Perhaps it is because I have been to Bismillah and found the Briyani fantastic there (albeit not cheap at $9 a pop).
Abak has been recommended by many and they were closed for a few weeks last month and today they were open ... here came my chance.
The serving size is generous if a bit smaller than Bismillah. The chicken briyani came with a whole leg and the mutton came with a decent mutton chop of about 150g. The rice was fluffy, nicely coloured, not oily, long (quality) ... So far so good. No raita here but some dhal gravy which means some localisation here. The mutton was a little on the tough side. The chicken was OK. The rice, well it was authentic, but a little bland tasting. It somehow did not have fragrance that a good dam briyani should have...
Ambience was very spartan but clean. $6.50 is OK price wise but no egg and papad here ($8 at Bismillah without egg and papad)/.
From the fluffy long-grained basmati rice down to the refreshing cucumber relish, Abak’s briyani was a thoughtful recipe of well-balanced flavours and textures.
To start with, the basmati had just a hint of flavour, providing a clean canvas for the intensity of the chicken rempah and dhal curry. Amazingly, the grains were not oily at all. The airy, toothsome rice had great texture and soaked up the curry beautifully.
We also loved the tender and succulent chicken leg, which was well-infused with a tasty and piquant spice marinade. The dhal curry was just as moreish. Chunky and robust with lentil, potato, carrot, and eggplant, it had a pleasant nutty fragrance, and complemented both the rice and chicken perfectly. A light and refreshing cucumber pickle rounded off this power briyani.
-- Julia Khoo
This place is a gem for excellent biryani. They dont have anything else but Dum Biryani. They probably open only in the afternoons, sell the entire stock of biryani they have made for the day & close shop. You shouldnt be suprised to see a sign saying biryani sold out especially if they do not have any more to sell. Its a quiet place frequented by the locals who know of it & enjoy the food.
The rice is good & flavourful. I would not add any dalcha to it but rather taste the rice & meat (chicken/mutton). They also do take aways.
They are quite similar to Allaudin's Biryani in Tekka Market but much less oily.
Come early to avoid risking no food.