Don’t be misled by Hotel New Mustafa’s name: having served many of the area’s residents and visitors for the past 49 years now, this restaurant has survived everything from riots to drought.

Started by the late Alavi Haji, who came to the city from Kerala with only recipes up his sleeve, this place today sells over 700 plates of biriyani a day.

The beef biriyani, which costs Rs. 40, is the most ordered. It is filling, to say the least, accompanied by tender, flavourful pieces of meat. The head cook has been preparing the biriyani here for two decades and can be trusted to deliver satisfaction every time.

This place also offers a range of dishes in a variety of meats; beef is the most popular, followed by chicken, fish and mutton, which is a shade more pricey.

The fried beef chops here are sought after by patrons, and the different types of fried chicken (called kabab, even though they aren’t barbecued) taste as good as they look behind the huge glass display kept right at the entrance.

The other hot sellers here are the beef pepper chops and mutton ‘bhaji gosht’, which are best eaten with the restaurant’s parathas or rumali rotis.

Unlike many other food joints, Hotel New Mustafa opens at 7.30 a.m. and serves food until midnight. For breakfast, the healthy mutton paya (goat’s trotter) soup is a favourite, along with beef kheema and ghee rice. However, all items are available at any given time of the day, and food is served up in 10 minutes or less; Ismail, one of the proprietors, insists that he hates to waste his customers’ time.

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