in the mouth.

Mutton Korma
Mutton Korma

Rate the korma 4.95/5

While we were eating, we saw Shami Kababs were being cooked on wood fire in copper vessel in the open, right outside the shop. We wanted to eat some. The kababs were mind blowing. It was not at all smooth. It had soft & juicy chunks of minced meat & daal.

Shami Kababs being cooked in the open
Shami Kababs being cooked in the open

The outer ends were charred & were at times tending to b a bit crisp. Overall the kababs were so soft that it was difficult to liftthem without breaking. Rustic, robust, intense & super YUMM – that is what summarizes the Shami Kababs. Rate them 4.5/5

Shami Kababs
Shami Kababs

Memorable, I must say.

Shami Kababs
Shami Kababs

After we finished the meal, we were shown two containers in which meat was being cooked – we came to know that Nihari & paya was being cooked for next morning (these dishes r cooked for 12 hrs in low heat). That made us decide on spot – We r coming back tomorrow again.

Day2:

The Nihari was of beef. The gravy was thinner than the Dilli Niharis but slightly thicker than the one at Rahim’s. Loved the layers of flavor & the perfection of taste. Rate the gravy 4.5/5

Nihari
Nihari

The meat was super soft & almost melt in the mouth. Loved the taste of the meat & rate it 4.5/5.

Nihari
Nihari

Overall rating of Nihari averages out to 4.5/5

We also tried Paya – bone marrow & hoofs of goat / any other grazing animal cleaned & cooked overnight with herbs & spices. It had a strong, rich & robust taste & very good flavors.

Paya
Paya

The usually brittle & inedible cartilages had became as soft as marshmallows. Rate the paya 4.5/5

Paya
Paya

We enjoyed both of these dishes with Lucknowi Kulcha.

top of the Lucknowi Kulcha
top of the Lucknowi Kulcha

It was nothing short of ‘outstanding’. It had a flat side (the side that sticks to the tandoor) & a puffed up side (the side facing the heat). The puffed up side was crisp, flaky and very nice to taste just as it is. The mid part was soft. Eating this kulcha made me feel that a English lady had shared a croissant recipe with her cook and he used some of that idea to come up with an amazing bread or just vice versa.  This Kulcha was somewhere between a croissant & a Delhi tandoori kulcha.

reverse side of the Lucknowi Kulcha
reverse side of the Lucknowi Kulcha

Rate the kulcha 4.75/5

Overall rating of food at Idris Hotel averages out to 4.7/5. Highest ever average score that we have come across at yummraj.com

I will surely get back here whenever in Lucknow. Do not mind travelling to Lucknow to have this again as well…………………..

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8 comments

  1. Where should one park to visit rahim’s. Tunday and Idris. They seem to be pretty close to each other. I am driving dow to Lucknow next week.

    1. Idris u can park opposite / in front of patanala police chowki. For the other two u can park near Akbari gate. U can only walk in the lane where Tunday and Rahim r situated

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