Koothurar Nasi Briyani – No Signboard but Sold Out Within 3 Hours!
I kid you not when I say it does not have a signboard. Finding this place was already not easy, and finding the stall was even more difficult. This stall, which sits in a corner, can be easily missed as it just looks like a spacious kitchen.
Started in 1988, along Victory Street, by Sadiq’s father, Koothurar Nasi Briyani moved to Blk 17 Beach Road and became known as the famous Beach Road Nasi Briyani. Sadin, the current main chef, who learnt and took over his father’s business some time back is polite and friendly. His objective is simple and clear — he wants to serve his customers the best.
Although Koothurar Nasi Briyani is a relatively small stall, there were at least 7 people, including Sadin, performing different roles in it. I noticed 3 people in the kitchen, and 4 preparing to serve customers.
A staff starts stacking aromatic basmati rice from a huge pot onto plates, before another piles on mutton, chicken or fish masala. This keeps going on until everything is sold out.
The workers work systematically at top speed and ensure that the queue moves along quickly. However, there tend to be a few regulars who order a big volume for takeaway so be prepared to still wait a little. Fortunately, I came early and I manage to get a seat in the coffeeshop.
Pickled cucumber and carrot provided a refreshing contrast to the spicy dish. The dalcha curry (an Hyderabadi Indian curry made from mutton, tamarind and split chickpeas) served on the side is watery, but grainy, and not spicy at all to me. I actually preferred the mutton gravy with my basmati rice. The mutton gravy was more savoury and thicker than the dalcha curry. The more I ate, the spicier it got!
I chose nasi briyani with mutton tulang because I knew that the meat nearer to the bone tends to be more tender. And true enough, the meat was fork-tender and I earned myself a flavourful tulang. A pleasant surprise was the tendon-like soft marrow! Loveeeeee it! But be careful to not choke from sucking the tulang as it requires some effort to get all the juices out.
The mutton was just a tad gamey. At $6, the mutton is definitely a solid choice to pair with the fragrant nasi which was fluffy, light and not too oily.
Something interesting which I noticed within the basmati rice was pandan leaves! Initially, I was just curious about the short stripe of light green ingredient so I gave it a smell. The sweet and pleasant smell was so familiar and I thought to myself “Is this PANDAN LEAF?!” I clarified with Sadiq and gosh, it really was pandan leaf! No wonder the basmati rice was so fragrant!
Koothurar Nasi Briyani serves other Indian dishes too, but you have to try the nasi briyani!
Koothurar Nasi Briyani
Address: 17 Beach Rd, #01-4705, Singapore 190017
Phone: 6392 5247
Opening Hours: 11am to 2pm daily. Closed on alternate Tuesdays.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.