Briyani @ Subaidah

Let me show you my dinner on a random weekday, a couple weeks ago…

I was planning to have duck rice at a food court somewhere near my place, but it was not open, so I went to Subaidah just around the corner. For those of you who do not know, Subaidah is a relatively famous mamak nasi kandar place with quite a few branches in Penang.

I was shocked that even mamak uses iPad to take orders and have special cards to track our orders

I was really feeling like some curry mutton, and I really was eyeing that tray of delicious meat intently. The attendant asked: “Boss, nak try Briyani? (Boss, wanna try Briyani?)”

When he said briyani, I thought it was just the rice. Like, you know how they sometimes do nasi tomato or nasi dalca. And I thought, why not?

So I said: “OK.” and waited for him to get the rice. I was really drooling over the mutton at that point of time.

But then he said to me: “OK boss, duduk dulu, duduk dulu. (OK boss, have a seat first, have a seat first.)”

Huh? Doesn’t he want me to order some dishes to go with the rice? What… what is going on here?

Utterly confused, I really went to duduk dulu… within moments, my briyani was served…

What in the name…

Turns out their briyani comes as a full set meal, complete with hard boiled egg and yogurt salad and curry gravy.

Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think I have ever had briyani in a mamak establishment before. Is briyani by default, a set meal rather than just… “special of the day” rice? Have I just assumed way off the mark since I’m an idiot?

Oh yes, there’s a whole chicken leg tucked beneath the rice too…

That chicken was… wow it was great! Tender and juicy and flavorful and (insert all sorts of wonderful words here).

The whole thing costed RM 10. I thought it was a pretty good price. πŸ™„


  1. The mamak restaurants here in KL have gone ‘Up Colours” … (Hokkien meaning) The Pelita chain boss drives a Rolls Royce around to flaunt.
    The mamak shop on my next street also uses mini iPads and leave a plastic card on your table. When you check out, the cashier would see your card to display your bill on the screen. So canggih!

    • People go into business with expectation to get rich, so I guess these mamaks have been successful. Sigh…

  2. That was a nice meal you had. Orders taken on IPad! What’s next?

    As Anna pointed about the Indian food in Dubai, they do stonking good food even in family restaurants.

    • I’d count on Dubai for better authenticity. Reason being the Indians in Dubai are fresh from India, whereas the Indians from Malaysia are 3rd-4th generation Indians. We get lots of localization going on here already. πŸ™„

  3. That looks good!! I think Dubai ruined mamak food for me because the Indian food is sooooo good there. I had biryani that looked kind of like what you had (with the chicken tikka at the bottom) and it was the best I’ve ever had. I’m craving it so bad now. The mamak next to me is not so good. Their biryani doesn’t look like that at all :(. I’m going to have to find a good place so I can regularly get my Indian food fix.

    • Thing is, Indian food in Malaysia is probably not super authentic, probably got influenced by Malaysian palate. I have no doubt you will easily get much much better in Dubai if it is Indian food you crave. πŸ™„

  4. RM10 is a good deal for your briyani, IMHO.

    I’ve had the yogurt salad at my mamak place also.

    Mahbub’s briyani in KL would have cost you a whole lot more. But of course, that’s in KL πŸ˜›

    • KL and Penang not very much different these days. Or rather, that’s what I want to say. I have no idea what’s the food prices generally in KL recently. Every time I think Penang caught up, only to realize KL left Penang in the dust again in terms of food prices. πŸ™„

  5. looks good for RM10…normally when u order in mamak, it comes in set. But mostly in KL they dun have yogurt salad…mayb the practice in Penang is different.

    • Have to try a few other mamaks to know if this yogurt salad thing is the norm or not. But then, I don’t think briyani is that common even. See, I been here so long, been to so many mamaks so many times, first time I get asked whether I want briyani or not. It was probably special of the day. Nasi dalca, nasi tomato and nasi kunyit then common…

  6. As far as I know, briyani comes with all the fixings. You can ask if they have mutton briyani (which I love!). Last time the one I had also came with hard boiled egg and chicken. Very, very filling πŸ˜€

    • See, you are someone who knows what is going on. I didn’t. I thought briyani was like nasi dalca or nasi tomato, where they serve their “special” rice but we still pick our own meats. What an idiot I am. πŸ˜€

  7. Penang memang famous for their curry rice.. your briyani looks good leh, got chicken and egg… i thought it was salted egg.. normally salted eggs blend well with curry..

    • I would not be able to stomach one whole salted egg in a meal. I usually can handle just a quarter.

  8. you could ask them for briyani mutton to see whether they have it or not. sometimes the staff just assume that customers just want the default briyani chicken if they did not specify that they want a specific meat in their briyani rice. rm10 is a good deal, i agree.

    • I didn’t even know how this briyani thing works, let alone knowing that I have to specify the meat. I guess I will go again and request for briyani kambing and see what happens hahaha… πŸ˜›

  9. Ha, from Phong Hong’s pilaf rice, I came to your post of biryani rice…almost similar! As far as I know, biryani is usually served like that in a nasi kandar place but the thing is the worker should have asked you if you wanted chicken or mutton biryani. I think he just assumed you wanted chicken biryani (unless they don’t sell mutton biryani which is not possible if they’re a full-fledged nasi kandar eatery) coz most Chinese prefer to eat chicken and not mutton? πŸ˜‰

    • Pilaf and briyani similar meh? My briyani, the rice grains come in 3 different colors. I think not same. 😐

  10. Oh yes! RM10 for that is a good price. I once was so stupid. I went to tapau briyani kosong. I tot it will come with curry gravy or something but when I reached home, I found that I had only RICE. Rice ONLY! Bodoh me…

  11. Maybe they only have one type of briyani, which is the set. But in SG, briyani only have gravy and chicken or mutton, usually without egg and yogurt salad, these two are not common.

  12. Since you never said how you wanted your briyani, maybe he automatically make it into a set for you. So he assume you idiot. So you pay more. Or as you said, special of the day. He probably saw you as easy money, Big Boss from round the corner πŸ™„ Maybe if just the rice, maybe half price but with the chicken and all, it seems reasonable.

    Lazy Man also lazy with ordering food outside… πŸ™„

    • I didn’t even know that I was supposed to proactively say what I want. “You pick your sides” is a default in mamak establishments. Apparently not for Briyani… πŸ™„

Comments are closed.