Restaurant Review: Arsalan Biryani in Kolkata

biryaniOur flight was late thanks to the single operational runaway at the Mumbai domestic airport. We reached Kolkata after 10pm (scheduled time of arrival was 8:30pm). Our hunger were running overdrive and so on our way home, we stopped by at Arsalan an extremely popular Biryani joint to pack up some biryani and kebabs to take home.Since it was almost 11 pm, to our disappointment mutton biryani was over and so we opted for the next best thing – chicken biryani and two plates of reshmi kebabs. Even though it was nearing midnight, Arsalan was packed with people.  The ambience is nothing extraordinary, a typical small eatery, nothing fancy, but their speed of service is worth taking notice of.

Don’t even bother to look out for a steward to come up to you with a smile and seat you at a table. You want to eat there, go sit, one of the employees at Arsalan will come over and ask you what you’d like to have, will serve it like you were in a hostel, you eat, pay and go.

Chicken and mutton biryani are of course, the popular favourites here, but mostly takeaways. As soon as we placed our order, one of the employees from Arsalan ran inside the kitchen while we waited outside looking at the open kitchen, where the cooks were busy grilling seekh kebabs and tandoors of all kind.

Less than 10 minutes, we had paper boxes of steaming hot chicken biryani and kebabs and we were on our way back home. I was so hungry that I was tempted to just sit in Arsalan and have the biryani there itself, but then we had family waiting back home. If you’re in Kolkata, and you don’t taste biryani, then I think you may have missed something. You must have a biryani dish at least once in your trip and of course from Arsalan.

The place was packed that night, while some chose to eat there, others did takeaways. Since it was Christmas week, Arsalan declined all home delivery offers, but I don’t think people minded that, they came over to pick up their orders. I got their takeaway menu and they have a lot to offer from Mutton in gravy, Chicken in gravy, Tandoori and Kebabs, Fishy kebabs, gravy and seafood, vegetarian and rolls.

We reached home by midnight and wolfed down the biryani with not a trace of the food left on the plate; which means, the food was fantastic and of course we were hungry; and the only thing I remember that night was enjoying a warm goblet of brandy, relishing the fluffy rice of the chicken biryani and dozing off in the cool wintry night of Kolkata.

PS – On my recent visit to Kolkata in January 2014, I’d like to admit that I was disappointed with the biryani we got from Arsalan. They served the biryani rice with one huge mammoth size of a boiled potato and just one piece of meat – totally not worth the price, effort and branding. Sorry Arsalan, but I’d like to see the mutton or chicken in the biryani if I ask for it and not being substituted by a large potato. I’d like you to live up to my review. So the next time I visit Kolkata I’d like to see a better biryani! 🙂

Mutton Biryani – Rs. 75/-
Mutton Biryani special – Rs. 120/-
Biryani Arsalan – Rs. 80/-
Chicken Biryani – Rs. 75/-
Chicken Biryani special  – Rs. 120/-
Vegetable Biryani – Rs. 30/-

Overall Rating:
Ambience – * * * * (food is more important here)
Service – * * * * * (super fast)
Presentation of food & drinks –  Don’t bother
Quantity of food served – * * * * * (excellent)
Quality of food – * * * * * (brilliant)
Price – * * * * * (total VFM)
The Snoot Factor – None.

1) Marina Garden Court,
191, Park Street
7 Point Crossing
Phone – 033 – 2284-8556/ 3291-8297

2) 28, Circus Avenue
Phone – 2281-3921/ 2290-0487

*Please Note – Pricing may change/ vary according to location and time.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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