The newly-opened Quick Service Restaurant Charcoal Biryani not only serves good but fresh food.
Think Biryani and only two types come to mind --- Awadhi and Hyderabadi. But there are many more varieties. “Different regions of India have different types of Biryani,” says chef Mikhail Shahani at Charcoal Biryani, which serves 13 types of non-vegetarian and 4 types of vegetarian Biryani. The popular takeaway food joint has opened their first Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) at Mariplex, Kalyani Nagar.
The place has been done up with minimalistic decor. One can directly order at the counter and choose to take a seat at either the high tables in the centre of the room or go for a table with low-seating arrangement placed at the corners.
We visited the joint last week, when it was commercially launched. After settling down, we ordered Chikoo Shake, which was freshly made. Later, came Chicken Tandoori and we instantly fell in love with its yummy taste. The distinct taste of spices made it flavourful, but we felt that the chicken was a little undercooked.
We later tried Afgani Chicken Tikka Biyani and Paneer Makhani Biryani. Afghani Chicken was served with a packet of yoghurt and Raita masala. We must say that the food here is served in packets. The non-veg Biryani had shredded chicken and basmati rice, and was a fine blend of sweet and spicy.
Paneer Makhani Biryani was equally delicious with a good amount of paneer and other vegetables. This too was not too spicy. Come to think of it, none of the dishes were overflowing with oil, unlike Biryani in other restaurants.
A meal is incomplete without dessert so we too couldn’t leave the place without indulging in one. The team suggested Strawberry Mousse and we felt delighted to try out this ambrosial sweet dish. As we tried one spoon after another, we discovered fresh strawberry pieces. It’s worth mentioning that every item here was fresh, which kind of enhanced the taste of each dish.
After the meal, we decided to catch up with the Charcoal Biryani team, who informed us that after 14 outlets in Mumbai, they decided to expand and open their first one in Pune.
Giving us a brief background about the place, Mayank Agarwal from the marketing team said, “The start-up has been started by a group of people and we are part of the core team. It’s been co-founded by Anurag Mehrotra, Krishnakant Thakur, Gautam Singh and Mohammad Bhol. Shahani and Bhol are chefs and product head. The whole idea was to launch an Indian QSR brand with a global standard. We mostly see QSR brands serving Western cuisine but not Indian. In the last two years, our product range, quality and reach have also increased.”
He further added, “Earlier this year, as we refined and perfected the system, we thought it was time to start customer-facing outlet. The conversation started in March and by April, we had a plan in place. We decided to start our first outlet here and plan to launch at various areas in Pune.”
The team takes great pride in the fact that they have customers who have ordered over 150 times. “We have customers who order everyday,” said Bhol.
The team said that they have tried to keep the food as healthy as possible. “We, ourselves, keep ordering food from our restaurant and we serve it to our kids too. Customer satisfaction is the most important factor for us. In fact, we will soon be launching a few more types of Biryani which will be full of spices because there are several people who like it that way,” said Shahani.