A humble restaurant, walking up the staircase you could actually even learn how to say ‘nakko’ to overeating. Right from the very first step inside this small biryani hub, you’d be surrounded by nostalgia of young days when restaurants like these with ‘no frills attached’, simple, uncomplicated and just so modest were the most sought after. They make up half your childhood memories. Smoked Biryani House is another venture by the owners of TAB, who wanted to create a place dedicated to devour the authentic Hydrabadi dum Biryani. Located at the busiest and the most thronged Sector 18 Market, Noida, this place can play hide ‘n’ seek with you – as the unpretentious branding and small entrance might miss your sight. The look and feel is simple – the idea was to recreate the old city of nawabs – though the look is yet not to the brim, I wouldn’t call it thematically digressed. The photographs of nawabs, old architectural marvel and other trinkets fill up the walls. Seatings are modest – wooden chairs and tables lend an antiquated feel to the place. The ambiance is happy with an over courteous manager who is loquaciously warm. I can’t compare the décor to that of TAB, Gurgaon – it doesn’t pass off as bonafide but it’s reasonably satisfactory – this bijou place is more about its food than its décor – like those small Hydrabadi joints and hash houses which look mediocre but are power packed with laudable kitchens that dish out the best cuisine.
The first thing that I was served was their signature mock-tail – Virgin Mojito. Seriously I had reservations before trying a Virgin Mojito at a place that doesn’t boast of an impressive mock-tail reservoir. Let me tell you guys – what I tasted was simply wow. A good Virgin Mojito – refreshing, full of greens and just so aptly sweet. Good work SBH!
Then came the starters – a platter full of specialities both veg and nonveg. I would like to mention that the Chilly Paneer is a must try – the Chinese version has been replaced with this Hydrabadi version – the Kadee patta flavor sans ajinamato was beautifully achieved. Loved it! Even the Chicken 65 is really good – spicy and delectable. Next on my plate were the Apollo Fish – well made with all South Indian spices embedded to perfection. The fish was delicate to taste with the pungency of spices hitting your nerve right. I didn’t like the Tandoori Mushroom and the Manchurian. You could give it a skip too. There is an array of Tandoori items to relish. Meanwhile my main course was getting ready to be savored. I ordered a few of their signature dishes before indulging in the biryani that was cooking on traditional Hydrabadi dum style.
The Dum ka Murg was what I relished the most – the creamy buttery gravy and the tender chicken is just a perfect dish to savor with your favorite butter naan. Our very own authentic Paneer Butter Masala is also a safe bet here, actually a must try. The recipe remains unadulterated but the flavor that the chef brings to this dish is unique. One more vegetarian delight that the place prides in is the Vegetable Korma – simplicity epitomized. Important veggies cooked in a uni-toned gravy, quite bland for the spice lovers though. I am a fan of uncomplicated taste.
Now was the time to uncover the aroma of the dum biryani – that came in ceramic olden pots. The biryanis are topped with coal infused with cardamom and pure ghee. The aroma will lure you into overeating but beware of your imposture senses! We tried the vegetarian biryani, the Chicken Biryani and the Mutton Biryani. Of the three, I like the Chicken Biryani – because of the traditional technique of cooking it on dum for hours, the chef of SBH has kind of achieved the target but there is a long way to go before they can call themselves an authentic Biryani house. The marinated chicken cooks separately and the rice separately with designated spices to form this delicacy. I liked the smell of the coal infused with the stimulus of the biryani but beyond that there wasn’t much to marvel on – maybe it’s too soon to comment considering that they are only a few months old. It is served with Mirchi ka Salan and raita.
I ended it on a sweet note, obviously. Kaddu ki Kheer it was! The staff of the restaurant have nicknamed it ‘death’ because of the popular belief that anyone who will have it once will die out of orgasmic delight!
Well, yes it is one of the best deserts to dig into while dining here. Luscious, fragrant and delicate to eat.
Casa: Sector 18 Market, Noida