Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nandini Restaurant, Dubai

Nandini Restaurant
04 335 4389

We were both huge fans of the Nandini chain of restaurants in Bangalore. This was also one of my husbands key accounts when he worked with Pepsi. He has eaten here so often that every biryani that he eats is compared against the Nandini biriyani.

The Nandini biryani is more of an Andhra style pulao (unfortunately I never found an equivalent even in 2 years of being based in Hyderabad!) which goes excellently with the Andhra style chicken chilli. The second dish is not for those with weak taste buds. With my love of chillis, I'm normally leaking out of my eyes and nose and have smoke coming out of my ears, but the dynamite taste is worth it.

After missing these dishes for so long, it was such a pleasure to discover that they have a couple of branches in the UAE. The biryani here costs 15 Dhs. You can ask for extra rice (without the meat) after ordering the biryani for 10 dhs (this concept of being able to order dish B only after ordering dish A is a uniquely South Indian restaurant concept.) The chicken chilly (not to be confused with the Chinese Chilly chicken that is also on their menu) is 13dhs.

As is usual with most Indian restaurants (outside Egypt), the biryani is served with a small bowl each of raita and a side curry.

Watching us relish the sauce with the chicken chilli, the waiter obligingly got us more sauce when we had polished the original plate off. :)

We normally supplement this biryani fest with a side dish of baby corn chilli or ladiesfinger (bhindi) 65 or carrot french fry or something like that in the 11 to 15 dhs range.

A large bottle of water, essential with the chillies is 2.5 dhs.

They do provide complementary pappadums and melted ghee (which goes very well even with the biriyani). The table normally has 4 basic condiments. Chutney pudi (better known as Andhra gun powder) gongura (a kind of green leafy vegetable found only in Andhra) chutney, a lime or mixed pickle and another pickle or chutney depending on the season.

Wonderful value for money with excellent taste.

I heard this restaurant had recently moved locations, will update the address once I find the updated one.

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