99 Bistro and Kitchen – NEW bamboo biryani in Singapore!
Since their launch 20 months ago, 99 Bistro and Kitchen has dedicated themselves to serving authentic and delectable Indian cuisine. Head chef Syed Shah has revolutionised the biryani dish by introducing bamboo biryani on 19 April 2017. After graduating from SHATEC in 2004, head chef Syed Shah amassed a wealth of experience from working in different hotels like Marina Mandarin and Mandarin Oriental. He also further honed his skills during his stint at The Landmark Restaurant. Now, he doubles as a head chef of 99 Bistro and Kitchen and a celebrity chef who teaches young aspiring chefs.
I ordered the famed Bamboo Biryani set ($24) which comes with a cup of hot honey lemon ginger drink and a cup of iced blueberry soda. The set is good for 2 people and for good reason. The generous 450-gram lamb shank is served atop a mountain of basmati rice, and flanked by 3 different sauces. The bamboo lamb biryani consists of fresh Australian lamb shank, Pakistani Karachi spices, Indian basmati rice and a hard-boiled egg, all cooked together in a south Indian bamboo trunk.
The dish is served in a bamboo trunk wrapped in banana leaves. This serving method locks the flavor of the spices into the meat and rice. Before knocking the lamb biryani out of the bamboo trunk onto a plate, a staff will offer to explain the preparation of the dish. I appreciated the effort taken by the staff to explain the dish.
Lamb is an acquired taste for many because of the gamey taste that it often possesses. As a beef lover, I must admit that lamb is not one of my favorite go-to meats. The lamb is first braised for 2 hours before it is cooked with basmati rice and spices in the bamboo trunk for 30 minutes. Much to my surprise, the lamb did not taste “gamey” and was luxuriously tender and flavorful. I also liked that the lamb shank was quite fatty and adds some texture to the dish. Owing to head chef’s Syed Shah’s connections as a butcher previously, the lamb shanks are directly import from Australia.
When asked about the difference between regular biryani and the bamboo biryani, head chef Syed Shah jokingly discloses that he chose to use Pakistani Karachi spices because of its milder flavor in comparison to regular Indian spices used at other Biryani stalls. The spice was not overwhelming but instead contributes an aromatic fragrance and rich flavor to the dish. Albeit a little spicy, the spices help to bring the lamb and rice together.
The rice was fragrant and was embedded with roasted cashew nuts and cherry tomatoes. The cashews and cherry tomatoes were, however, scarce and it would have been nice if they had been more generous with them. Nevertheless, the perfectly cooked basmati rice more than made up for it!
If you’re a biryani fan, you might realize that the bamboo biryani is served without any curry. In traditional biryani dishes, the curry helps to marry the masala together with the rice and the meat. The bamboo, however, replaces the need for curry in this dish.
Head chef Syed Shah also recommends completing the meal with a cup of the hot ginger drink which will only be served once you finish your meal. Made from ginger, honey and hot water, the drink is supposed to aid digestion since the biryani is heavy on the stomach. I liked how the honey ginger drink wasn’t spicy and it helped to take some of the heat from the spice away. Personally, I find the drink very soothing and thoroughly loved it.
To sum it up, the bamboo biryani was simply shiok and the personalized dining experience was a real game changer for me. I was thoroughly satisfied and will definitely be back. If your loved ones aren’t free to dine with you, I’ll be more than happy to oblige.
99 Bistro & Kitchen
Address: Lifelong Learning Institute, 11 Eunos Road 8, #01-02, Singapore 408601
Opening Hours: 12pm to 330pm and 530pm to 8pm from Monday to Saturday.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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