Tuesday, September 17, 2013
All right, I am telling you, I am so excited about writing this one. You know in my previous posts, I have spoken about Biryani, the different styles and the best ones in Sydney I like.
Well, there is now a new entry into this list. Its the Paradise Biryani House at North Strathfield.
One of my very good friends from work and from Hyderabad, we regularly talk about Hyderabad, in Hyderabad lingo and recall all those wonderful days at Hyderabad. And any talks about Hyderabad is not complete till we talk about the food and the biryani. Well, had it been Hyderabad, it would have been Bawarchi and Paradise for our Biryani adventures. Being in Sydney, and talking about Biryani at Hyderabad every day and every week, really did make us nuts and drool and hallucinate about biryani.
Well so one evening finally we end up going to North Strathfield to Paradise Biryani House. Well for a Friday evening, it is full and people are standing inside and waiting. A small little eatery with two rooms, for eating. Interiors and decor, nothing interesting or worth mentioning. As we head in, we wait for a few moments and are seated in the second room inside, which is next to the mini kitchen/ store. The table we get is suited for two but we are asked to make three accommodate. Well in some time, a table departs and we request for a change and we get it.
Before we come to the order, lets talk about the demographics. Three boys- oh yes, I still think we are the boys. The menu has an interesting mix of the regular Indian dish variants and special Hyderabad/ Andhra fare. Typical Andhra dishes like the mirapakkiya bhajji, chicken / prawn 65, apollo fish, kodi kura chicken and the gonghura mutton.There is the Nellor Fish curry as well which seemed interesting.
The order is finally a tandoori chicken for starters, a lamb biryani, chicken biryani and a paneer butter masala with roti's. Now before we get to the food, lets talk about the service. the service did seem a bit slow. We were starving and at that point I could have eaten an elephant. The wait was quite long. Perhaps due to the heavy rush, and we did remind a few times. The tandoori chicken eventually arrived and well, it was about OK. well, it was spicy, colorful and hot, but it was essentially what I don't like about Indian food in Sydney for most places. Too much color and and they don't know what real tandoori chicken is. I am sure if the owner of Rajinder Da dhabha at Delhi saw this variant he would have surely commit suicide by burning himself in the furnace where he has grilled the most beautiful roasted chickens.
Well, I did enjoy it, and it was about ok, but it wasn't what I wanted to be. It was the regular stereotyped version of tandoori chicken which I don't like. But I was hungry and I did devour it.
Next again the wait for some time and then the paneer butter masala appeared. Well I did taste it a bit. The paneer was fresh. for my non Indian readers, Paneer is nothing but diced cottage cheese. Paneer Butter Masala is nothing but the Butter chicken variant with cottage cheese replacing the paneer and a popular one among vegetarians. Now when we ordered, I did visualize a smooth creamy version o f the curry which gets dished out at most places. to my surprise, it wasn't. the texture of the gravy was different and the taste was quite different, interesting and nice. Different because it hand not been made too sweet. The paneer was fresh, the curry was spicy. All in all, a descent one. I did like this one. The bread were really good. the naans and roti's were well baked .
For biryani, it has to be goat for me,. I am not too much of the kind who would prefer a chicken biryani. Unfortunately there is no goat biryani and the options are between lamb and chicken. Now lamb is dicey for me as it usually is tough chewy and smelly, so I am really wondering what to do. Anyways, I ask the waiter and he assures me the lamb would be soft. So I decide what the heck, lets try it. So Lamb Biryani it is.
Now lets come to the Biryani. As it appeared, my heart did skip a beat. served in a copper handi, topped with colorful mix of yellow and orange rice, and served with a boiled egg and freshly cut onions. Along came the Mirchi ka Salan and the raita. A few spoonfuls, and I knew this was it. it hit the spot and the taste buds. All these years in Sydney and I just couldn't believe what I had missed. The rice was well spiced. The lamb was actually so soft and tasty, this is probably the first time, I have liked lamb in an Indian dish. soft, non chewy and tasty without the smell. This moment, I lost track of everything and surrendered to my craving for Hyderabadi dum biryani. It was like Kumar and Harold go to White Castle. The biryani was exotic and with the mirchi ka salan, and raita and lamb, it couldn't have been better.
Now coming to the fact that I have had the real thing in Hyderabad, how was this one? Of course, it wouldn't be like the one at Hyderabad. The name Paradise is a bit of a coincidence, but there is no connection between the one in Hyderabad and the one in Sydney. But look it was really good otherwise. I just loved it. The most tasty Hyderabadi biryani and Id recommend this to any one. For people who are looking for the real deal and real food, this is the place.
Would I visit it again? Well, I am dying to be honest to visit again. Very economical. A plate of Biryani was $12- $13. The overall meal for three of us with food and drinks cost about $65. Not bad at all. Serving size is huge. I couldnt finish the Biryani and had to doo a takeaway.
Overall, a small eatery, awesome biryani, average decor and about average on the service. But very huge serving size and very economical.. Highly recommended.
14 George Street
North Strathfield NSW
(02) 9763 5282