Global Mat Soul Kitchen’s briyani

Disposable box of briyani and pineapple achar
The box of briyani with achar

It was more than a month ago (some time in September 2022) when I saw the notification from Global Mat Soul Kitchen’s instagram that he was opening orders for his “mutton ov doom” aka mutton briyani.

I had followed his account for much longer and since it was the first time in a long while that I finally got that notification, I knew I had to try it.

Were all those articles about his briyani being the best really true? What is all the hype about it? What’s this mysterious briyani?

To get it, you had to follow the exact instructions and be polite about it because hey, this person really did cook food for you if you managed to get an order in time.

What I had to do was message my order, follow said instructions and go to the specified pick up point with my own plastic bag. Remember! Bring your own bags and make it sturdy. There has been a sad tale when one customer’s plastic bag broke and all the beautiful briyani was strewn upon the cement floor.

At this point of blog post, you might ask me was it worth it?

Well, duh. Yes, it is.

But hey, this is a Sarah post, so heck that if you wanted a tl;dr version you’d read other people’s reviews with pictures.

Mutton briyani
Tender “mutton ov doom”!

What was memorable about the chef’s instructions was that you could eat it at the void deck if you brought your own utensils and chat with others.

Mind you, during the time I bought it was when restrictions were easing up but it wasn’t that easy to just ‘hang around’ at the void deck so I figured I would bring it home to eat.

And eat I did. And then I realized why all those reviews were like that and who wrote it and laughed.

Suffice to say, I really looked back who wrote it and laughed again.

You’orang bukan orang Melayu kan?

(You’re not Malay, right?)

That’s what I wanted to say to all those reviewers. Because I don’t know if they know the significance of this briyani. And the taste of it.

All they could describe was just it was “hype” or “different” or, you guys get the idea.

But let me describe it for you and why it’s a pretty awesome briyani. And if you get a chance to buy it. Please do so.

Using a hand to eat the briyani
Digging into the briyani


Maybe it’s an exaggeration but I didn’t think I’d be able to get this sort of briyani any more.

This is a celebratory briyani.

No wonder when I first saw the notification, it said something about to celebrate making it to September (I’m paraphrasing here) which I thought was well, we really made it through the worse of Covid and all in Singapore. And to eat at the void deck was maybe a ‘gimmick’.

No, it’s not. It really is a celebratory briyani.

This is the taste of a specific style of briyani I had as a CHILD in the 90s in Singapore. Cooked lovingly by people for a celebration at the void deck for a maulid (Islamic celebration of sorts). I’m an east side person. These celebrations happened in a neighbourhood scale.

And they were organized by neighbours themselves before ‘booking’ the void decks to hold said celebrations. These celebrations, you had so many people who’d pray together and then we’d feast on briyani, kueh and drink on those sweet rose syrups before going home.

There isn’t any happening at where I live now because the people who used to organized them are now very old or have passed away.

Mind you, these celebrations do still go on at the mosques nowadays but it’s not the same as how it was in the 90s with the ‘grassroots’ movement.

It’s not the same.

And you won’t get the same ‘recipe’ because no shop will possibly be willing to cook this specific way since it takes a long time to cook. It is an intensive labour of love and really, it won’t be ‘profitable’ with the amount of work it takes to cook this. At most, Global Mat Soul Kitchen is charging just to ‘cover’ it, because I’d be willing to pay a bit more.

Do you see the pineapple achar?

It’s very sweet and it’s a distinctive taste that you have to boil with sugar for a long time, not too long though or else it gets too cloyingly sweet. But not too short either or else it won’t be sweet enough. The Health promo board would probably frown upon it because it’s so indulgent.

But you’re not meant to eat the achar on its own like that, it just comes in a tiny little tub which you eat with the briyani itself.

The mix of spices and mutton. Wow, the mutton… It was so tender and soft, and you must eat it with your hands. The spice mix in the rice was generous. Like, what the heck. Really, what the heck.

I’d say “Cukup rempah untuk nasi“.

This is a very filling portion for one person.

While most of the other articles have noted this is a ‘family recipe’. They didn’t note that this was the family recipe that had a distinctive taste where you’d know if you ever gone to a maulid in the 90s and had probably gone ‘extinct’ in public except for Global Mat Soul Kitchen.

This post is in 2022 and while I see his instagram posts about eating it at the void deck, having a chat with other customers who were willing to come all the way and all after you purchase it…

I do feel it might bring back that specific feeling of celebrations at the void deck to a more… heh, global audience.

Because really, sometimes you just got to eat good food together and celebrate what you have.

Maybe next time, depending on our public restrictions… I could even bring my own ‘air sirap‘ to share.

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Well, this is seriously Sarah and that's all you need to know for now.

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