They've got four types of biriyani – Chicken, Pork, Mutton and Veg, which they serve in different portions (1-2 pax, 3-4 pax and 6-8 pax). Aside from biriyani, they also do kottu and fried rice.
We were really looking forward to their Pork Biriyani, but since it was unavailable, we settled for the Chicken (Rs. 600) and Mutton (Rs. 800) Biriyanis.
However, we were quite confused when two potfuls of Chicken Biriyani landed on our table with a whole bunch of accompaniments. Later on, our server explained that they offer the meats as a side dish, and the base is always a Chicken Biriyani.
So in our case, we received two Chicken Biriyanis, and the sides of Mutton Curry, Chicken Curry, Raita and Tomato Chutney.
Let us start with the base. Fluffy and not oily, the rice had sparks of spices seeping through, along with a good amount of cashews, green peas and prunes. Combined with the deep-fried pieces of potato, this biriyani has a super Sri Lankan taste to it.
The batter-fried chicken was massive, but unfortunately, it didn't have any flavour to write home about. Seasoning the batter a bit more should fix it. Nonetheless, the raita and tomato chutney will surely add some sweetness and a little bit of tang.
The portion size is easily enough to fill up two adults, and if you're not much of an eater, even three can share it.
We liked the Mutton curry. Smothered with spices, the meat was chewy and delicious. This would have made a wonderful combo with some Poranu Paan. The Chicken curry, on the other hand, was quite all right. While there was a good curry flavour in the gravy, the meat didn't seem to have absorbed it.
As for dessert, we got a cup of Watalappan (Rs. 50). Sweet and with a pudding-like texture, it's your average kadey watalappan.
Ambience & Service
Located on top of the Serandib Hotel down High-level Road, Banda's Biriyani has a few wooden tables and chairs arranged, which can cater to around 8 – 10 diners at a time. It's not all calm and quite, you'll still hear the noise of the road, but we weren't quite bothered by it.
The staff was very quick on their feet, and checked back with us a few times to make sure that we're having a good dining experience.
All in all, it's not a bad option to go with, especially if you live or work in the area and looking for a quick lunch or dinner fix without having to spend too much.