Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Makanan Bollywood Dum Briyani in Peninsula Shopping Centre Singapore

Milton is slowly letting me into his list of favourite places to eat in Singapore 😋 Today was one of his top places for nasi briyani on our sunny island - Makanan Bollywood at the basement of Peninsula Shopping Centre.

Bollywood Restaurant is usually full house during lunch. Pro Tip: Come around 10:30am when the dum briyani is just ready and before the lunch crowd descends on the place.

Bollywood Restaurant has a full menu of all the familiar Indian Muslim rice, noodle and roti dishes, but they are best known for their nasi briyani - specifically, dum briyani or briyani dam.

In the dum briyani style of the classic Persian dish, the meat, herbs, spices and basmati rice are all cooked together in one large pot. This allows the best blend of all the complementary flavours from all the ingredients to infuse into the rice and meat.

Jawad's grandfather founded Makanan Bollywood in 1968 (that's half a century ago). It was then a nameless push cart stall at the alley behind nearby Capitol Theatre.

This part of Singapore holds a lot of memories for me (and many Singaporeans too). I first came to Capitol Theatre when my dad brought me to watch the 1967 blockbuster 龍門客棧 Dragon Inn.

I came here a lot during my teens to shop for jeans and sports clothing. It was a phase when wearing a little red label (and such) means the world. It's a phase we all pass through, I guess.

Now, back to nasi briyani 😄

For Milton, and it is the same for me, nasi briyani means dum briyani with mutton - anything else is a compromise 😄 So, we had a chicken thigh on the side. Teh halia (ginger milk tea) is also a must. Everything here for S$21.50.

Bollywood makes only one pot of mutton briyani a day (using Aussie lamb), so if you eat only mutton briyani, please be here before 1pm to be safe. Chicken briyani is available throughout the business day.

First things first, my fork and spoon torn into the large chunk of mutton (with bone). The moist tender meat separated easily, revealing the juicy fibres inside.

In the mouth, the mutton was tenderly soft and moist. Along with the salty, savoury, mildly spicy masala taste, the mutton's gaminess was quite discernible. The mutton wasn't shy about its gaminess yet it was not overpowering. I enjoyed this mutton a lot.

As I savoured the tenderly soft meat rich with spices and natural lamb taste, my mind ran through my internal briyani checklist, searching for a mutton better than this.

There is none better in my list now 😮

In the aromatics and flavour department, the soft yellow colour rice was rather mild. The masala taste leaned on the salty side and dominated the flavours. The spice aroma was not prominent. I didn't smell any spice perfume e.g. saffron.

Plenty of juicy crunch and nice sweet sourish zing in this achar.

👉 Makanan Bollywood serves a nice dum briyani, especially with the soft tender flavourful lamb. The environment was very comfortable, clean and neat, and service was very efficient yet friendly. Bollywood Restaurant is super accessible too as it is just 5 minutes walk from City Hall MRT station. Oh.. I should add that the teh halia was great - just remember to ask for more ginger, if you like more spicy kick.

Restaurant name: Makanan Bollywood 
Address: Peninsula Shopping Centre, 3 Coleman Street #B1-06, Singapore 179804
GPS: 1°17'31.0"N 103°51'01.6"E | 1.291950, 103.850434
Nearest MRT: City Hall (5 minutes walk)
Tel: 8571 0904
Hours: 10:30am - 8:00pm


Date visited: 1 Aug 2018

🎥 The movie I saw with my dad at Capitol Theatre when I was 7 years old. The movie still looks contemporary today, so one can imagine what a breakthrough it was over 50 years ago. 

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