Venkatram Nalla and his partners Manohar Gaddam and Srikanth and Sridhar Nelakudity share a common passion for authentic Indian food.
The four entrepreneurs opened their new restaurant, Paradise Biryani Pointe, on July 20 in Hillview Plaza. The signature item on their menu is dum biryani, a traditional dish that the Persians introduced to India in the 14th century. The Indians adapted the dish with their own traditional culinary offerings, and many historians believe that the dum biryani that was served in India through the centuries owes just as much to oon soru, a native delicacy that dates back to the 2nd century.
Dum biryani consists of a basmati rice base, flavored with assorted spices and a meat or vegetable curry sauce and combined with meat, vegetables, or eggs. Paradise Biryani Pointe offers five varieties of dum biryani, including chicken, shrimp, goat, vegetable, and egg.
Nalla claims that what separates Paradise Biryani Pointe from other eateries that serve Indian cuisine is the way its dum biryani is cooked.
"We prepare it in a traditional way," he emphasizes. "Our chefs have a background in how to prepare it the right way. The taste is completely different."
Comments from older, Indian customers confirm that the restaurant is realizing its owners' vision.
"They tell us that our biryani reminds them of what they ate growing up as children in India," Nalla said.
Paradise Biryani Pointe does not cater to just those of Indian descent. Nalla says that they selected Rocky Hill for the site of the restaurant because "there are lots of different people here." He points to their assortment of tandoori and kabobs, the restaurant's other specialty items, as selections with which many American-born diners may be more familiar.
Nalla is sensitive to the prevailing economic climate, but reassures, "our meals are priced very reasonably."
The restaurateur and his fellow owners also harbor dreams of expansion into other towns. "Sure," he said when asked if he can see opening other branches within the next five years. "There is a lot of opportunity around here."
Paradise Biryani Pointe is located in Hillview Plaza at 397 Cromwell Avenue. It is open Tuesday - Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.; on weekends the restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.