My love for biriyani is beyond everything.
During the past three years I’ve been on a quest to taste different types of biriyani across the country and I’ve succeeded in having biriyani in all major cities in India. With that knowledge and a few more pounds added to my weight, last year I set out to explore some of the best biriyani joints in Chennai.
Let’s check out a few.
Only a very few restaurants in Chennai make the perfect boneless mutton biriyani and Junior Kuppanna is one of them. They serve you the typically dindigul biriyani with mutton gravy and raitha. The Jeeraga Sambha rice with well cooked pieces of mutton will melt in your mouth. Also you can feel the aroma of ghee in every bite.
The quantity served will be a little less compared to other shops. But, this is one worthy place to have mutton biriyani in Chennai.
Recommended: Mutton biriyani
Price: Approx. Rs. 190-210 (Chicken and Mutton)
Hotel Safari (Royapettah)
Sometimes you get surprised by a random restaurant and you become an instant fan. Hotel Safari is one such restaurant. I stopped by this place for lunch once and I looked up for reviews before ordering. To my surprise, I found several people talking about their mutton biriyani. I immediately ordered one and it was a worthy experience.
The quantity of the biriyani was less, but the taste was really good. It was cooked in Hyderabadi style and there was an equal proportion of rice and mutton pieces. They serve good raitha as well.
The quantity might look very small when you get your order, but it would be enough for one person.
If you’re stopping by Satyam for a movie, check out this place.
Note: Ask for normal mutton biriyani. There is something called “Hyderabadi mutton biriyani”, which I would not recommend as it tastes more like schezwan fried rice 🙂
Price: Rs. 150-170
S S Hyderabadi biriyani
This is an amazing local chain biriyani restaurant you can find all over the city.
They make amazing Chicken biriyani. The flavor, the length of the rice, the way the meat is cooked, my god! I love this place. And, the best part is, you can order one biriyani for two people! There would be so much 😀 If you want to taste a local south Indian biriyani in Chennai, then SS is your place.
Price: Rs.150 (Chicken biriyani)
Recommended: Chicken biriyani 😀
Fully Local (Radhakrishnan Salai)
I’ve recently been to this place and was a little skeptical about ordering biriyani. I took the leap of faith and ordered their Lucknowi mutton biriyani. It was a very different experience. The flavor of the biriyani was very different from the ones I had before. The biriyani was greasy, full of masala that seeped into every piece of meat, making it an amalgamation of flavors. I kept licking my fingers even after I finished eating the biriyani. The downside is, the biriyani here is quite expensive. So, avoid going here after 15th of any month 😀
Price: Rs. 350 (I know right!)
Recommended: Lucknowi Mutton Biriyani
Ambur Star Biriyani
Ambur is well know for biriyani and Star Biriyani is Ambur is a famous local restaurant. They recently opened up in Chennai (I guess in 2013) and they have been having customers pouring in since then. I had had their biriyani recently and it is the best Ambur-style mutton biriyani you can taste in Chennai. I also had mutton biriyani in their Ambur restaurant and I couldn’t feel the difference at all. They maintain excellent quality and consistency in taste.
This place is my personal favourite.
Note: Try their makkan peda when you visit their Ambur branch.
In spite of opening so many branches across the city, they manage quality and consistency across all the branches. They too serve good boneless mutton biriyani which tastes similar to Junior Kuppana. But, the quantity here is a bit more when compared to Kuppana and they use less ghee which would make you want to eat more. Order a plate of Tawa fish along with the biriyani and you’ll be set for the rest of the Sunday.
Recommended: Boneless mutton biriyani and Tawa Fish
For those who ask “What about Aasife & Brothers and Yaa. Moidheen?”
My answer is I’ve had biriyani in these places a couple of times and did not have a pleasant experience. They tasted good, but not good enough for me to add them to the list. Again, this is my personal opinion. You can always stumble upon a good biriyani restaurant.
Happy eating! 🙂
Note: This article was originally written for Chennai Bloggers Club’s (CBC) monthly newsletter.