Have you ever questioned the origin of the elusive kebab? Is it originally Turkish or Persian? We all seem to hold the dish near to our hearts (and stomachs), as it is presented today in the most sumptuous flavor profiles from different parts of the region. For this reason alone, it makes perfect sense to set this question aside, and head to a destination that celebrates the bountiful flavors of the Middle East. Enter Biryani & Kebabi, a new restaurant concept by Al Sabah & Kohli group that bridges the gap between the various interpretations of Kebab, Biryani and other iconic regional dishes, all presented in one elegant, modern setting in Egaila’s Arabia Mall.
Gone are the squabbles with friends over whether you’ll be dining at an Indian, Persian, or Kuwaiti restaurant, as Biryani & Kebabi delivers authentic renditions of all of your favorites. While both words are of Farsi origin, the restaurant goes above and beyond to offer you an array of dishes that have been adopted by different regions in India and the Middle East throughout history given the region’s fame for the spice trade. Imagine a traditional Tandoor alongside a hearty serving of Chicken Machboos. The sweet aroma of Kashmiri Biryani and succulent Persian kebabs—such is the essence of the cuisine offered at this establishment.
With its Earth-inspired design, Biryani & Kebabi offers a serene recluse in the heart of Arabia Mall. You will first be greeted by large windows that open up to an outdoor terrace. The indoor dining area is flooded with natural light during the daytime, beautifully illuminating the shades of green and burnt amber that envelop the space. A sleek industrial wall offers a modern presentation that showcases large mason jars filled with glorious Middle Eastern spices, offering an elegant hint to diners about the flavorful meal that is soon to follow.
We began our foray with a selection of starters that included Hummus alongside the basket filled with yoghurt, spicy pickles and local pitta bread. The salad selection will take you on a journey across the region, from Lebanese Fattouch to modern Middle Eastern-inspired fig and feta cheese salad. The breads on offer to accompany your starters, or mains, include delectable Halloumi cheese naan, zaatar naan, stuffed breads, roti and so much more.
When it came to our mains, we were mesmerized by the selections on offer at Biryani & Kebabi. With plenty of options suited to kebab and vegetarian lovers, the menu curates Biryanis of all kinds, Machboos, prawn and fish selections, stews like an imaginative Okra (Bamya) curry, chicken, beef and lamb Kebabs. After much deliberation and the staff’s helpful suggestions, we settled on the Thyme Lamb Kebab, cooked on a coal fire and served with French fries, mixed pickles and local pitta bread. We loved this hearty selection, and followed it with delectable Afghani Chicken Biryani that was prepared with boneless chicken, dried fruits on dum, saffron and served with yogurt. The rice was so packed with flavor; we could have ordered it as a side dish on its own.
We couldn’t leave this place without trying the seafood, and we absolutely loved the gorgeous flavors of the Chargrilled Prawn served in a beautiful, silver Tandoor. It arrived to our table piping hot, and you can see the smoke fumes still emanating from the artfully placed skewers. We also sampled the Hammour Fish Tikka Biryani, also cooked in charcoal dum and served with yet another beautiful serving of their authentic Biryani rice.
The beauty of the Biryani & Kebabi concept lies in its versatility. There is something for everyone here. For the more adventurous, you can even try a Duck Machboos! Those who prefer a protein heavy meal can choose from dishes like Chicken Cheese Tikka, Shish Taouk, an authentic regional Grilled chicken marinated in garlic, olive oil and spices to even a Seafood Tikka Platter. If you’re after a traditional butter chicken, not to worry, the experts here have you covered.
To end our journey filled with delightful samplings from the entire region, we decided to go old school and order the Gulab Jamun. Served alongside a refreshing mint tea, the warm, sticky sugary desserts perfectly satiated our cravings.
Biryani & Kebabi is located at Arabia Mall in Egaila, across from AUM. For more information, visit biryaniandkebabi.com or call 2225 2490 for further delivery inquiries. Follow @BiryaniandKebabi on Instagram.