New Shah Alam Restaurant

When it comes to hawker staples, there’s always a lot of arguing over which stall is best. But this no-frills biryani specialty coffee shop has few faults. The simple menu consists of Indian-Muslim staples like mee goreng, naan, dosa and murtabak, but the runaway winner are the biryanis which come in huge portions. At lunch hour, the place is packed to the brim with CBD execs looking for a quick hearty lunch. The chicken briyani ($5.50) comes heaping with fluffy saffron-tinged basmati rice, a large and tender chicken thigh and drumstick  slathered in curry sauce. We’ve had our share of bland sauces that tease with the promise of spice, but Shah Alam’s certainly packs a punch. Piquant notes of cardamom, coriander, cloves and bay leaves are at the forefront of every bite and dollop of sauce. The same can be said of the Mysore mutton curry ($4) that’s tender and gamey. The cardamom, mustard seed and cumin forward sauce clings around all the cubed morsels making each bite rich and bursting with robust flavors. Everything here is on the spicier side so be prepared to pant. Ask for extra sauce but skip the side of limp-looking green beans ($.50). Drinks are limited to kopitiam staples like teh and lemon barley (from $.90). 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.