Bismillah Biryani is the only halal restaurant in the Michelin Bib Gourmand for three years straight. Does it really matter?

Congratulations to Bismillah Biryani!

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Michelin awarded the Bib Gourmand to 50 Singapore food establishments in 2018, a huge leap from the 38 that was given out last year.

Only one halal restaurant left standing – Bismillah Biryani

(Notice how it’s spelled as Biryani and not Briyani)

This year only Bismillah Biryani is left in the list of Bib Gourmand. The Bismillah Biryani brand has been around for about 15 years, founded by Arif Salahuddin, who moved to Singapore from Pakistan a few decades ago,

Bismillah Biryani serves mainly dum biryani where the meat is cooked with the rice. In a normal Biryani, the meat is separately cooked and added whereas in dum biryani the entire pot of rice, meat, and other ingredients are cooked by the steam and pressure. Thus dum briyani will be more flavourful .

In 2016, three halal restaurants were in the list including Hajah Maimunah Restaurant at Jalan Pisang, which is the go to place to try out traditional Indonesian and Malay dishes, and Wedang which serves only five dishes, out of which Tahu Goreng and Gado Gado is worth a try.

However they are not on the list since 2017.

What is the Bib Gourmand award?

Michelin Bib Gourmand 2018
Source: Michelin Guide

Not quite a star, but most definitely not a consolation prize, the Bib Gourmand – named after Bibendum, the friendly Michelin Man and the official company mascot for the Michelin Group – is a just-as-esteemed rating that recognises friendly establishments that serve good food at moderate prices.

The Bib Gourmand award was established in 1997, and given to establishments selected by Michelin inspectors for their quality menu priced at no more than S$45.

How are the restaurants chosen?

According to Michael Ellis, International Director of the MICHELIN Guides, ” The editor of the MICHELIN Guide allocates the different areas to be inspected and assigns inspectors. Once the inspectors receive their schedule of work, it is up to them to plan their visits. Before going out on the ground, they prepare their week’s work: they read the press, customer reviews, ask hotels and shop keepers… It is real fieldwork! They do their homework, they check out the establishments which have the best chance of being in the guide.”

Does the Bib Gourmad really matter?

Even though Hajah Maimunah have dropped out of the list, it still does not affect the popularity of the brand.

Furthermore, Bismillah Biryani’s dum briyani (or biryani), does not have the same texture and taste of other briyanis which Singaporeans are so used to. Singaporeans will still end up flocking to their same old favourite Briyani spots which they love according to their own tastes. Currently the Bib Gourmands are selected based on an international panel and they will definitely have differing tastes from the locals.

To find out what Bismillah Biryani tastes like, read up the review on our brother blog – The Halal Food Blog: The Quest For Briyani Part 7: Bismillah Biryani

Meanwhile, we’d like to congratulate Bismillah Biryani for maintaining their spot on the list for three years in a row.

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