Taste was ok. A bit of heat, but to me, the fragrance was lacking. And the basmati was very dry. I know in certain style of biryani the grains are supposed to be separate from each other. This was a different level of dry.
This was the second time I grabbed from this place. Its a small local chain that specializes in biryanis. In fact, they have the word biryani in their name. The first time I grabbed a vijayawada biryani and wasn’t impressed. Wasn’t planning to go back. But I kept hearing that the expat Indian population really loves their biryanis and some say they can’t find this flavor from home elsewhere. So I gave them another try and got the hyderbadi. I liked it definitely better than the vijayawada, but I didn’t find it so appealing that I must go back next time given there are renditions around here that I rate more.
But, I didn’t grow up in India or Pakistan, nor is my family Indian or Pakistani, and I have never been to the region. So I am in no position to assess authenticity. I can only say whether I like it compared to the other biryanis I’ve had over the years- all from restaurants around the SF Bay Area, with the exception of my first one- that’s from a restaurant near the Millenium Dome in London. I’ve heard that proper and awesome biryani are found in places like weddings in India and restaurant versions are just a pale shadow. But since I’ve been only invited to one wedding in India and I didn’t attend, I’ve yet to taste this mythical-to-me exemplary version of biryani. So I can only stick to restaurant biryanis.