KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Once you stop, ask why and taste the results, it dawns on you what the rationale is.
When I first decided to try out Desa Biryani Cafe, I messaged them on WhatsApp to find out the availability of the biryani.
I was politely told that I needed to book my biryani as it may run out. I followed the instructions and called ahead to book my meal, which I did as a takeaway.
When I arrived I was told the reason why preorders are preferred. Apparently only small batches of biryani are made.
As they also do catering, sometimes they close to accommodate these orders hence it’s good to check ahead.
You can also get the chicken dum biryani (whole or half portion) with fall-off-the-bone meat served with gravy, hard boiled egg and raita.
They do inform about any changes to the usual schedule on the Taman Desa Community Facebook page.
As they cook in small batches, the biryani rice is fresh, which the owner told me is the secret behind its deliciousness. Even the curry is cooked upon order.
What I really appreciated was I could even adjust the spice levels to my liking too.
The biryani is cooked in a dum style where it is steamed using fresh ingredients. Put a spoonful of the fluffy long grains in your mouth and you will taste the fragrance from the spices.
It’s a huge portion, enough to feed two people comfortably or even three small eaters.
Cooked upon order, Punjabi kadai chicken is flavourful with adjustable spice levels to suit you (left). The Punjabi kadai mutton has tender meat infused with spices which makes for a delicious pairing with rice (right).
The meat from my mutton foreshank was cooked perfectly. Just like my chicken drumstick with its tender meat that I happily ate with my rice. Just add the gravy with a whole hard boiled egg.
There’s also a tangy raita with finely chopped vegetables to cool down your tongue, if you find the biryani a little too spicy.
The mutton foreshank biryani is priced at RM34.90 while the chicken dum biryani is RM15.60.
There’s also a half portion of chicken biryani for RM11.50. You can also get the biryani rice for RM7.80 to pair with other curries.
It may seem a lot to pay for a plate of biryani rice but this is definitely far superior than even that you get at restaurants.
I also tried out the two curries they offered. There’s the Punjabi kadai chicken (RM6) and the Punjabi kadai mutton (RM10.20). These curries were cooked once I placed my order and I probably waited about 15 minutes since they weren’t busy when I got there.
Find the shop next to 7-Eleven or Fat Rock Restaurant at Taman Desa.
I was rewarded with tasty curries that I could happily eat with a mountain of rice. The mutton was tender too with a nice melt in the mouth texture. The portions were just nice for one person.
And like any good eatery, there’s always a story behind it.
Through a friend’s social media, I found out the origins of this humble half shop eatery once known as Combo Asian Food.
It’s run by “Sam” who used to work at a Japanese restaurant. In the old days, he offered a menu that showcased his heritage and his Japanese restaurant training.
Hence you had katsu don served side by side with chapati. He has since moved to his present premises, next to a barber shop and 7-Eleven.
Now the menu is a mix of Punjabi food and Malaysian favourites like nasi lemak, fried rice and mamak mee goreng. He also offers Malaysian style curries.
So just call or WhatsApp ahead to book your biryani rice. Believe me, it’ll be well worth that extra step.
Desa Biryani Cafe, 22A, Jalan Desa Jaya, Taman Desa, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 9am to 9pm. Tel:+6011-61645484
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