B  I  R  I  Y  A  N  I
can you smell it.. :)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Karim Mess, Periamet - ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

Category: B

I had been hearing way too much about this place. So I just wanted to see what the fuss is all about.

Located in the congested Periamet area which is not only the leather hub of Chennai, but also one of the major biriyani hubs. With almost 20-25 biriyani shops in a 4 km radius, Periamet's most popular biriyani shop is Karim Mess (This claim was validated by a traffic police when I casually went and asked him for directions - must be true then right?!)

Now, having visited this place twice already, I do think it is kind of overrated!

The place has a counter area in the ground floor and a dining area in the 1st floor. Majority of the purchases are take aways. People often buy biriyani in tubs, buckets etc. The cost is very nominal, with a plate of mutton biriyani selling at 110 Rs. The chicken version is obviously lesser than that. They also have some mutton based side dishes, like mutton chukka (dry) for 70 Rs and mutton chops (gravy) for 70 Rs. For 180 Rs, one could have a complete satisfying meal at this meat paradise.

But why only 4 stars mate???

To start with, the biriyani as well as the side dish are not spicy enough. It was rather bland. The flavour does not hit you. If I go to such a hyped place, I would be expecting a mesmerizing taste and a flavour which should take full control of all my senses. But this biriyani just didn't do the magic for me. Also I felt it was dry.

But I must say that the meat to rice ratio in this place is much much more satisfying than many other usual places. maybe this is one of the reasons why this place is so popular. If a standard biriyani has 20% of meat in it, this biriyani has almost 35%.

When I had the mutton chukka, i felt like as if the meat was there for the sake of being there.

But nevertheless, this place must be visited at least once, just for the heck of it!

My rating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆

How to reach there: Take the road adjacent to rippon building, towards periamet, then take left at the first signal and then take the 2nd lane to your left. You can't park your car inside. Plan accordingly.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Dindigul Thalapakatti Restaurant, Chennai - ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Category: D

No need for any introduction here. One of the fastest grown dindigul style restaurant franchises in Chennai. Well built brand image. The colour RED is now easily associated with this brand, along with coke, KFC etc (from a Chennai perspective).

Quite a lot of people used to call themselves "Thalapakattu Biriyani", "Thalapakatti biriyani" etc. This was the scene in chennai a few years back. But now this restaurant is easily distinguishable. Now "THALAPAKATTI" means only one chain and it is popular. And also with an excellent choice of celebrity to endorse the brand, they have ensured proper reach and have indeed struck gold. People now easily remember this biriyani as the one Sharath kumar eats. (Remember, this is one of the most apt and suitable choices, unlike the ones like where Namitha endorses TMT bars for construction etc).

Coming to the point..

The biriyani is strictly Dindigul style. Made with 'jeeraga samba' rice, small in length (1/3rd to 1/4th of that of a standard basmathi rice).

The biriyani is quite spicy. It is not too moist but not too dry either. One of the unique quality about all dindigul style biriyanis is the colour. it is proper brown. My advice would be to go for the mutton biriyani than the chicken. Simple reason - sometimes the breast piece turns out to be pretty hard and dry in this type of biriyani and that could be a buzz kill. Of course again, that's only my opinion. Usually it is served with onion raita and non veg gravy.
The USP of this biriyani is not the cooking time or process etc, but the spices and the rice used. It is a little pricy thou, being an AC restaurant and all. Each plate (a standard 'half') cost around 170 rupees, +/- 20, depending on whether you go for chicken or mutton or special varieties.

But as far as this restaurant is concerned, one doesn't simply just order the biriyani. They have a whole list of other items too. Sides varying from mutton chukka to seafood. but the biriyani is religiously ordered as the standard main course item. I usually go for their mutton biriyani along with 'thalapakatti special fish fry'.

My rating: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆

How to reach there: Google it and you will get at least 15 results for Chennai alone. This is a multi outlet restaurant chain. and the food, ambience etc are more of less the same everywhere. I find the taste also to be consistent.