Let me start with a small preface.
It was a warm summer evening in the year 2003. I was on the way back from my my college (which is in Sriperumbudur). Enroute is Porur, where I got down to switch buses, I happen to visit a certain 'Arcot Biriyani center'. That day i had my 1st plate of biriyani in that place, without knowing that i am going to be coming back to that place again and again and again for the next 9 years!
It kept happening over and again as I was spellbound on the taste of the biriyani from that place, until the government one fine day decided that 'it was long enough' as they tore down all the shops in that row to widen the road. Ever since, I am in search for a similar, if not better taste. Now coming back to the current day..
YA MOHIDEEN, Pallavaram:
And NO, it is not a German establishment, although the name may sound like it!
I have been hearing many people raving about this place. Finally, I caught a break.
And I am going to say that this biriyani 'almost' reached the place where I have kept the above mentioned porur 'arcot biriyani'.
Among all my reviews in this blog, I have given maximum rating for this (so far) with 8★s. This beats Charminar (Triplicane) hands down in terms of atleast 3 parameters.
All the good reviews which you may read on the internet about this place are true. This is one yummy biriyani. Located deep inside pallavaram, this place is no different from any other classic 'bhai' biriyani center. Big dabaras, stand and eat, crowded swamping the small place (half way) round the clock etc.
Now to the biriyani: I did both dine-in (chicken) and take away (mutton). So this is a double review.
And imagine digging into a piping hot plate of this.
As the aromatic steam rises above and enters and tickle the inner walls of your nostrils, without any further delay you take the biriyani and treat your mouth. You'll surely say.. HOT HOT HOT and Exquisite!
The rice was well boiled (neither stiff, nor too soft). moist enough and the chicken pieces were succulent and soft. I will rate this spicy, a little above average.
The flavours and texture were just about perfect.
The chicken pieces were big enough. Although i had only a 1/4 plate, i felt it was a generous portion (good enough to be called a 1/2). I got 2 big pieces which was surprising.
I took away and had the mutton biriyani at home. I must say that these guys are too generous. it was a huge portion of biriyani with an overwhelming quantity of mutton pieces. if a standard plate of mutton biriyani has 3-4 pieces, this one had 6-7 in it!!!
So meat lovers who always look for more meat, those carnivorous sons and daughters of the land, you're in for a treat :). Personally I felt that it was an overkill. But nevertheless, the biriyani was fantastic. I imagined that a steaming hot plate would have been even better.
A little note on the condiments: the brinjal curry was just as good as any other place. I think it's easy to make. But the raita was a little disappointing and dry. little more curd in it would have made it an awesome side dish.
The shop is quite established. Kinda easy to find once you reach pallavaram. Bike or car can be parked nearby until the time you finish your meal or get the take out. It is kind of a big complex with 2 counters and two dining rooms (both stand-n-eat with no chairs or tables). They also have mutton soup and chicken pakodas. But think twice before spoiling your appetite with these extras.
The prices are a little above average, but the value proposition that you get over shadows it.
My recommendation would be that, eat it there itself. it make a huge difference. this is not like Salem RR or Thalapakatti. The hotter this stuff is, the tastier it is. I personally wouldn't prefer parcel / take away from here.
Also I must mention that they serve the biriyani on round banana leaf placed on an organic use-n-throw plate, which definitely gives extra points, in terms of hygiene and environmental friendliness!
My rating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆