Hyderabadi Biryani is something I became a fan of ever since I shifted to UAE. I have tried Hyderabadi biryani in every corner of Dubai, found some really good and some were meh. Exactly, the same meh, which Karachities do, when they eat biryani at Lahore.
One of my friends in Dubai, who knew of my obsession with Hyderabadi Biryani, said, you still need to try the best. On asking, from where, he told, Abu Dhabi. The Immediate response, I gave was, Ab itna b khuwar nai k Biryani kliye Abu Dhabi jaoun. On this , he said, whenever we are going Abu Dhabi next, we gonna have that Hyderabadi Biryani from there. The Place is called Ritaj, which is in Al markaziya , Abu Dhabi
The Plan :
Somewhat 15 days later, we had an abrupt plan to go to YAS Water world, Abu Dhabi. It was a good fun day there, and while we were about to leave Waterpark, I reminded my friend of that Biryani Promise he made. All tired, but excited for the authentic taste, as promised, we reached to this biryani place at Abu Dhabi. We could have ordered anything and everything, as we were hungry like anything. But then our wallets, start singing” Babu ji dheerey chalna, bhook Mai Zara smbhlna“. My weird obsession with songs brings out songs in every situation.
The restaurant :
While we stand in front of that, it looked nothing more than those of at Saddar, where its written Family Hall barabr mai hai. The exterior wasn’t impressive. I actually started doubting the quality and taste. But we had to step in and order coz paapi pait.
As soon as we entered, immediately there was a pin drop silence and everyone turned around to look at us. Na na, we were not the stars obviously. It was the rowdy laughter, which made them suspicious. Little they know that we actually were laughing on us, who traveled this far for this Hyderabadi biryani place. Yes, we were being judgemental on the outlook ( after all, we are desi, and judging is our favorite game ). There was an awkward silence for a moment and then everyone forgot that Like Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.
Shhhh … Koi nai hai:
We decided to sit upstairs since it was already crowded on the ground floor. We were also suspicious of more awkward silence moments, coz we six would be cracking lame jokes. Our laughing had already made them stop once, didn’t wanna do that again.
Once seated, we looked right and then left, then again right and again left. Turns out, all the service staff had disappeared from the first floor. It might be our Zombie attire which made them suspicious. I guess, they thought we gonna have them for appetizers. one of the group members started shouting politely, BHAIYAAA AREY OO BHAIYA. Obviously, he didn’t get the brotherly attention from any of the service staff. We switched to Plan B, which apparently was the same plan for all the alphabets to follow.
A loud chorus began, chanting “Bhook Lagi hai Khana Do, Bhook lagi hai Khana do,”. This False alarm worked and the servers came running. Naaa, Not really! They didnt come coz we were hungry. They came that with our hideous voice, we might not make the other customers run for life.
Hyderabadi Biryani Hazir Ho!!!
We were provided with a menu, which was in a such a bad condition, as that of a 5 rupees note which isnt being used and all taped. For a minute we thought, we are at a memon’s dhaba who doesn’t want to change menu unless it’s no more.
Ignoring the qabil e reham condition of the menu, we started reading the options. You must be thinking, haye Kaisey options when they went for Hyderabadi biryani. Well, there are several types of Hyderabadi Biryani and we had to pick from that. After going through the menu several times, like we had to give viva of that, we finally were sorted.
We ordered Chicken 65 ( yes, you read it right, its 65, but I like what you had in mind ), Mutton Biryani and Steamed Rice with tomato Chicken. We were six and we were of mind that this would be less for 6 people. Thanks to our server who stopped us for being over enthusiastic and told us that this would be enough for you 6. Martay kya na kartay, we agreed to him and stopped ordering more.
Aur Khana agaya!
It took around 30 to 35 minutes for our order to be served, meanwhile, we were munching on the salad. Then we saw 3 people coming with several dishes. Qasmay, bari royal wali feels ari thein. So that was order. Along with that comes complimentary Khathi Daal, Hyderabadi Achar gravy, Raita, and More Salad. I literally started drooling over the food. Apparently, this was the first time, I was least bothered about taking the food pics and was more interested in eating that.
Chicken 65 wasn’t that spicy as it should be, ( not the one I had been eating throughout). Whereas I am not a fan of mutton biryani, but this one was so good. Chicken Tomato seemed good too and so is daal and other condiments.
After the main course, we were provided with the complimentary Double ka Meetha by the owner, seeing that we had loved the food that much and are coming from Dubai for this food. Double ka Meetha, is a more refined shape of Shahi Tukrey, which we normally have made out of bread. Double ka meetha is more meetha and please your appetite. It was delicious and was kind of a cherry on the top of a great Hyderabadi Biryani.
Verdict of Hyderabadi Biryani coz a food blogger :
The crucial time is here. Verdict about the food because I am a food blogger ( or that’s what I like to think at least). So the overall food was amazing and finger licking good. Finger licking coz we had that with hand, not with a spoon. Yes, in Hyderabadi restaurants you are not provided with the spoons to eat with.
Chicken 65 wasn’t spicy enough as I had mentioned earlier. But it was yummy. I am not that much fan of Mutton Biryani, but this Mutton biryani made me have a second round of serving. Chicken Tomato was good and had a great texture, even tasted nice. Kathi Daal with steam rice was love, ( I could eat that straight for a week without any complaint). Achar Gravy was a perfect balance of spicy and tangy as it enhanced the taste of the food. The overall verdict of this Hyderabadi Biryani place in form of stars is as below
Exterior of RITAJ: 3 Stars
Interior of RITAJ: 3 stars
Service: 4 Stars
Food variety: 5 Stars
Food taste: 4.5 Stars
The place is good, the staff is courteous, value for money and a must try. Although a lil bit can be done with the food but its also best the way they are serving it there. So next time you are in Abu Dhabi and cruising for some good food. Don’t forget to go to Al Markaziya. Ok And I have written so much about the Hyderabadi Biryani. Meanwhile, you type your opinion about the blog in the comments below, I must go and make something for me.