Thursday, March 31, 2016

International Media Vs Indian Media

After a tragic event in Kolkata here is the coverage in Indian Media and International Media. One more reason to show how Cricket overshadows the real world. Here are more if you are interested.

NDTV (11:25 pm IST)

BBC (11:25 pm IST)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

In the serch of the Original Ambur Star Briyani. Let down and then success.

(Success part updated in March/2018 with the location to the Original Star Briyani shop. Please see below)

Let down by Star Briyani, Ambur.

I have heard about Ambur Star Biriyani before, it got on my must to try places after seeing the episode on Sutralam Suvaikalam.

We were returning from Chikmanglur after the long weekend ride. In Bangalore we decided we will break once we reach Hosur, and we will hold our hunger until Ambur to try Star Biriyani. We reached there by 3 pm. The place was pretty packed. We had to wait for a table to be assigned. They assign tables on FIFO. Much relieved than to stare at half empty plates waiting for people to clear up. The first floor was A/C on paper, but to my disappointment, was not spread to all the corners.

We ordered 3 Mutton biriyani and a Andhra Tikka.

The server said Andhra Tikka will be late. I asked which other Tikka is ready, the response was all Tikka will be late by 20 min. I was fine, asked him to get the Biriyani ready, and we can have our Tikka join us half way. Then was  the honest response. They do not have Tikka. That is a huge difference from Tikke will be 20 min late. We went for Chicken 65 instead.

Then our table was served.

First impression, the smell was tempting, quantity was too less for Rs. 175. First bite, it had a distinctive wood smoke flavor. Otherwise it was a regular biriyani. It was a disappointment after the 3rd bite. It did not live up to all the hype. I would rate Periyamedu Karim Mess Biriyani along with Star Biriyani. Karim mess taste is very similar, quality of rice and mutton is almost double.

After much of disappointment, I lost my appetite, finished the biriyani with a half filled heart and stomach.

Star Biriyani is a must try, so that you can compare and value other biriyani you would have tasted that do not hype so much.

Succeeded in finding and tasting the Original Star Briyani.

After a disappointing first attempt I wanted to try the Briyani in the original Star Briyani shop. Did some search online and stopped right opposite to Ambur Railway station and went to the opposite road. Then with some help, found the shop right on the service road. Click here if  you are searching for the location.

This is a basic Briyani shop with no fancy menu. Cost in the Original Ambur Star Briyani from their menu:

Mutton Briyani: Rs. 180
Mutton Briyani (Parcel) : Rs. 180
Chicken Briyani : Rs. 170
Chicken Briyani (Parcel): Rs. 170
Chicken 65 (Boneless): Rs.90
Chicken lollipop: Rs. 90
Makkan Peda: Rs. 100

I see the taste is definitely different in this place. The taste of the ginger, ghee and mutton fat mixed in the rich Jeeraga Samba rice (Actual name, Jeerana samba) just melts in when the food is warm. I was definitely satisfied. Not comparable with the one I had before.

Chicken 65 and lollipop both tasted the same,  you can select based on how you want to eat. Just pop it in (Chicken 65) or you want to rip it from the bone (Lollipop) ;)

After that, I also got a parcel for my mom and got a Makkan Peda (Rs. 100) box for my dad. It had 5 pieces in it. Already 2 gone and the taste is good ;)

Makkan peda from Original Ambur Biriyani in a box. A beagle dog staring at it.

If you are a true Briyani lover, I will recommend the Original Ambur Star Briyani if you are ready to step outside your comfort zone. This is actually from 1890 and definitely not a fancy imitations which happens to be the same management. The imitations serve an experience but not the actual briyani, over which the brand was built on.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Chennai to Chikmangalur bike ride

This was another solo ride, when had two more guys join me. This ride was initially planned to Hampi, Karnataka. Due to hot weather condition in Hampi, the destination was changed to Chikmangalur after reaching Bangalore. Even though I had already been to Chikmangalur during the last year planning unplanned solo, it was still enjoyable. I would do this route again, just for the fun of riding around Chikmangalur and the food.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Solo travel from Chennai to Hyderabad: All for the love for Hyderabad Briyani

Yes, this travel is to just to taste the best Hyderabadi Biriyani, I had always enjoyed. Earlier it was me and my roomies who use to travel from Madhapur to Charminar to taste this amazing Biriyani, now it was me all alone from Chennai to Hyderabad to taste one of the best Biriyani after almost 5 years.

Itinerary was very simple:

  • 6:10 pm - Leave Chennai by Charminar Express

  • 8:30 am - Reach Hyderabad
  • Do something between then and lunch time
  • Afternoon - Biriyani in Shadab
  • Do something between lunch and evening
  • 6:30 pm - leave Hyderabad by Charminar

  • 8:15 am - Reach Chennai

Nothing much to go in to the detail. The morning slot was filled with a quick train to Kairthabad Saarvi Tea Stall, where Vivek, Bhargav and myself use to head for our morning tea after work. Then it was Golconda fort.

Evening slot was filled with Salar Jung Museum and finding Karachi biscuits

Golconda Fort


This is what I came for - Shadab, Charminar

 Nampally Railway station

After this travel, it only makes me to try out this genre to travel to taste some good food around, that is within a one day or a two day reach. Hopefully one for next month.


It happened again. This time it was Salem. Sutralam Suvaikalam pushed me in to this ;)