I realize I'm always going to the same places for lunch. It's usually thanks to my friends who recommend new places to me, without which I'd wouldn't step out of my comfort zone.
Take last week for example. Beeps, Suz and Phyl brought me to Kamal Restaurant along Stanley Street for fried chicken biryani. Prior to this, I'd never ventured down Stanley Street even though I've been working in the CBD for years. Heck, I didn't even know the street was there although it runs parallel to Amoy Street and Telok Ayer Street, both of which are lined with restaurants that I've regularly eaten at.
Apparently, Stanley Street is also teeming with restaurants. All cheaply priced local cuisine with a distinct focus on Malay/Indian food which look really popular with the lunch crowd. Well, the ones that I saw anyways.
Kamal's specialty is fried chicken biryani. They don't do dum biryani, which is what most of us know biryani to be. As with most restaurants along Telok Ayer, Amoy and Stanley Street, Kamal is small and cramped. And non-air-conditioned. Ceiling fans keep the muggy air moving though, so you don't sweat. Much. But, try to get seats outside if possible. It's a lot less like a convection oven on a cool-ish day. That said, portions are substantial (I don't know about you but we ALL had trouble keeping awake after lunch), food is relatively delicious, and prices are low.
The best part about Kamal's Fried Chicken Biryani ($6) is the crispy fried flour bits flavoured with tumeric and other awesomely aromatic Indian spices. The chicken, crusted with that orangey-red delicious spiced batter, is succulent and deeply flavoured, while the rice is fluffy and delicious. If this is still too dry, a plate of chicken curry provides libation.
The Curry Chicken Biryani ($6) is average run-of-the-mill fare that you find at most prata places. It's not bad, but it isn't memorably good either. If I had to pick one good thing about this, it would be that it isn't spicy at all. Not one bit.
7A Stanley Street
Tel: 6221 7677
Open Mondays to Saturdays from 6.30am to 7pm
Closed on Sundays