Briyani 47, Yishun Ave 11 (MOVED): “You’ll love these meaty trays of methodical chaos”

*Briyani 47 has since closed their Yishun outlet and opened at: 159A Hougang st 11, 3 St George’s Road, 1 Kadayanallur St (Maxwell food centre).

After walking out of Ali Nachia Eating House feeling the chonkiest I’d felt in a while, I’ve been taking a break from briyani since August. Now that it’s been close to two months of the self-imposed ban, I thought another briyani sesh was due at Briyani 47

At the risk of being hangry the whole train ride to Yishun, I skipped breakfast for what I predicted would be an enormous feast.

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If you’re not familiar with Yishun, Briyani 47 might demand a bit more of your intrepid explorer to find. Located in The Traditional Taste Coffeeshop under Block 343 at Yishun Avenue 11, walking in felt a bit like traipsing into secret terrain. It’s a small establishment, but no less flocked to by nearby residents.

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The briyani here rolls out in trays of methodical chaos—heaps of long-grain basmati rice infused with spices, smothering meat and tofu that’s been indistinguishably coated in fragrant curry sauce. Fried shallots sprinkled across complete the merry mess. In fact, I had a hard time telling my three orders apart because of their vibrant homogeneity—that’s not to say it’s a bad thing.

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Served on wax paper, the food might not look neatly plated, but it’s pretty in its own right. 

And, hey, if it’s not neatly plated like your fancy eggs benedict and delicate pancake stacks, that’s a green light to shovel them into your mouth by the spoonful.

What I tried

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The Chicken Briyani (S$5.50) came highly recommended, so that was of course on the cards.

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Contrary to expectation, though, I found the chicken a tad too tough for my liking. Maybe I left it sitting for too long, but I was expecting juicy and tender meat that tore off with ease; this required a bit more effort to cut through. It felt a little dry to the bite too. In my hangriness, forgive me for passing on a second helping.

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The Tofu Briyani (S$4.50) was a pleasant surprise to see on the menu. By pleasant, I mean you would’ve seen my eyebrows jump a storey. For seekers of a meat substitute, this tofu might please you with its fairly firm bite. If you let your mind wander while you savour (and why should you not?), the tofu comes quite close to the texture of meat.

As for self-proclaimed tofu connoisseurs like myself, you might be expecting a more refined experience with the Tofu Briyani. I advise you not to—it won’t deliver the slight sourness usually found in firm tofu, largely for the fact that it’s already blanketed in a rich and aromatic curry sauce. The tofu might not have been as tender as I expected, but I won’t have it any other way. It’s all about the expectations when it comes to enjoying an objectively good dish, and this tofu worked. 

Either way, the Tofu Briyani is the only vegetarian option at Briyani 47, so token inclusivity or welcome alternative—I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

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The Fish Briyani (S$6.50), though, was the clear must-try of the lot. Tender, soft and juicy kurau fish meat robed in a mildly spicy curry—now this had me reaching for more. I loved how the fragrant curry had a whisper of sweetness that popped against the milder canvas of fish meat. 

Coupled with the aromatic rice, this was a perfect blend of ingredients.

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To add on to the carb galore, each mountain of briyani came with a hulking potato that added an extra butteriness to the already full-bodied curry. 

Briyani 47 makes their curry less spicy so that it’s more accessible to children. Even then, they don’t compromise on flavour. In fact, without that usual fiery bite, I felt the full fragrances break through on my palate better. And of course, it’s always a plus to sidestep the mortification of crying into my rice.

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The portions at Briyani 47 are massive, so either come really hungry or bring someone to share the food with you. I know if I lived in the vicinity, I’d be buying takeaway from them to split over a few days’ lunches. Just a note: takeaway is chargeable at 30 cents per box, but you can always bring your own.

Final thoughts

Every time I visit a new food establishment, I think of how I’m stepping into someone’s happy place. With Briyani 47’s close proximity to residential blocks, I’m pretty sure it’s steeped in a trove of strangers’ memories. 

Even I, an outsider to Yishun Block 343, have acquired a memory here. I won’t forget the endearing sight of a primary school boy at the next table, slightly chubby, frowning as his noodles slid through his chopsticks back into hot soup. Even in my mildly grumpy state of mind, that moment brought me bubbling laughter that I had to keep under wraps to avoid peeving him.

So, to the non-Yishun dwellers, I urge you, in particular, to make the trip here. Located in a sea of unfamiliar HDB blocks, Briyani 47 is the oasis for a three-hour getaway from the regularities of daily routine. 

Expected Damage: S$4.50 – S$7.50 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Briyani 47

Yishun Avenue 11, Block 343, The Traditional Taste Coffeeshop, #01-141, Singapore 760343

Our Rating 4/5

Briyani 47

Yishun Avenue 11, Block 343, The Traditional Taste Coffeeshop, #01-141, Singapore 760343

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 8pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue

Operating Hours: 11.30am - 8pm (Wed to Mon), Closed on Tue
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