Barcelos (Telephone 9953 3698 – Map) is a Portuguese-style grilled chicken restaurant located in Al Asalah Towers. To reach this building you need to be driving on Sultan Qaboos Road from the Al Athaiba bridge toward Al Ghubrah bridge and take the exit to enter the Oman Oil petrol station after the Grand Mosque. Al Asalah Towers are found on the highway after the petrol station. There is currently no visible sign for Barcelos outside, but you need to enter the building and walk inside to reach its back to find the restaurant.
The seating area of Barcelos is incredibly huge and has a variety of table and sofa configurations, partitioned areas and other airy bright sections. We went for lunch on a working day and a few other people were dining besides us. The restaurant remains undiscovered and not a lot of people know about it.
Barcelos can be easily confused for Nando’s, but it is a proper chain from South African that directly competes with Nando’s. The menu of Barcelos is similar to Nando’s in that it focuses on grilled chicken and allows you to select how spicy you want it to be. You can also pick one or two sides to have with your chicken.. basically, if you have been to Nando’s you will feel right at home at Barcelos. In addition to appetisers, salads, grilled chicken, pitas, wraps, and burgers. Barcelos also offers stir fry dishes and a few other Portuguese items.
For the starter we ordered a peri peri hummus and mutabal which came with pita bread on the side (RO 1.300). It was nice even even though not exactly creative. The pita bread was nice and puffy and the portion of the bread was certainly more than that served at Nando’s.
For my main I ordered half a flame grilled chicken with two sides (RO 4.700), the sides I ordered were french fries and spicy rice. My friend ordered Chicken Shwarma (RO 1.600) on its own and a Garlic Chicken Burger with one side (RO 2.600) – his side was a huge cheesy garlic roll. My chicken was full of flavour, tender and really cooked well. The rice offered was a basmati rice cooked in the Barcelos spices which again looked very similar to what you would get at Nando’s in the Middle East and not the shorter kind of rice found elsewhere. Overall, I think I enjoyed my main dish a lot.
I do not recall that Barcelos had a lot of options for desserts during our visit, but we ordered a Panna Cotta (Mango) (RO 2.000), which looks nice, but was way too rich and sweet for me. I did not like much.
In total we ordered one starter, three mains, two drinks, two small bottles of water, and one dessert. Our bill came to a total of RO 16.100.
I found the service at Barcelos quite good, our food came without much delay and exactly as ordered.
Some people might dismiss this restaurant thinking that it is a Nando’s ripoff, but I personally had a really great time and would not mind going there again.
Have you guys tried Barcelos?
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