Biryani @ House of Pakeeza Restaurant

House of Pakeeza

House of Pakeeza is a rather strange restaurant. It looks like it had gotten lost in the 1970’s and popped up almost 50 years later. This eating establishment is located at a block of shops called The Right Angle in Section 14, Petaling Jaya. It’s a stone’s throw away from Jaya Shopping Centre. If you work around here, you’ll know that this area is horrifically congested. The narrow streets are often double, sometimes triple parked.

Pakeeza Restaurant

I was craving for some nasi biryani and decided to pop over for lunch. The dimly lit interior is manned by waiters in white starched uniforms. The dated chequered tablecloth is topped with old school wine glasses and adorned with a plastic rose in a glass bottle. It doesn’t look nostalgic as much as lost in time, with the disco era wall panelling reinforcing the illusion. It was also empty. I was the only customer there and it sounded like I was the only one who’s come in for a while.

Beef Biryani

House of Pakeeza used to serve good nasi biryani, or at least that’s how old timers remember it. This might be true decades ago, but it certainly isn’t now. I ordered a Beef Biryani (RM 15) and was disappointed to see that the sad biryani rice is barely spiced and the beef isn’t cooked together ala Hyderabadi style. It’s just a very plain mound of biryani rice with chopped spring onions scattered on top (something I’ve never seen before) and a few slices of beef on the side. The beef was tough and barely edible.

Salted Lassi

However, the eggplant curry served on the side was quite delicious. It had tons of flavor and was actually hot, compared to the room temperature rice and meat. I also ordered a Salted Lassi (RM 5.40) which also turned out to be good. The salty and acidic yoghurt drink was excellent.

Kulfi

Pakeeza specializes in Moghul cuisine and they also carry a Northern Indian ice cream called Kulfi (RM 5.20). I had kulfi when I was in Sri Lanka and I loved the saffron flavored creamy frozen dairy treat. Kulfi is technically not “ice cream” per se but a type of frozen dessert from the Indian subcontinent. I was served a grainy cardamom and pistachio flavored scoop full of ice crystals. It tasted sandy and gritty, like it’s been melted and refrozen many times and way past its use by date. It’s the antithesis of a smooth kulfi.

Pakeeza

I would give House of Pakeeza a pass if you’re also tempted to try them out. The bill for lunch cost me RM 28.16 which is slightly below average for a similar Indian themed meal at the nearby Anjappar. However, it doesn’t taste very good and left my craving for good biryani unfulfilled. There is a good reason this place is deserted while another Indian restaurant down the street is doing a roaring business. I should have gone around the corner to Anjappar instead coz they have really delicious biryani but I wanted to try Pakeeza. Oh well, I know where to go next time.

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14 thoughts on “Biryani @ House of Pakeeza Restaurant

    • It was a learning experience so it’s all good! :)

      I’ve been curious about this place since I pass by it while going to Anjappar (the other, better Indian restaurant around the corner) and older people told me it *used* to be good. It’s quite deserted all the time, that was a bit of a red flag, coz comparing apples to apples, Anjappar is always packed (that was also why I dropped by Pakeeza, I saw all the indoor tables were full and it’s too hot to eat outside). It turned out not to be good, but I’m glad I tried.

  1. Yum yummmm!!! Come to think of it, I’ve not had bryani for a while now. Been going to this Thai place in town – thai…thai…thai again and again! Ling not back from Hong Kong, eating alone?

    • Yee Ling is already back! :)

      I picked her up from the airport last Sunday. I don’t eat lunch with her on weekdays though, she tends to bring something to work or just tapao something from near her office. I did go out with her for lunch in the past but it’s only Malay food nearby and if you want other food you’ll have to go quite far, which is a bit inconvenient for lunch hour. She doesn’t like Indian food anyway, so whenever I crave for biryani, I’ll go myself during a weekday lunch since we eat other meals together.

    • Yeah, me too! :)

      I quite like biryani so I eat it often. I also love lamb biryani but I’ve had awesome prawn biryani, deer biryani and Japanese quail biryani and I’m a little partial to the first, being a seafood lover. Some biryani places has specials on Friday where they use an unusual protein (like deer) only for the day and the meat is cooked together with the rice Hyderabadi style. That’s my favorite.

  2. Section 14 is indeed known for its chaotic congestion. Been there many times before, and it’s forever congested. It doesn’t help that people tend to double-park and all.

    I love the look of the Kulfi, though I’ve not tasted it. Would love to give it a try if/when I’m ever near that area.

    That can be said for the nasi briyani too. I never quite had the penchant for it, not sure why.

    • It’s insane how people double park at the sides! :)

      I’ve never actually parked on the street coz I don’t want some idiot to park beside me and block my way out. The streets at The Right Angle are lined with cars up to Jaya Shopping Centre. I really feel for the residents who have to put up signs telling people not to park in front of their gates and block their egress. I wonder why that area is so bad coz it’s not like there’s no parking. I usually park at the multi-storey carpark operated by MPPJ above the wet market in front of Anjappar. It’s RM 2.50 per hour.

      This place is a little underwhelming in terms of the nasi biryani, I prefer Anjappar, they have the best prawn biryani. They also have an imported confection from India they sell at the counter. It used to be RM 7 two weeks ago but I popped in after eating at Pakeeza just to get it and they’ve raised the price to RM 7.30. Still relatively cheap though, it’s a delicious flaky cardamom based crumbly sweet.

  3. At least you got your curiousity answered. Now you can just drive past this place without longing to enter to eat. Sometimes I go with the crowd too when I am undecided which eatery to go for but I won’t queue. If the queue is too long, I’ll head on to other places.

  4. I am familiar with this area and I know where this restaurant is but never went in. Thanks for the warning, I will not go there. Of course everyone would like the beef to be tender and not tough.

  5. Very Very High Price and Quantity is just Few. It surprise me that So high price of Pakistani Restaurant with Low Quality.

    I believe the Chef is also not from Pakistan. As a Pakistani and specially coming from Lahore i know the Pakistani Food taste very Well.

    Totally disappointed.

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