Allauddin’s Briyani, Tekka Centre: $5.50 Michelin-plated briyani in the heart of Singapore

The bustle of Little India is at its peak at Tekka Market and that’s due in no small part to Allauddin’s Briyani. The Michelin-plated stall is easy to find— walk up the steps of the building’s main entrance and there it is.

allauddins exterior

Peddling its signature dish since 1968, the stall is a veritable local landmark. The hype stands in stark contrast to the sheer simplicity of the counter. Above is an obviously home-designed signboard from which ex-Presidents Nathan and Tony Tan – who ate here – are looking down at the three of us.

allaudin stall

My 2 kakis are my hubby, Scoobs and his best friend, food connoisseur extraordinaire, Zubin. We are here at 11:30 am on a weekday, eager to skip the long queues and get the best possible briyani experience.

“Consider it – less than $6 for a briyani that is, literally, world-renowned,” says Zubin, sensing my discomfort at the casual, almost-haphazard open-air setting. Allauddin’s was his recommendation. “I’m okay with anything,” I lie and they pretend to be convinced.

What I tried

Any doubts I have waft away with the aroma when my order of Chicken Briyani Set with Egg & Papadum (S$6.50) arrives. The scent of spices is oh-so-right, not as overpowering as when done with a heavy hand.

briyani set meals

I immediately see that the serving is much too large for me so my husband and I share. Zubin eagerly tackles the Mutton Briyani Set with Egg & Papadum (S$6.50) on his own. You can order either set for S$5.50 without the egg and papadum.

mutton briyani

A set comes with masala (gravy), aachar (pickled cucumber), and a side of thin dhal (lentils) with soft boiled potatoes. There is supposed to be raita (yoghurt and shredded cucumber) as well but they have apparently run out today. Bummer.

potato gravy

I take another deep breath to savour the fragrance of the rice. Hints of clove tickle my nose. Visually, there is a subtle moist coating on every grain that makes it glisten invitingly. How I wish the wonderful presentation wasn’t paired with soulless Styrofoam plates and bowls, and accompanied by dreary white plastic cutlery.

spoon of briyani

The taste does not disappoint. Moist, flavourful basmati is a joy when done right. There are no clumps— the giveaway of hurried and careless preparation. I relish the feel and taste of the individual grains.

It is a tad spicy for me, and my company assures me that I am indeed a disgrace to the Indian race. Oddly, it made me crave rasam (thin flavoured broth).

fried chicken

My Fried Chicken thigh (S$4) is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Scoobs orders another piece and it proves that the first one was no fluke. Zubin’s mutton is just as good and perhaps even better, considering how much more complicated it is to cook well.

aachar

It would be convenient to slack on the accompaniments if you are doing the mains right but Allauddin’s Briyani is consistent in that respect. The papadum is crisp and light with none of the extra grease that could so easily bog it down with sogginess.

eggs in briyani
Runny eggs are my pet peeve and I hold my breath as the side of my fork bisects the soft white albumen. Phew, all good! The eggs are nicely and evenly cooked through.

I make a pleasant discovery as the meal draws to a close— no food coma! That’s unusual for me after having Indian food. Was it because I shared a one-person meal or does Allauddin really do something different?

Final Thoughts

I am neither the typical hawker centre customer nor a regular one. Still, it is an enjoyable experience to step out of your comfort zone. That’s especially true when the experience turns out to be a positive one in the way this trip to Allauddin’s Briyani has unfolded.

Having Scoobs and Zubin help me navigate the journey was eye-opening. Biryani, they say, is almost a cuisine on its own. There are apparently thousands of variations based on geography, religion, upbringing, and socio economic factors.

briyani plate

Zubin explains that a S$5 biryani at a small stall, Michelin-plated or otherwise, cannot really compare to one at a 5-star hotel simply because of the vast difference in ingredient quality.

Perhaps another visit may be the only way to settle that debate. Next time I say, “I’m okay with anything,” I will only be half lying.

Expected damage: S$6 to S$11 per pax


Other articles you might like:

10 best 24-hour and all-night cafes & restaurants in SG for late night food

Can you afford it? 10 most expensive dishes in Singapore

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Allauddin's Briyani Pte Ltd

Tekka Market and Food Centre, 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-232, Singapore 210665

Price
Our Rating 4/5

Allauddin's Briyani Pte Ltd

Tekka Market and Food Centre, 665 Buffalo Rd, #01-232, Singapore 210665

Telephone: +65 6296 6786
Operating Hours: 8am - 8pm (Daily)
Telephone: +65 6296 6786

Operating Hours: 8am - 8pm (Daily)

AI-powered robotic barista in a café at ION Orchard?! - Ratio Cafe + GastroBar

Have an interesting hawker story or good food to share? Email us at [email protected]

Newest