Details: Located at 44-27 Kissena Blvd., Flushing, NY 11355. Official site is http://www.biryaniandchat.com/
The first time I came to this play was around when they first opened. I came by to try their food mostly out of convenience because I was in the neighborhood. It was a dingy looking place. No decorations or anything. Just some tables and chairs and a guy behind the counter. It didn’t look like anyone had even tried the restaurant yet because it was empty and the cashier looked that bored. I ordered some samosas and paid with a twenty dollar bill. The cashier took my money and instead of paying from the register, he reached underneath the cash tray and gave me a taped up ten dollar that was ripped in half. Naively, I took the ten with the knowledge that banks take damaged legal tender. I went to the bank to deposit the ten and the bank teller told me the ten was fake. She was right. I looked at the ten with a little more scrutiny and could see the printer ink washing off the paper. I was really mad. This cashier went out of his way to give me fake money. I decided then and there never to return to this dumpster fire of a restaurant ever again.
That was many years ago. Since then, I’ve had friends tell me that this place is okay. In fact, there was an Eater review that gave the place four stars out of five (here’s the link: http://ny.eater.com/2015/10/6/9462351/hyderabadi-biryani-chat-restaurant-review). In light of these developments, I decided to give the place another try.
The first thing I noticed walking in was that the place is a lot warmer. They added some decoration. Most importantly, that trash cashier was nowhere to be found. Instead, a warm, nicer old lady took my order. Actually, she was likely the proprietor or owner of the place now that I think about it.
Anyways, the food is displayed like at Chipotle and you can pick what you want. The food here is stuff you often find at other Indian restaurants around New York City, like chicken tikka, curries, samosas, and naan. Outside the restaurant, a sign advertised their combos which priced at almost ten dollars, so I decided to get that. I ordered the boneless chicken combo, which was chicken tikka masal over rice with a side and naan bread. I also got some samosas which for four for three dollars.
The food was good, especially at this price point. I think this kind of Indian food is similar to how Chinese takeout is to authentic Chinese food in that there is some resemblance, but it’s significantly altered for a Western palate. I was mostly glad that the cashier who gave me fake money was nowhere to be found and that the lady who took my order was nice.
Overall, I’d recommend this place. A lot’s changed since I was last here and it’s changed for the better.