Majed Al Shamsi (centre) after presenting the top 5 award to the owners of one of the restaurants. Image Credit: Mohammad Sultan Thani

Dubai: Two Emirati men, who went on a quest to find the best mutton biryani in Dubai and Sharjah, have attracted over 60,000 followers on social media during their reviews of 54 restaurants in a period of seven months.

Mohammad Sultan Thani, 55, who works at the Dubai Land Department, and his friend Majed Al Shamsi decided to go on a mission to find the best biryani in town after posting a question on social media, asking their followers to name their favourite biryani restaurants.

After receiving hundreds of suggestions, the duo decided to try out as many restaurants as they could, shortlisting their favourite five in May this year. “It was sudden, we didn’t plan it. We made a list of the most popular suggestions from my Snapchat followers and started visiting them between September 2016 and March 2017. We then shortlisted the best five restaurants and created a competition for first place,” Thani told Gulf News.

After visiting the top five restaurants multiple times, and asking followers on social media to vote, a decision was finally reached.

He explained they based their decisions on several criteria including taste, the tender quality of the cooked meat, and overall flavour.

Speaking of his familiarity with the dish, Thani said, “I grew up in a house near the Gold Souq, where there are plenty of biryani restaurants, so I am very familiar with Indian dishes. To me, biryani has become almost a local dish,” he said.

With over 63,000 followers on Instagram and 35,000 on Snapchat, Thani’s restaurant visits have been documented under the hashtag #bestbiryani in English and Arabic.

“We received a lot of feedback and comments from followers. We have explained that our decision to pick the best biryani is based on our taste. Some people do not agree, but the majority of the followers do,” he added.

The duo will be officially awarding the owner of the winning restaurant on Sunday evening, and have given the other top four restaurants a trophy each.