Royal Biriyani & BBQ is a road side restaurant that operates out of a garage space on Marine Drive (Wellawatte). They do a decent biryani but what they’re known for is their Pakistani style barbeque.
It’s easy to get deterred when you see the place from outside… or inside for that matter, but their food is actually quite good. As with other similar eateries, the prices are reasonable, so you’ll find yourself spending somewhere between Rs. 250 – Rs. 800. They’ve got the usual rice options plus naan, paratha and what not. Where they set themselves apart is with their BBQ.
Their fried rice (Rs. 250) was better than what you’d get from most road side kades. What surprised us was that they actually used basmati rice and the piece of chicken was pretty big, which isn’t something you usually get at smaller places. The rice could have used a bit more seasoning, but at 250 bucks we aren’t really going to complain.
Their biryani (Rs. 250) was pretty good, but not one of the best we’ve had. This comes with a somewhat large chicken leg and Basmati rice, but they’ve also got a barbeque chicken option at Rs. 400, which probably tastes better since their barbeque is pretty great. They make it in those large Indian metal pots, so they actually give you free rice refills, which is pretty cool.
The barbeque is their main attraction here and you can get it between 12.00 pm – 2.00 pm and 7.00 pm – 10.00 pm. They use a ghetto barbeque that seemed to have been put together by welding scrap metal into a tray, filled with coal and covered with a grill. Handling is like trying to control a small fire, which was pretty interesting to watch.
You want to get in as early as you can because they tend to sell out as soon as it’s ready. From what we saw their chicken kebabs seemed to be the most popular choice but they’ve also got different tikkas and a few beef options as well.
We wanted to try something a bit different, so we ordered the chicken malai boti (Rs. 400), which is a Pakistani barbeque chicken marinated in spices, green chillies and curd. We had to wait a bit for it to be ready but it was worth it since it tasted pretty great. The curd based marinate was what really made the difference here, with all the flavours coming through well.
To finish things off we tried the butter naan (Rs. 70) .This naan was thicker and less crispy than what we’ve had at other eateries, but still tasted fine. Think of it as more of Kulcha than a naan.
Ambience & Service
This is not really a dining experience. Think garage with plastic chairs. If you’re the type that doesn’t really give care about ambience, it’s fine. If not, we suggest you go for take away.
The service is fast, the waiter is friendly and he even asked us if we’d like more rice when we were finishing off. The problem here is that the barbeque finishes fast so you’d ideally want to get there by around noon or 7 PM, since that’s when they start.
Pakistani barbeque isn’t something that we usually come across in Colombo but Royal Biryani & BBQ does a pretty good take on it. Their rice options are decent as well but the barbeque is what you’re really here for.