Every neighbourhood has its own queue magnet of a hawker stall, one that draws in the most mind-bogglingly long queues which never seem to dissipate. If you’ve ever been to the Teban Gardens area, that stall is an Indian Muslim stall by the name of Haris Sharif Pte Ltd.
Tucked away behind a pillar in a dimly lit corner coffee shop, you might never know of its existence if not for the line of people slowly edging towards its shopfront. This stall is quite a popular establishment that has Teban Gardens denizens going cuckoo for its briyani.
Haris Sharif Pte Ltd only starts selling their briyani at 11am but you’d find that the stock is quickly cleared up in a matter of hours by the expectant line of diners who often leave carrying plastic bags engorged with scary amounts of briyani packets. So prepare to get yourself down early to assimilate into the crowd if you want to score yourself some tasty gravy-drenched rice.
As far as briyani goes, their selection comes up to just three different variations—Chicken Briyani, Mutton Briyani, and Fish Briyani. Out of those three, the most popular choices seem to be the Chicken and Mutton.
What I tried
Being easily peer pressured, I obviously went for the two perennial favourites of Chicken Briyani (S$6) and Mutton Briyani (S$6). For S$6 a plate, I can’t complain about Haris Sharif’s portions which were quite generous and really filled up my tummy. It used to be even more affordable until a recent price hike. You can add on an egg for S$0.40 and takeaway costs an additional S$0.30.
I was eagerly awaiting to dig in as each plate of rice was put onto the shiny silver tray—each pile of rice warmly tinged in yellow and orange, accompanied by succulent-looking chunks of meat and flavourful-looking plates of curry.
Once I was seated, I quickly dug into the Chicken Briyani first since that hefty piece of chicken thigh was calling out to me. What I first noticed was how Haris Sharif managed to make the chicken so tender and soft. While most briyani stalls do a decent chicken, this chicken thigh was a level above most in terms of texture. Textural brilliance also carries over to the rice, with each grain of Basmati rice moist and fluffy, without clumping together at all.
On the other hand, I found the curry to be somewhat lacking in flavour. Yes it had a good spice perfume and it added a nice boost of flavour but it’s not quite to the magnitude you’d normally expect from briyani. Is that a bad thing? I think it’s subjective since I do occasionally find my palate drowned out by the surfeit of briyani gravy, and this was an interesting change of pace.
Moving on to the Mutton Briyani, which is generally my choice of protein for the dish, I was even more impressed. Like with their Chicken, Haris Sharif has somehow managed to uncover the secret behind making astoundingly fork-tender mutton. For a protein that receives mistreatment quite regularly in almost all forms of cuisine—often resulting in the most rubbery of dishes—achieving this texture is a remarkable feat.
Alas, as with the Chicken Briyani, I also found this to be lacking the same spice-forward punch you’d normally associate with the dish. But unlike its chicken sibling, this still packed ample richness and was still very much a decadent treat.
For mutton lovers who appreciate the exotic accent of gamey meat, you’d definitely be pleased to hear that it retains a gentle kiss of the gameyness that mutton is known for. Not too much, but just enough to make me know it’s mutton—just how I like it.
Is this worth the queue? I queued for around 45 minutes for these two plates of briyani and I have to give the cop-out answer to that question: it depends. While I admired the splendid texture of all their meats, these aren’t the most flavourful plates of briyani I’ve had the pleasure of savouring.
But if you’re okay with lighter flavours, the tender, succulent meat makes up for a slight lack in richness. It’s maybe not worth the voyage down if you’d rather have a hard-hitting, gravy-laden plate of briyani instead though.
Expected damage: From S$6 per plate
Other articles you might like:
The post Haris Sharif Pte Ltd, Jurong East: “Tender succulent meat makes up for a slight lack in richness” appeared first on SETHLUI.com.