Eve Dew has had Charminar Biryani House in Troy on her radar for a while. She had heard of the restaurant’s South Asian specialties such as butter chicken, chicken 65 and gulab jamun for some time. The problem with ticking the restaurant off her to-do list — it’s just too far from her home in Romulus.
Luckily for her, the operators of the famous biryani restaurant have moved to Midtown with the opening of the Charminar Biryani Express, right across from Wayne State University. Not exactly right around the corner from her home, but still more accessible for her and others looking to get their fix of Indian cuisine.
“I think it’s amazing, especially where the college is, because I know a lot of students need full meals,” she says.
Dew, along with a host of eager foodies, got to sample food from the new spot during a soft launch in March. She’s tried that butter chicken she’s heard so much about, as well as chicken 65 and gulab jamun. Her favorite dish was obviously butter chicken and she says it was worth trying the food.
Kay Ahmed, co-owner of Charminar Biryani House Express, says he has long dreamed of opening this restaurant in the heart of the city.
“I practically grew up in Detroit and [have] wanted to do business in Detroit for a very long time now and [when] the opportunity presented itself, I decided to go for it,” he says.
Ahmed is also one of the co-owners of the original Troy location, which is more of a family-style restaurant. The restaurant has been open for about five years, but became part owner in December 2020.
Ahmed says he and his partners decided to open Charminar Biryani Express to serve as a dining option for Wayne State’s many students and faculty, as well as employees of Detroit Medical Center and Health System hospitals. health Henry Ford looking for halal menu options. As such, the fast-casual spot is offering students and frontline workers 15% off their meals. He says he also wanted to offer customers who live closer to Detroit or Dearborn — which have a much higher concentration of halal food options — an alternative to driving to Troy.
“We have a huge clientele at our Troy location who reside in the northern suburbs but work downtown,” says Ahmed. “Many customers also travel to Troy to sample our Metro Detroit food, especially Dearborn.
“We’ll have a lot of students and staff and workers from all the other different organizations here and they’ll want to be able to come in and out…but we’ll also have our full a la carte menu,” he says.
The new restaurant offers prepared meals, starters and ready-to-go side dishes. Among the more than 100 menu options to choose from, diners can find options such as Butter Chicken, Chicken 65, and Tandoori Chicken, as well as a variety of vegan selections.
During Ramadan, Charminar Biryani Express serves iftar boxes for $9.99 each for those looking for a quick meal to break their fast. The boxes will be available for pickup between 5:30 p.m. and 8:40 p.m. in Detroit, along with other menu options. Meanwhile, the Troy site offers an iftar buffet for $15.99 per person, offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Charminar Biryani Express is located at 111 W Warren Ave. in Detroit; hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, visit their Instagram page @charminarbiryanihouse.