Austin's Biryani and Co Has a Menu of Well-Prepared Traditional Indian Dishes

This Indian restaurant serves up a solid menu

Cool off the spicy aftertaste with the yogurt mint cilantro sauce.

Indian food is potent, bold, and spicy, a fascinating combination of spices. I love it, but to be honest, I am not very well versed with this cuisine and usually fallback on the lunch buffets for the chicken tikka masalas and curries. For this restaurant review, I invited my good friend Zainub, who is from Pakistan. Not only did she grow up with friends from India, her own family still gathers for a homestyle meal of Indian and Pakistani dinner every weekend – just now in the States. Having cleared her credentials, I asked her to do the taste test and to provide me with her honest opinion of how Biryani and Co. stacked up to her highly experienced palate.

Biryani and Co. is located in northwest Austin and serves authentic south Indian cuisine. Chef Sundar Manickam provided us with a brief history of the bestselling dishes on the menu. The conversation, in English, between my friend and the chef contained jargon and flowed as if they’d known each other for years. What I learned was that the namesake biryani is a very special dish. So special, that it is traditionally served in Indian weddings. At first glance, the colorful masterpiece already looks majestic. The dish featured is the Chicken Dum Biryani. Manickam explained that the dish takes days to prepare. The slow-cooked meat is the base, then carefully layered with Basmati rice and secret spices. It was accompanied by two sauces called Salan (gravy onion spicy dip) and Raita (yogurt, mint and cilantro). The Raita was the perfect chaser to cool your tongue from the spicy meat.

Biryani is an explosion of flavors

Leilani Lim-Villegas (Instagram @leilatinasian_atx)

Biryani is an explosion of flavors

As our appetizer, Manickam recommended the Gobi Manchurian. It was a fascinating blend of crispy batter fried cauliflower tossed with its signature spicy Manchurian sauce. We also taste tested the goat Sukka. It was fall-off-the-bone tender and drenched in special secret spicy sauces made Tamil Nadu style, named after a city in India.

The menu offers a vast selection of vegetarian dishes. Plate after plate, our party of two looked more like it was table for 10. As my friend tasted each dish, her comments were along the lines of “pretty good” or “brings back memories.” To be fair, I told her that her comments were too subjective for my restaurant review, so I finally asked her my burning question. “From 1 to 10, what would you rate Biryani and Co.?” Zainub took a deep breath and rated them a solid 10. Take it from the expert. For more Austin dining and travel news, visit the city guide.