“Sugar, spice and everything nice.
These were the ingredients chosen to create the perfect little girl.”
These are the ingredients to create the perfect meal. A perfect Indian meal.
So one Monday evening, when my partner came and pick me up from work, he asked:
“Are you hungry?”
“Well, I can eat. What are you feeling?”
“I’m feeling for briyani dum.”
“We can go to Arab Street, eat at Zam Zam maybe.”
“No, I want Briyani Dum.. Let’s go Mustafa to eat.”
“What’s the difference?”
Okay, so here is an education. There is apparently a difference between the normal briyani (pronounced Bree-ya-knee) you eat at food stalls or weddings, and briyani dum (pronounced as dumb: don’t make the “b” sound). He explained:
“Okay so, in a normal Briyani, the rice and meat is separately cooked. But in Briyani Dum, all the rice and ingredients like meat and potatoes are cooked together, sealed in the pot and then slow cooked. You will be able to taste more flavours.”
“Ohhh, I didn’t know that. So we are going to Mustafa to eat? You mean the shops around the area?”
“No, I mean at Mustafa itself.”
So, I’m left slightly confused. There’s a food place at Mustafa? Is he referring to the shops on the first floor? I thought they only sold bites on the first floor? I’ve been to Mustafa so many times, but never noticed a restaurant. But not wanting to appear like a bimbo, I chose to keep silent and not ask too many questions. Not that I am fooling him anyway.
“There’s a restaurant at the top of Mustafa that sells very good Briyani Dum. I’ll bring you there.”
So off we go.
Upon reaching Mustafa Center, we went to the newer building, the extension, and walked all the way to the end of the building. There is an elevator on the inside that will bring you to the rooftop restaurant on the 7th Floor. The moment I was stepped out of the lift, I was greeted by the friendly staff, and was instantly hit by the smell of spices and curry! I smell yummy in my tummy!
The lift opens up to the outdoor area, so the staff asked us for the number of people in our party and let us into the indoor area. We were in a dome, surrounded by water fixtures, and I think a small garden? Can’t be sure, wasn’t paying attention to the greenery and my surroundings. I was focused on the food on the tables I passed by as we were led to our table. I spy naan bread, butter chicken, I think kebabs of some kind, thosai and others.
Time for the menu.
Okay, I must admit, you can get the same food in the menu at other places at cheaper prices, but when you eat at a restaurant, you’re paying for atmosphere, you’re paying for service, and quality (most times!). So I didn’t really bat an eyelid when I saw $15 for a portion of Briyani Dum (your choice of chicken, beef or mutton!). If you want to take a look at the menu, here you go: http://www.mustafa.com.sg/mkebabs/
There’s no price listed on the site though, but it is affordable. We ordered a portion of mutton briyani dum, butter naan, cheese and garlic naan, butter chicken, fritters with prawn, crab and potato fillings and another chicken dish. With our drinks, our bill totalled $90++. We had wanted to order more, but our waiter had actually advised us the servings and portion and made some recommendations. We eventually removed some other items we initially wanted to order.
And I tell you, I wasn’t left disappointed.
Typically, they will serve the appetisers first, then the main courses later. As we were starving, I said, serve everything at once. It didn’t take them long, but when the food came, I was shocked.
First came the briyani dum. The portion of the briyani was a lot! It can feed 2-3 people! The briyani came with a yoghurt mint sauce. When I first tasted the briyani, I was completely floored! My mouth was bursting with flavours! I can taste and smell the spices! And the meat, so tender! It was so good!
The chicken dish (of which I cannot remember the name) was their special of the day actually. I could taste the lemon grass and coconut and all the other spices. It was not spicy and I actually ate it with the briyani. Think that it actually complements the briyani really well.
The naan bread and butter chicken taste exactly like it should. The butter chicken was tender and I could easily break it into pieces so that I can even it out on my butter naan. One butter naan (they cut the naan bread into two, so you get 2 pieces) was big and actually enough for one person, but being greedy, I ordered 2 butter naan instead. And still, I had butter chicken left over once my naan bread was finished.
The prawn fritters were a bit of a disappointment. In all honesty, it didn’t come like how I imagined it to be. The fritters were fried but mushy. I had imagined that it would be on skewers but it wasn’t. It was a little spicy to my liking, and that was the only dish that we didn’t really like.
We couldn’t finish our food because the portions were definitely a lot more than expected. And we took our time eating our food, had plenty of conversations (okay, I was talking more), and stayed there for almost 2.5 hours. I’d definitely come again!
The meal was fantastic and I walked out with a very full but happy stomach. So what if I put on a lot of calories, as long as my belly is happy!
“Did you enjoy yourself today?” he asked.
“Yes I did!”
“Did you feel like I brought you out dating like when we first met?”
“Yes I did!”