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Aug 202012
 

Greater crimes are being committed on New Yorkers in the name of Biryani than by all the sleeper-cell jihadists supposedly holed up in Queens and Jersey City.

No sooner did I hear that the Paradise Biryani Pointe chain had opened an outpost in the same location as the closed Mehfil on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, than I dropped everything and rushed to NYC.

Hey, you cannot be Indian and disavow your loyalty to Biryani, the famed South Asian rice dish.

For those not familiar with NYC, the area around 74th St and 37th Ave in Jackson Heights is a stinking, pan-stained mess populated mostly by my South Asian brethren.

Paradise Biryani Pointe NYC Vegetable Biryani - © SearchIndia.comNauseating Vegetable Biryani

Unending Nightmare

Since my mission was to feast on Biryani, I ordered both Chicken Biryani ($9.99) and Vegetable Biryani ($8.99) followed by Masala Tea ($1.50) and Qubani Ka Meetha ($3.99).

It took about 10-12 minutes for my Vegetable Biryani to arrive followed in short order by Chicken Biryani.

Both Vegetable and Chicken Biryani came with Peanut flavored gravy and Onion Raita on the side.

Awful – My one-word review of the Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights’  Vegetable and Chicken Biryanis for all ye impatient souls.

For what was served in the name of Vegetable Dum Biryani and Chicken Dum Biryani was fit only for the dumpster, not for my stomach.

Vegetable Dum Biryani – Pitiful

My Vegetable Biryani was hot (temperature wise), made with Basmati rice and included diced carrots, green peas, beans, caramelized onions, chopped cilantro, one piece of cut lime, a round slice of onion, two small round slices of peppers and two small slices of zucchini.

But my Vegetable Biryani was a catastrophe of unparallelled proportions.

Like a Bollywood film, the Vegetable Biryani’s beautiful exterior masked its hideous true colors.

There were too many things wrong with the Vegetable Biryani:

  • First, the Vegetable Biryani lacked the orgasm inducing aroma and taste of a good Biryani.
  • Second, it was missing badly on the Biryani spices that add the magical zing.
  • Third, it had too much of cheap-tasting clarified butter (either ghee or dalda) causing a deep nausea of a sort rivaled only at seeing the words “Mitt Romney” in print anywhere.
  • Fourth,  the Peanut flavored gravy was spicy but the thick layer of oil floating on top of the gravy heightened my nausea and could have been better used for an oil-change on my car.

The only part of the Biryani that I had no complaint with was the thick Onion Raita offered as a side.

Well, it’s really hard to screw up the humble Indian Raita.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights - © SearchIndia.comOily Peanut Flavored Gravy

All in all, I did not enjoy the Vegetable Biryani one bit.

Not since Dimple Kapadia married Rajesh Khanna, did I feel so cheated.

Flinging silent curses on the devils in the restaurant kitchen, I left a lot of my Vegetable Biryani on the plate to be thrown away into the dumpster where it belonged.

Chicken Biryani – Acid Reflux

Now for the $64,000 question – Did I find solace in my Chicken Biryani?

Alas, when Biryani misery rains, it pours.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights Chicken Biryani - © SearchIndia.comHorrid Chicken Biryani

Much to my horror, Chicken Biryani turned to be Red Chilly Powder Rice rather than Chicken Biryani.

Biryani is usually prepared by cooking Basmati rice with vegetables, chicken or goat or lamb and an assortment of spices on a slow flame.

It usually takes more than an hour depending upon the quantity being prepared.

In retrospect, the big mistake I made was to specify ‘Spicy’ when I was asked about the spice level.

Since the Biryani spices, rice, vegetables, chicken, meat all have to be cooked together, the only way to make it spicy is to mix either red chilli powder or dry biryani spice powder to the cooked Biryani.

Except if the kitchen cooks each Biryani item with three different spice levels – mild, medium and spicy. Highly unlikely but not impossible.

My Chicken Biryani included seven or eight pieces of chicken with bone, one big round raw onion slice, one cut lime, half boiled egg, two small round slices green peppers and chopped cilantro.

Again, Peanut flavored gravy and Onion Raita were offered on the side.

While the Biryani looked attractive with all the toppings, I just could not push more than five or six small servings into my mouth as it was dreadfully hot even to my spice-hardened South Indian palate.

All I could taste in my mouth was the fiery red chillies. It seemed like the bozos in the Paradise Biryani Pointe kitchen just added more red chilli powder without other ingredients to balance the spice factor.

Indian food, or any other food for that matter, is all about balance.

So, if I ask for my food to be spicy other ingredients too must be added so that the chilli powder does not completely dominate and overwhelm the dish.

But balance is not a word to be found in the dictionary of these perverse dolts.

I did not get much relief from the chicken pieces either as they did not adequately capture the flavor of the Biryani spices. Were the not-so-well-marinated chicken pieces added as an afterthought to the cooked Biryani Rice?

Bottom line, the two Biryanis at Paradise Biryani Jackson Heights were letdowns of Himalayan proportions.

If you’re the sort that enjoys nausea (from the Vegetable Biryani) and acid reflux and upset stomach (courtesy, the Chicken Biryani), then Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights NYC is straight up your alley .

Masala Tea and Qubani Ka Meetha

To soothe my burning taste buds and for some badly needed respite from the cruel Biryani onslaughts, I ordered a cup of Masala Tea and Qubani Ka Meetha for my beverage and dessert respectively.

Although I was assured that it was Indian style Masala Chai, my tea was terribly low on the Masala flavor, had too much milk and was barely warm.

Like most normal human beings, I like my Masala Tea piping hot.

But then I’m not sure whether this accursed restaurant’s target clientele is bipeds or quadrupeds.

In its favor, the tea was potable.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights Masala Tea - © SearchIndia.comSo, So Masala Tea

The sole saving grace of my otherwise disastrous outing at Paradise Biryani Pointe in Jackson Heights came in the form of  Qubani Ka Meetha.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights Qubani Ka Meetha - © SearchIndia.comDelicious Qubani Ka Meetha

Qubani Ka Meetha is a thickish sweet dessert prepared with apricot fruit.

It came with creme topping and was cold, but not ice-cream cold.

Spooning the sweet Qubani Ka Meetha into my mouth, I felt as if I’d exited the Hades highway into the Elysian fields.

Qubani Ka Meetha is a delicious treat, worthy of the long wait we were subjected to.

Clueless, Careless Service

When we sauntered in, the restaurant wore a deserted look and there were no other diners.

We were greeted with a smile by the middle-aged desi hostess and seated promptly.

But my water glasses were filled only in beginning.

They never bothered to come around to check if we needed more water.

Though the restaurant was mostly empty, I had difficulty in drawing the attention of the two male waiters.

The lady had disappeared inside and never showed up in the dining hall after taking my order.

The Nepali waiter was standing near the cash counter and staring zombie-like at the restaurant entrance.

The Indian (??) waiter was busy near the entrance door or hunch-backed at the cash counter.

After placing my order with the middle-aged desi waitress, I kept checking the world’s most famous blog.

Some 10 minutes later,  the Nepali waiter who volunteered that he’d joined Paradise Biryani Pointe from the nearby Mumbai Grill on the 74th St came by with a small notepad and inquired whether I was ready to place my order. Baffled, I repeated the order that I had already placed with the desi waitress.

The Nepali waiter was also utterly clueless about the difference between Qubani Ka Meetha and Double Ka Meetha desserts.

When I asked him about the difference he mumbled that Qubani Ka Meetha is a dry dessert and Double Ka Meetha was the same except that it comes with gravy. Since his explanation sounded odd, I repeated the question to the other  waiter who told me that Qubani Ka Meetha was made from apricot and Double Ka Meetha from bread.

It took 25 minutes for Paradise Biryani Pointe kitchen to deliver the so-called Masala Tea and an additional 15 minutes for Qubani Ka Meetha dessert to arrive (and that too after a gentle reminder).

I was not pleased that the steel spoons and knives were left directly on the table that had no table cloth or a table mat. Remember, restaurant tables are always wiped with a not-so-pristine cloth sprayed with chemicals!

There were two restrooms by the cash counter one with wheel chair access and the other without. While the restroom floor was clean in both, the first restroom without wheel chair access had a horrible stench and the one with wheel chair access had a strong welcome odor of phenol.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Ambience

What ambience?

There is not much ambience to speak of at the Jackson Heights outpost of Paradise Biryani Pointe.

Those of you familiar with Mehfil will probably remember the long rectangle dining hall with the cash counter, restrooms and kitchen at the rear and the tables up front.

There’s a big TV on the wall above the cash counter playing Bollywood crap.

Go, Go, Go Govinda (Sonakshi Sinha, Prabhu Deva) from the upcoming Bollywood film Oh My God was playing continuously on the TV (see below).


Jackal Michson and Snookinakshi Sinha

There are a total of 12 tables on either side of the wall.

No Lunch Buffet, Pricey Menu

Unlike other Indian restaurants in the Jackson Heights area like Mumbai Grill, Delhi Heights, Maharaja, Tawa Tandoor, Indian Taj and Jackson Diner, Paradise Biryani Pointe does not offer lunch buffet nor did I see lunch specials listed on the restaurant and takeout menus.

Paradise BIryani Pointe on 37th Ave Jackson Heights NYC - © SearchIndia.com

It offers only a la carte menu. The a la carte menu is pricey with $3 Samosas and all other appetizers priced at $4.99-$14.99. Main vegetarian entrees are $8.99, Chicken entrees $9.99, Goat $11.99.

Biryanis and Fried rice are priced from $8.99-$11.99.

For the price of a Biryani and an appetizer at Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights, you can get an all-you-can-eat buffet meal at other nearby Indian restaurants with over 10 items including Chicken, vegetarian curries and desserts.

Paradise Biryani Pointe Rating – Awful

In my not-so-humble opinion, it’s criminal to be served the kind of trashy Biryanis I got at Paradise Biryani Pointe NYC on 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights.

I have not the slightest doubt that the cooks in Paradise Biryani Pointe Jackson Heights apprenticed at Stalin’s gulags with additional exposure in Saddam’s dungeons to master the art of torturing and inflicting maximum pain on innocent diners.

Unless you are a die-hard masochist who’ll get off only with whippings of the literal or figurative kind, steer clear of this trashy Biryani impostor in Jackson Heights.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Related Stories:
Dakshin Express Egg Biryani Review Oak Tree Road, Edison
Biryani Cart NYC Review
Persis Biryani Hamilton NJ Review

  7 Responses to “Paradise Biryani Jackson Heights – Awful”

  1. Sounds like a really trashy place.

    I lived in Secaucus, NJ for a while many years ago. I subjected myself to unabated masochism in the form of Indian restaurants in Lexington avenue, India street @ Jersey City, Queens and Oaktree road.

    I can’t recall even one good restaurant.

    Not sure whether it is poor memory or my choice or restaurants.

    By the way, both Qubani Ka Meetha and Double Ka Meetha don’t seem like Indian desserts.

    SI – I sent you a long list of Indian restaurants near my area many months ago. Not interested in any of them?

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Most Indian restaurants in NJ/NY that I’ve graced with my presence have no reason to exist.

    2. Qubani Ka Meetha and Double Ka Meetha are Hyderabad desserts.

    3. Regarding your list, I’m unable to decide where to put the Chicago reviews – SI or existing Chicago site.

    Adding to my quandary, I also just purchased the ChicagoIndia.com domain name.

    • Unless there is a good commercial reason I would recommend having one domain (SearchIndia.com) and organize content within that domain. You can segregate by Content Type (Movie reviews / Restaurant Reviews and so on) and Location (Country / State / City). Easy to navigate, scale and maintain! :-)

      ChicagoIndia.com currently says “This Web page is parked for FREE, courtesy of GoDaddy.com.”

      Regardless of where to place the content let me know if you would be interested in some restaurant reviews. I have some free time this week.

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      I’ve been thinking along similar lines …Get rid of all the other domain names and keep just one or two – SI, Rekha.com/Sagar.com. But I have yet to make up my mind on whether to keep or sell these domain names too. All up in the air.

      I purchased ChicagoIndia.com in case I changed my mind.

      If we decide on a Chicago restaurant review, I’ll let you know by Thu/Fri.

  2. By the way, I reviewed Green Chilli @ Naperville many months ago and since then they have turned a new leaf.

    I went there reluctantly a month ago with some friends and was surprised by their efficient and friendly service and some really tasty food.

    Since then I visited the place 2 more times and each time the experience was good. A rare indian restaurant that actually improved!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    If you could please send a brief update with some specifics, I’ll add it to the review on the other site.

  3. Whoa…in the Go Go Govinda caption that you have got, Sonakshi is looking like the Zombie in George Romero movies.

    Yuck!!!

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    Really?

    I thought Sonakshi looked like Snooki from MTV reality show Jersey Shore. They’re both the same age too (27)

  4. I cannot say that the food is not good as I have been a repeat customer.

    However, they once charged me twice for the same meal but I only caught it by checking my bank statement. I forgave them.

    Then tonight, as I ate my food, someone from the kitchen stood several feet away from me and continuously picked his nose. He used a wet cloth to wipe his finger but OVERTLY picked his nose in the dining room. He even made eye contact with me a few times. Since he was not dressed in a cooks clothing, I didn’t immediately scream or anything.

    However, when I returned a couple of hours later I saw through the kitchen door that he was standing at the prep area and did not notice that ANYONE wore cook’s uniform. He looked shocked that I was back and I did report it to a worker who went in the back and returned–closing the door so that I could not see inside.

    Can’t go to a place where employees pick their noses then are around food preparation. I will add this review to as many websites as I can. Since he was so bold, I will be too.

  5. Did you notice — “Paradise” Biryani is an anagram for “Paradesi” biryani.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    1. Paradesi or Paradise, the Dum Biryani fella seems to be doing well. Not sure about his franchisees though!

    Recently, Forbes had a piece on the Paradise Biryani founder.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidyin/2013/08/15/having-gone-national-biryani-maker-plans-to-go-mainstream/

    2. During a recent visit to Edison (NJ), I found another Dum Biryani player off Oak Tree Road – Biryani King!

    But I gave the King the pass thinking I’d wait for the Biryani Queen or better still, Biryani Princess! ;)