Biryani House, Spicy Indian Comfort Food: Berkeley

Biryani House will fill you up with sinfully good, unhealthy Indian comfort food, only take a couple of bucks from your wallet, and give you the perfect kick in the butt spiciness.

Berkeley has so many affordable ethnic restaurants, it is difficult to find the gems.  We have had some average food at these places and realized that you have to be in the know to get a really great meal.  We think Biryani House was a great find and we came upon it by accident.  Boy, were we happy to have found it.

Biryani House isn’t afraid of serving spicy foods even though they feed the masses in a super large self-service dining room.  After ordering at the counter, we grabbed a complimentary Chai tea, a pitcher of water, and two bottles of chutney (spicy mint & a sweet version) from the refrigerator and found a table.  The Vegetable Samosas came quickly and we briefly fought over them as we poured mint chutney on each serving.  When the food arrived, I realized we were about to embark upon some great Indian food with no calories spared.  The dishes were deep, saturated, beautiful colors from orange to yellow and dark maroon-brown.  These colors were a sign that the food would have a great rich flavor and powerful taste.  One friend to my left and two to my right kept dunking their Naan in my Chicken Tikka Masala sauce.  I didn’t mind because there was more sauce than chicken.  The Tikka Masala sauce was decadent with a buttery, creamy, and slight cheesy taste.  We also had the Chicken Biryani, a curry spiced fried rice with chicken.  The Biryani was spicy with an overall good flavor.  A friend had the Goat Curry and said it was initially good but he realized that it was somewhat one-dimensional, lacking the usual diverse flavors in Indian food.  The Karahi Chicken was delicious with excellent spice from the fresh peppers, which had its devourer sweating in his seat.
2011 Shattuck Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 649-9389

Lesley: Their Chicken Tikka Masala was awesome.  I haven’t had this style dish, very similar to “Butter Chicken” in Australia, since I lived in Sydney.  Loved it!  Super cheap!  This is a great place to bring large groups because you can push together tables.  They aren’t afraid of heat either, in the spicy or freshly cooked temperature kind of way.

John: It was I who was sweating into my Karahi Chicken.  This was one of the first restaurants to actually back up its claim of ‘spicy’ when describing the food.  So many times we’ve been to places that say ‘spicy’ and what they really mean is that the put some ground black pepper in there; such a disappointment.  The chicken was great, the garlic naan perfect, and the flavors fantastic.  A delicious find.

Zach: Tasty, cheap and spicy! End of story.

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