I used to think that to get really good nasi briyani you have to go to Batu Pahat, the nasi briyani Capital of Malaysia.
Today, I found a nasi briyani shop as good as the likes of Nasi Baryani Mohd Shah and Nasi Bariani Power of Batu Pahat fame.That's a very bold claim, I know. Fans of Nasi Baryani Mohd Shah and Nasi Bariani Power might even say that's an outrage :P
But, those were my exact thoughts as I savoured my nasi briyani at Dean Briyani Hyderabad in Kempas, Johor Bahru.
Actually, I did not discover Dean Briyani Hyderabad, myself. For this I have to thank, KF Seetoh of Makansutra who mentioned it to me and Dean Briyani Hyderabad was featured in his popular show "The Food Surprise!".
I requested for Dean Briyani Hyderabad's signature lamb shank nasi briyani at the suggestion of the boss, Enche' Dean.
While waiting in great anticipation for my lamb shank nasi briyani to arrive, every time the kitchen door swung open a waft of fragrant spice aroma escaped into the dining area. It's like those automatic air refreshers found in offices, puffing a spray of aromatic nasi briyani spices fragrance into the air at regular intervals.
The ruby hued mutton was tender and literally dropped off the bone with the gentlest scrapping with the fork.
The tender fibres were deeply infused with rich spices.
The meat felt tender, smooth and tasted creamy because of the fats and fatty marrow. The combination of tender, spice saturated fibres, fats, marrow and basmati rice was simply heavenly.
The delicious basmati rice was nutty, the grains were separate, well coated with fragrant spices, peppered with interesting condiments, and not greasy. I emphasised "not greasy" because Dean Briyani Hyderabad's basmati rice is cooked without using ghee. We can eat lots of this delicious basmati rice without feeling bloated or jelak as we say in Malaysia and Singapore.
Dean Briyani Hyderabad is a relatively young business. Opened just over two years ago, Dean Briyani Hyderabad shot to fame quickly with media attention and word of mouth.
The boss Enche' Dean said that his dad is from India and this is the nasi briyani recipe his mum uses at home.
Dean Briyani Hyderabad is located in the spanking, spacious clubhouse of the TNB staff quarters in Kempas, Johor Bahru.
When you arrived at the entrance of the TNB staff quarters, pause a while at the guard post. Inform the security staff that you are going for the "nasi briyani" and they will gladly direct you to Dean Briyani Hyderabad restaurant.
A large wall mural in the restaurant tells a long story about the origins of Hyderabadi Briyani. If you are not a history buff, just read the last sentence which summed it all up, very well ;P
Restaurant name: Dean Briyani Hyderabad
Address: Kompleks Perumahan TNB (TNB Staff Quarters Clubhouse), Taman Kempas, Johor Bahru
Hours: 11:30am to 4:00pm (closed on Sunday)
Date visited: 3 Sep 2012