As the restaurant’s place mats will tell you, Student Biryani was founded in Pakistan back in the summer of ’69 (well, some time in ’69), specialising in – no prizes for guessing – biryani. The tasty dishes were a hit with students and the venue soon became a nationally recognised brand.
Such is Student Biryani’s popularity among Dubai’s Pakistani and Indian communities that the restaurant is easy to find – it’s likely that most Pakistani taxi drivers will know exactly where it is. Ours did, and dropped us right at the door – not a wrong turn taken. We could, of course, have ordered takeaway (Student Biryani delivers), but while the idea of biryani in a bucket sounded mighty appealing, we were curious to see what Pakistan’s answer to KFC actually looked like.
I’ve long bemoaned the fact that many of Dubai’s Indian and Pakistani restaurants are far too conservative with their spices, yet there’s no such danger at Student Biryani. The biryani, bristling with spice and full of energy, was by far the liveliest dish of its kind I’ve eaten in Dubai. The dal took me by surprise in that it was the spiciest of all the dishes we’d ordered. Happily, the spice invigorated rather than crippled our taste buds, and the soft chick peas provided a nice contrast to the crunchy chillies. The chicken handi was another triumph – a little greasy, maybe, but as authentic a curry as you’ll find anywhere in Karama.
Make no mistake: this is a takeaway joint, which means there’s less choice than there is at, say, Ravi’s. However, the dishes that do feature on Student Biryani’s menu are every bit as good.
The bill (for two)
1x Chicken biryani Dhs15
1x Dal fry Dhs10
1x Chicken handi Dhs20
2x Naan Dhs4
Total (excluding service) Dhs49