Islamic Restaurant: The Grandaddy of Biryanis!


Mutton Dum Biryani $8.50 (Papadams not included)

I last blogged about Famous Islamic back in 2007 when the blog was barely six months old.  Since then, they have moved further up North Bridge road, dropped the "Famous" from their name, and the given a much needed makeover.

There has been very mixed reactions to this Biryani.  Some people, especially those from overseas seem to love it, whiles a lot of Singaporeans fail to be impressed by it.  My first impression of Famous Islamic was less than stellar, but as you can see from the photo I took in 2007 and the one I posted above, the Biryani looks very different even though the boss, "Prince" Kalil insists that it is the same recipe that has been passed down by his grandfather.



The Iconic Lemonade

His grandfather, M. Abdul Rahman (1886-1949) had been the head chef for the Alsagoffs and used to serve this Turkish-Indian inspired Beryani to foreign guests as a very special dish.  In 1921, he opened Famous Islamic along North Bridge Road which was soon patronized by dignitaries who have eaten the Beryani previously as guests of the Alsagoffs.  Over the last 92 years, the restaurant has served many of Singapore's VVIPs such as the late President Yusoff Ishak as well as ex-President SR Nathan and today is still a favourite haunt of foreign politicians like Malaysian PM Najib Razak .  I guess when politicians are looking for places to eat, the most logical thing to do is to SMS another politician right?  Or maybe they have a private "PM, Presidents and other Politicians" Facebook group where they talk about these more politically mundane, but important life matters.  You think?

Anyway, in order to cater to these VVIPs and other lesser VIPs or even to self-proclaimed IPs and ordinary not IP's who crave a Briyani-in-bed, they have a very special "Dial-a-Beryani" service where you can get Beryani delivered to your place at any time of the day!  The magic number to satisfy that Beryani craving is 62961161 and there is of course a minimum charge for such a service which you have to order in advance.



Anyway, I must say that I found the Biryani much better then when I first blogged them in 2007.  In my last post on Blue Diamond Biryani, I alluded to the fact that I like my Biryani light and not over spiced, so that you can enjoy the fragrance of the Basmati Rice.  And, if it is great Basmati rice you are after, then Islamic serves the best rice I have come across so far.  The grains here are impressive as you can see from the photo above with each grain almost as long as a lady's manicured fingernail!  However, although the texture of the rice was textbook perfect, I felt it still lacked a certain oomph in the flavour and aroma.  The mutton was excellent, though.  They use a very quality lamb which was cooked till tender but still moist and juicy by incorporating a modern combi oven into their traditional cooking methods. 4/5


"Prince" Kalil

Conclusion

There is no doubt that they use quality Basmati Rice and meat here but somehow I still have this niggling feeling that it must have been better in the past. Still, since it is a restaurant which such a long legacy, it certainly behooves any self-confessed foodie to make the pilgrimage there to decide for themselves if they like the Biryani or not.

Islamic Restaurant
745 North Bridge Road
Singapore 198713
62987563
10am to 10pm

20 comments:

Blur Ting said...

Good basmati rice has this special fragrance and texture quite like shredded fresh coconut.

Anonymous said...

Fyi, U have got Msian PM name wrong.

ieat said...

Aiyah! Thanks for pointing that out!

Johor Kaki said...

Haha I love Biryani! Have you tried Shami Banana Leaf in Sembawang? (They have a branch in Northpoint foodcourt). I used to eat it 3 times a week. No kidding. Never told my doctor the indulgence.

ieat said...

Oh never heard of them. Where are they located?

Anonymous said...

Any idea what's the minimum charge for delivery?

ieat said...

You'll have to ring up to find out.

Mary said...

Thanks for the drool-worthy pic, Leslie!

Anonymous said...

Yup, just rang them. Min charge for delivery is $50 for anyone who's interested.

Chaozhouzi said...

ieat, the stall in question is in the basement of Northpoint shopping centre foodcourt. You will not miss it as there is a perpetual queue that start at 11.30am. As for taste, I had commented in the forum under Yishun.

anonymous@11:01 PM, if you crave biryani and need home delivery, try Anjappar Chettinand . Last I know is they deliver free with minimum order.

Chaozhouzi said...

Oops, means to say Min charge is $30.

Anonymous said...

Shami Banana Leaf is at 349 Sembawang Road. Currently the Northpoint food court is under renovation now. So that is the only outlet left.

Anonymous said...

Love Islamic Restaurant -- never actually tried the bryani but the place is cosy and super chilled out in the afternoons, plus the naan and roti mariamman (?) are delish.

Johor Kaki said...

I found an old post by another blogger on Shami. Besides their biryani rice and meat, try their tau geh - crunchy and fresh.

http://foodiefc.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/shami-banana-leaf-delights-northpoint/

Anonymous said...

Love Biryani so much ...

---
Lowongan Kerja

Anonymous said...

the best Biryani in Singapore is at Swadisht Restaurant on Chander Road (behind Race course Road).

denise fletcher said...

Hi Leslie, I recently had dinner at Islamic and I came here to see if I could find your opinion on it as I felt disappointed after my meal. My family and my husband's family too, always swore by the quality of Islamic's biryani, but sadly it really is not as it used to be in the 70s, 80s and even up to the early 90s, the last time I really enjoyed the briyani there, though the roti mariam is still very good. Time to find a new biryani "Mecca" I suppose....

Fauziah Shah, MA, HBCE, BCH, CI, CPHI, CMT said...

Sorry to say but I think my biryani is still the best. Swadish biryani will come second best. Maybe I should open a biryani shop? Unfortunately I'm busy.

Anonymous Mike said...

Can I check if there are still any Indian stalls still using Ghee and coconut oil to cook their food? Nowadays I find alot of stalls use vegetable oil under the mistaken notion that it is healthier when in fact it's not. The most likely reason is cost.

Mannoz Soman said...

seriously its gud......!

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