I envy the people working in Bay Square, they are so spoilt for choice with foodie options. I’ve found myself revisiting this urban hub a number of times in the past few months, each visit for a totally different cuisine. Recently, we were invited to Masala Pot, a familial name that screams of fiery curries, biryanis and other subcontinental delights. They have a few branches scattered around the UAE, but I have never been and wasn’t sure on what to expect.
The restaurant has quirky-cool interiors, taking inspiration from newspaper cuttings. The walls are marked with tongue in cheek Hindi-English quotes relating to food, and everything here has a pale orange halo, so in tune with curries and the saffron hue of Indian patriotism. The restaurant looks more like a chic café, and the pricing here is definitely in line with this. A meal for two at Masala Pot will suffice under AED 150 easily.
We’ve driven past Biryani Pot a countless number of times. This wee little outlet with its quirky pot-shaped logo resides on Jumeirah Beach Road.
Hubby is a huge fan of biryani (the much-loved spicy layered pilaf of the Indian subcontinent) and often goes on a biryani binge, trying out the little nooks and crannies of the UAE. He has come to the conclusion that the best biryanis only come from the smallest, most modest of places. Surely one with a jazzy logo sitting on the likes of posh, urban Jumeirah Beach Road will not fit the bill?
I had seen posts of their very innovative quinoa biryani across social media. Intrigued, I decided to drag along my cynical partner and give Biryani Pot a go.
Often the best food comes from the most modest of restaurants, and this is especially the case when it comes to a really good, masala-infused biryani.
One of our favorite old haunts for biryani is Mezbaan Hyderabad Restaurant. Located in the busy hub of central Bur Dubai, this is the chain’s very first outlet. The restaurant itself is cramped, stuffy and rather shabby from all the years it has been in operation, but this does not keep the impressive string of regulars from coming back for more.
We were at Mezbaan last night. Despite it being a weekday, we were lucky to get a table.
Biryani, the much-loved aromatic rice pilaf hailing from the Indian subcontinent, has since evolved into countless variations and every household has its special secret recipe, some handed down generations!
Mumtaz Mahal, the popular North Indian themed restaurant at Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa, honors the popular pilaf with an annual ‘Biryani Muqabala’ (‘Biryani Contest‘ in Hindi), and every UAE resident from all walks of life are encouraged to take part. 9 years since its inception, the ‘Biryani Muqabala’ contest received over 500 entries this year. After careful consideration, this was narrowed down to 7.