Food Stops

Best 5 Biryanis of Kolkata

Team WHEELS traversed through the length and breadth of the city to rate the best biryanis of Kolkata. The challenging task though came later when the team sat down to shortlist the best five. Team WHEELS chose New Aliah on Bentinck Street, Arsalan on Bidhan Sarani, Shiraz on Park Street, Royal on Rabindra Sarani and India restaurant in Khidderpore

New Aliah Hotel (Air Conditioned)
This Republic Day, Aliah celebrated 84 years of existence which saw it grow from a modest eatery shop to among those serving the best biryani in the city. At present, it is run by Md Faisal Ekram whose father, Md Ali Buksh first started it all from a tin shed. Business expanded after adjoining premises of shoe stores run by Chinese were bought but it was only in 1957 that they started serving Mughlai cuisine.

Patrons remember the Non-AC eatery at the ground floor as clean and not too showy. But now the store room on the first floor has been converted into an AC restaurant, done up with mirrors all around as part of the décor.
New Aliah, even today, does not serve mutton on Thursdays. “In Bengal it is illegal to slaughter on Thursdays and we cannot serve stale meat. We have our own slaughter house and I personally decide the meat cuts but we don’t indulge in illegal activities,” said Jamal Ahmed Jamal, who has been around since 1964.

Biryani at New Aliah Hotel
Aliah Hotel (as popularly known) is one of the oldest restaurants of the city and has been serving biryani for decades now. The biryani served here has a distinct flavour, very close to the one you get to eat in a Muslim wedding – slightly spicy and low on oil.The potato and meat are well cooked and of moderate size. The flavour, aroma and most importantly the taste strikes a beautiful balance leaving you satiated at the end of your meal.

Top Picks:
Item Rate (`) Serve For
Mutton Biryani 126 1
Mutton Stew/Kassa 111 1
Murg Mussalam 320 4
(Additional 15% charges in AC)

USP: A new dazzling AC restaurant serving traditional Mughlai fare

New Aliah Hotel(AC)
31 Bentinck Street, Kolkata – 700069
Tel: 2243-7802 / 3042-8013
Branches: Nil
Days Open: All
Timings: 10 am to 11 pm (AC upto 10pm)
Seating Capacity: Non AC-72 / AC-65
Parking: Available all around but difficult to get during office hours.
Home Delivery: Not yet, but caters to all kinds of parties.
Credit Card Acceptability: Yes
Meal for 2: `500

Shiraz Golden Restaurant

Started its journey from 1970 at 56 Park Street – shifted to its present location at 135 Park Street in 2009. It is now run by Atiqur Rahman, one of the partners. “We are actually the pioneers of fast food through our instant service. Our biggest challenge is to constantly live up to the brand name we created down the years”, said Rahman. The brand name has become synonymous to biryani in Kolkata.

No wonder there are devoted patrons who come regularly for meals. “For the past 30 years, I serve a customer his breakfast every single day. He orders 4 or 5 dishes of meat, leaves out the gravy and relishes several meat pieces with just one roti”, added Md Riwazuddin, working for the past 38 years at Shiraz. In addition they have a huge clientele base among vegetarians for whom there is a separate fare on the offer. Shiraz at the Park Street outlet has two floors divided into AC and Non-AC. The interiors of the Park Street outlet are done up in off-white, lending an elegant and chic ambience.

Biryani at Shiraz
This place needs no introduction and people from Kolkata and outside make it a point to visit this restaurant for their biryani. The best thing about the biryani here is that the taste has remained the same as it was 20 years back – a little rich and oily. It serves moderately spiced rice with a potato and an average sized meat, both well cooked. Overall, the taste is superb.

Top Picks:
Item Rate (`) Serve For
Mutton Biryani 135 1
Mutton Chaanp 130 1
Mutton Pasinda 175 1
(Additional 10% charges in AC)

USP: The taste that has remained unchanged for nearly five decades.

Shiraz Golden Restaurant
135 Park Street, Kolkata 700017
Tel: 2286-6806 / 2286-6795
Branches:
Ajay Nagar-2416-4591, Salt Lake-2334-9263 / 3250-8999
Dum Dum-3192-3131, Garia-3002-6130, Phool Bagan-2353-9466

Days Open: All
Timings: 5 am to 11.30 pm
Seating Capacity: Non AC-16 /AC-65+120
Parking: Available on Park Street but difficult to locate one
Home Delivery: Yes
Credit Card Acceptability: Yes
Meal for 2: `600

Arsalan
The restaurant at Hatibagan in north Kolkata is the new kid on the block – a part of the Arsalan legacy. Spread over half of a G+5 building, it boasts of a sitting capacity of 360. The pristine white walls with ceiling hangings add to the beautiful décor.
Though this Shyambazar outlet opened on September 2013, the Arsalan brand has its presence in Kolkata since October 2002 at the outlet in Park Circus owned by Akhter Pervez. “We cook with love and that’s the secret behind our success. And we are planning to expand in Rajarhat”, said Hamza, Pervez’s brother-in-law, who manages the Hathibagan outlet.

It is interesting to know that all the 10 head chefs of the 5 outlets work on a rotational basis. They are rotated every day to each Arsalan outlet. “The taste of the biryani has to be uniform every day and so we rotate the chefs. No one can complain about any inconsistency in taste,” informed Md Ikbal Alam, the manager.

Biryani at Arsalan
More than anything else this brand has become a decade-long phenomenon in Kolkata. Although the biryani is a bit expensive at the Hatibagan outlet, it is matched by the quantity and quality it serves. The sparkling white and bright yellow long grained rice is the oiliest here with a heavenly taste. The rice is very lightly spiced, with generous portions of meat and potato. Talking about the biryani, it is good, rather very good.

TOP PICKS:
Item Rate (`) Serve For
Mutton Biryani 150 1
Mutton Chaanp 130 1
Mutton Arsalan Kabab 250 1
(Additional 10% charges in AC)

USP: Quality, quantity and décor.

Arsalan
138 Bidhan Sarani, (Beside Hathibagan Town School), Kolkata – 700004
Tel: 2254-0392 / 0393 / 0397

Branches:
Park Street 2284-8556 / 4010 / 8558
Circus Avenue 2281-3921 / 2290-0487
Ripon Street 2227-7493 / 7494
Diamond Harbour 2397-5046 / 7 / 8

Days Open: All
Timings: 11.30 am to 11 pm
Seating Capacity: AC-360
Parking: On Bidhan Sarani
Home Delivery: Yes
Credit Card Acceptability: Yes
Meal for 2: `700

India Restaurant
Started in 1965 by Al-Haj Syed Md Kalim and now run by his sons Syed Anwar Azim, Misbah Kalim and Shahmeer Kalim, India Restaurant has created a name for itself among biryani aficionados. A new contender in the city, India Restaurant had their ups and downs and made a comeback in 2006 and since then there has been no looking back. “Our forefathers were all in the food business at Daryabad in UP. It was an obvious choice for us to follow their footsteps”, said Misbah Kalim.

The interiors are done with ceramic tiles on the walls along with steel and glass furniture. Overall, it’s simple, when it comes to décor of the restaurant with separate AC and Non-AC sections. It is due to heavy footfall that they have decided to expand their business to the first and second floors of the same building in Khidderpore beside Fancy Market.

Biryani at India Restaurant

Their biryani is a hit among the residents of Kolkata. Despite their out-of-the-way location, people from various corners of the city go all the way to Khidderpore Fancy Market to enjoy this biryani.The two things that set them apart are the rice grains, superior to any of their counterparts and the flavour which is light and simple making it more enjoyable. In terms of price, it is the cheapest in Kolkata. Kolkatans will surely want to comeback for biryani and kebabs every now and then.

Top Picks:
Item Rate (`) Serve For
Mutton Biryani 125 1
Chicken Chatpata Kebab 150 1
Chicken Cheese Kebab 200 1
(Additional 20% charges in AC)

USP: Amazing quality of biryani with mouth-watering kebabs – Kolkatans must savour

India Restaurant
34, Karl Marx Sarani (Khidderpore, beside Fancy Market), Kolkata – 700023
Tel: 2459-8964 / 8420533005
Branches: Nil
Days Open: All
Timings: 7 am to 11 pm
Seating Capacity: Non AC-46 / AC-46
Parking: Available but difficult during day time.
Home Delivery: Yes
Credit Card Acceptability: Yes
Meal for 2: `450

Royal Indian Hotel
Royal at Chitpur, one of the oldest restaurants serving biryani in Kolkata, was started in 1905 by Ahmed Hussain. “We specialise in Lucknowi and Awadhi style of cooking. My great-grandfather started the restaurant here and now my brother, Md Sohail and I look after it,” said Md Irfan, one of the directors. Even after 109 years of inception their food is considered to be one of the best amongst Mughlai restaurants in Kolkata.
The narrow stairs may be a little turn-off but when you enter the AC restaurant on the first floor it’s a different scenario altogether – nice and sleek. There is a distinct difference in the interiors of the AC and Non AC areas of the restaurant. The AC restaurant is quite a few notches above in terms of ambience but it is always brimming with foodies.

Biryani at Royal Indian Hotel
A legacy and one of the oldest Mughlai restaurants of the city, this restaurant serves biryani that is closest of being authentic. It may not go well with many traditional Bengalis as the potato is missing which was the same with the original Awadhi version of biryani. Talking about the flavour, it’s very different from the other biryanis that one gets to eat at other restaurants in Kolkata. The aroma is subtle, spices are light and the quality is superior.

TOP PICKS:
Item Rate (`) Serve For
Mutton Biryani 135 1
Mutton Chaanp 125 1
Mutton Pasinda 150 1
(Additional 10% charges in AC)

USP: Mutton balls (koftas) in the biryani and side dishes.

Royal Indian Hotel
147, Rabindra Sarani, Kolkata – 700073
Tel: 2268-1073
Branches: Nil
Days Open: All
Timings: 10 am to 11 pm
Seating Capacity: Gr. fl. Non AC – 70,
1st fl. Non AC- 90 and AC – 60
Parking: Available in front and also on Tara Chand Dutta Road (opposite to the restaurant) but difficult.
Home Delivery: Yes
Credit Card Acceptability: Only in AC
Meal for 2: `500

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