From Indian-style dum biryanis, to mutton-laden, gravy-drizzled, apocalyptic feasts to wholesome vegetarian alternatives, here’s where to get the best briyanis in Singapore.
You’ve probably already heard of this Tekka Market (#01-297) gem, with long snaking lines obscuring their chest-beating signage and newspaper clippings. The go-to item here is their famous Indian-style dum chicken briyani ($4-5), which usually sells out before 3pm. The portions of both rice and chicken are generous, and you can always add more curry for extra kick and flavor. Open daily 8am-3pm.
This half-century old tiny hole in the wall in Little India serves spice-forward, dry, Pakistani-style biryani, proudly proclaiming that they do not serve any gravy to go alongside. Get it with fish, chicken, mutton or veggies ($8-15), but do go early for dinner as they often sell out. Prices range from Open 11:30am-9:30pm, closed on Tuesdays.
This North Indian joint at Farrer Park, serving classic Mughlai-style Indian food specializes in a preservative-free dum biryani ($17). Unfortunately their dine-in facility is under maintenance but you can still order online so you’ll still be able to try the boneless lamb (mutton) and chicken varities. Get some of their tender and nicely charred kebabs to go with, if you want more meat. Order online
or call 8399-7795 daily from 4:30-9pm.
Islamic Restaurant’s Chicken Biryani
Alongside their legendary fish head, also amazing is the chicken or mutton biryani at this Upper Thompson staple ($5-6). (There’s also an outlet at Macpherson.) They also serve fish and vegetarian takes. They’re also pretty serious about their prata, with inventive options like mushroom cheese, chicken floss, even banana and chocolate pratas, along with murtabak, thosai and more. Open daily 7am-midnight (both outlets).
Just because you’re vegetarian doesn’t mean you should miss out on the delights of a proper dum biryani ($10-12). Gokul serves Singapore-style dum briyani (vegetable and soya chunks), Chettinad briyani (soya chunks with Chettinad spices) and also Hyderabad dum briyani claypot (masala soya chunks in Hyderabadi style). They also offer other veganized takes on Asian favorites like Melaka-style sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut gravy), hotplate Chinese-style fish taucheo and more. They also deliver
. Open daily 10:30am-10:30pm ( Upper Dickson and Fortune Centre) .
This epic Indian-Indonesian restaurant needs no introduction. The family-run, memorabilia-covered establishment at North Bridge road is almost a century old and is still going strong with its mix of Indonesian and Indian-Turkish dishes. Tuck in to their renowned chicken dum biryani, which comes heaping with saffron rice ($11). Other hits include the tandoori chicken and rogan josh curry. They also deliver if you call 6296-1161 (minimum order of $60). Open daily 10am-10pm.
Karu’s Banana Leaf Singapore
Imam Banana Leaf Restaurant
Located in Geylang, Imam Banana Leaf Restaurant is your typical blue-chaired and folding table food corner selling probably one of the most popular briyani dishes ($5.50) in Singapore. Don’t let their not-so fancy coffeeshop setting fool you because they’ve been around for quite a while and they have some pretty loyal customers. If you’re a fuss-pot, know that they’ve also recently opened an air-conditioned outlet a few shops down. Among the usual briyani dishes like the mutton or chicken, they also do some great tender fish briyani. 10 Geylang Lorong 1. Open 24/7.
Jaggi’s at Chander road, specializes in super rich, Punjabi-style dishes that are mostly heavy on the meat. Pick from their wide range of naan, huge samosas, pakoras and Indian desserts like gulab jamun to complete the full North-Indian experience. The set up is simple: a cafeteria feel with a self-service counter and metal plates. But the rich, buttery briyani will make you feel positively kingly ($7-8). Open daily 11:30am-3pm and 5:30-10:30pm.
For briyani served on banana leaves, look not further than this Indian restaurant at Bukit Timah that also has affordable mains like chicken Mysore and sides like veggies cooked lontong-style. You have the option of getting your briyani ($6-10) with or without curry. Whatever you choose, do enjoy it with their homemade appalam (or poppadum). They also do delivery with Deliveroo.
Open 10:30am-10:00pm, closed on Mondays.
New Shah Alam Restaurant
If you miss Blue Diamond’s chicken dum briyani, take heart because it’s still kind of around. Leeds is its new and improved version with the same chef but with different owners since they’re now under the management of Appu’s Curry. So fans of their one-pot briyani dishes can try their usual chicken, mutton or dum biryani or you could even go for their egg or prawn biryani ($7-8). They’re still at the same spot on Buffalo Road, it’ll feel like nothing’s changed at all because they still serve their briyanis in the exact same way, warm in their sealed pots. Open Mon-Fri 7am-10pm and Sat-Sun 1-9pm.
Their chicken briyani ($5.50) comes heaping with fluffy saffron-tinged basmati rice, a large and tender chicken thigh and drumstick slathered in curry sauce.The same can be said of the Mysore mutton curry ($4) that’s tender and gamey. Everything here is on the spicier side so be prepared to pant. Ignore the slimy décor that’s rife with plastic chairs and greasy tiled floors and brave the sweltering heat—this is your new go-to CBD lunch option at Raffles. Open daily 8am-6pm.