We all know how critically the Islamabadis analyze what we choose to call biryani. As per the Karachites, we fail to know what real authentic Karachi biryani is. We take what we get, which is mostly pulao with yellow coloring, but nowhere near to what real authentic biryani is! For the love of Biryani, we don’t back down and keep hunting to find a perfect biryani in our territory. Which is why Chefling Tales decided to go on a hunt of their own.  We researched on famous food centric groups on Facebook and questioned passionate foodies directly and made a list of top 4 biryanis we have in the city.

We made sure that these top 4 biryanis were then tested by some biryani enthusiasts who know what real authentic biryani is, including experts from Karachi in our judging panel as well.

To ensure that the community of foodies doesn’t remain unaware of this, we did a tasting session of the selected top biryanis, with our panel in a live Facebook video session. The judges were not revealed where the biryanis came from. The judgment was based on the following basis:

  • The aroma and balance of spices
  • The rice quality
  • The tenderness of the meat
  • Authenticity of the flavors (including a debate on aloo or no aloo)

Watch the video to find out what the judges have to say:

Here is our insight on each of the selected biryanis:

  1. Eighteen Stories Cafe & Grill

‘Eighteen Stories’ is situated in F-11 Markaz, Islamabad, the biryani from the cafe was said to be yet another biryani loved by the Islamabadis. Although upon tasting, our judges uttered it only “looked like biryani, but didn’t taste like it at all. The proper spices, and even aroma of biryani were missing.

2. The Biryani of Margallas

It is coined as the most loved Biryani of Islamabad, and is a proper Karachi biryani, located in F-6 Super Market. In the opinion of our judges, it was given an average. Some of the comments also concluded that it is not a biryani at all.

3. Mehboob Cuisines & Grill

Mehboob Cuisine, hailed as THE most authentic Karachi biryani food shop, is located in Jinnah Avenue, Blue Area. It was a big disappointment for our judges and us, as we had some really high expectations from the food! The rice was overcooked and the masalas were not mixed to assess them properly! Overall, it was scored as the 2nd best biryani in the list.

4. Hot & Chilli Restaurant  (the Winning Biryani)

Served in a mitti ki handi, the biryani from Hot & Chilli tasted closest to a Karachi biryani. It was one of the top most recommended biryani in town, located in G – 10 and F – 10 Markaz. As per the experts, overall it was good, minus the egg and nuts. Being on the top out of the 4 biryanis, it still managed to get only 8/10.

Image source : Facebook

This means the hunt to the authentic Karachi biryani in Islamabad isn’t over, we need to find the biryani that is 10/10, that has the perfect aroma, well-cooked rice,  tender chicken (no eggs please).  We believe it is out there, perhaps in a small dhaba or a hidden spot somewhere in the city, or in the kitchen of our home chefs!

Let us know if you think there is a perfect authentic biryani in the capital.

Ramsha Rehan

Writer, Passionate Reader, Analyzer and dreamer. Loves food and travelling. Looking for an escape.