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Nasi Briyani Dubai Express @ Sims Vista near Aljunid MRT Station

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Thanks to buddy Tony Tan for introducing me to this under-the-radar nasi biryani stall - Dubai Express at Sims Vista Market & Food Centre.

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Dubai Express has a busy signboard with most of its menu on display. It says Dubai Express Best Singapore & Mediterranean Heritage Food. Crisp Tasty Hot & Fresh.

According to Tony Tan, the best thing here is their nasi briyani.

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Tony Tan stumbled upon Dubai Express three years ago and was blown away by the quality and taste of their nasi biryani. He later found out that Mr. Mohamed, the stall owner is the grandson of Abdul Rahiman, the founder of the famed Islamic Restaurant (founded in 1919 at North Bridge Road). 

Mr. Mohamed's tiny stall is chock a block with equipment usually associated with hotels / restaurants such as this combi-oven. Mohamed runs the stall alone, so he needs all the technological help. Mohamed's cousin Kalil was known as the "Combi King" as Islamic Restaurant was a pioneer in using combi-ovens in the Indian restaurant community.

Mohamed worked in Islamic Restaurant's kitchen before opening Dubai Express three years ago.


Indonesia and Singapore foreign ministry officials meet over lunch at Islamic Restaurant in 1966. (Image courtesy of NAS.)

One of the oldest restaurants in Singapore, the iconic Islamic Restaurant is one the preferred choices of local and neighbouring country dignitaries for events and celebrations. They are best known for their nasi biryani.

Now, we can have what they are having in a hawker centre 😄

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Five of us, our fourth meal this morning - everything here for $35. It is just a fraction of what it would cost at Islamic Restaurant.

I appreciate it that Dubai Express serve their dishes in nice crockery (especially since we were in a hawker centre). I particularly dislike Earth harming Styrofoam.

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First things first, the nasi biryani rice. Made with long grain basmati rice, they were medium weight and soft-fluffy to the bite. Gentle in spice flavour and aroma, it was not greasy. I can eat lots of this without feeling bloated.

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The lamb shank was huge and smothered in a thick sauce. The meat though slightly firm was juicy inside. The spice flavours were rich but mild in intensity. There was very little lamb gaminess.

The lamb shank went perfectly with the biryani rice.

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Simple crunchy, juicy vegetables with gentle spices.

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Dhal - mild curry with vegetables stewed till soft.

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I love this achar (pickled vegetable). It was sourish sweet spicy and packed a moderate lingering sting in the aftertaste. Nice.

We also had several more dishes but I didn't taste them as I was already full. This was our fourth meal of the food trail and I was warned that there will be two more after this 😱

For your reference, these were the other dishes we ordered.

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Fried Batang fish in spicy sauce.

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Mutton with bone. Beautifully plated like in a restaurant.

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No caption 😜 It is what it is 😄

(Chicken drumstick 🍗 )

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One man down (me) but the rest went on valiantly to demolish the dishes and even proceeded to desserts which Dubai Express also serves 😮

The makan kakis (eating buddies) demolition crew relished the dishes and enjoyed themselves.

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This was just a teaser for me. I enjoyed the nasi briyani with lamb shank and will surely be back to taste the other dishes (and update this post). Meanwhile, if you visited Dubai Express please share your experience in the comments.

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Restaurant name: Dubai Express
Address: 49 Sims Place, stall #01-02, Sims Vista Market & Food Centre, Singapore 380049
Hours: 6:00am - 3:00pm

Halal



Date visited: 21 Oct 2020

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