Thai Corner (Telephone: 9898 2257 – Map) is a Thai restaurant in Al Qurum commercial area. The restaurant is located in one of the small building opposite Al Qurum Garden, the place is currently quite messy with a bit of construction going around, so it might not be too easy to find a parking spot near the restaurant. Continue reading »
I received a sampler from the new Omani chocolate boutique Salma’s Chocolate. This business was officially launched yesterday at Sultan’s Center in Al Qurum. The unique thing about Salma’s Chocolate is that it is a 100% local business and they prepare unique Omani inspired chocolates. The box I received had eight different kinds of speciality Omani chocolate with flavours including Omani halwa, mahoo Omani sweet, cocunut, zaater, ginger, cheesecake, and coffee. I really enjoyed all the different kinds I tried especially the halwa and the coconut ones. They all seemed delicate, full of character, and delicious.
I have no idea how much such a box would cost, but I’m really excited about Salma’s Chocolate and I am already thinking of buying some for Eid!
Check out the cool promotional video (ARABIC) for Salma’s Chocolate below.
Sultan Center (2456 7666) has recently announced the launch of a new sushi bar in its Qurum branch where you can dine in and get takeaways from. The sushi bar is located in the far back of the ground floor of Sultan Center near what was supposed to be the hot food section (it was empty). The sushi bar at Sultan Center has about five or six stools to sit on which are extremely uncomfortable because they are way too low. Before we sat we asked the chef what kind of sushi we can order today, he handed us the menu and said we can order anything on it, but then it turned out that they were out of salmon so half the menu was unavailable.
Bamboo Kitchen (Telephone: 96969645) is a Thai/Chinese restaurant located in the basement of Al Araimi Complex in Qurum Commercial Area. It is jointly operated with Golden Bean Cafe, which is a bit confusing because both the restaurants are attached to each other, have their menus joint, and share staff. Bamboo Kitchen is the restaurant with the green coloured furniture (pictured above) and its items are on the green pages of the menu, while Golden Bean Cafe is the purple-themed place and its items are on the purple pages of the menu.
Pizza Inn is a casual dine-in and delivery pizza restaurant. It has relaunched recently and has two branches one in Qurum (2456 6111) and the other in Ruwi (2478 4555). We recently paid a visit to the branch in Al Araimi Complex in Qurum.
Pizza Inn has a very similar feel and look to Pizza Hut, but a bit flashier because it has very recently opened. We went on an evening of a week day and the place was pretty busy, but we had no trouble finding a table.
The menu in Pizza Inn is very similar to Pizza Hut, for starters they have garlic bread, chicken wings, french fries and potato wedges. In addition to these they have some salads, pastas, and, unlike Pizza Hut, they also serve RO1.5 Submarine sandwiches that come with french fries and a drink.
For the starters we had garlic bread with cheese (RO 1.2) which was really well done and not as hard as those served at Pizza Hut.
Pizza Inn has a variety of pizzas including a Taco Pizza, a Tandoori Pizza, a Hawaiian Pizza and several other ones. Pizzas come in small, medium, large, or family size (12 slices). We decided to have a family size Pizza Inn Special pizza (RO 6), this pizza had pepperoni, sausage, beef, onions, mushrooms, black olives and green peppers. We really enjoyed it, we thought that the dough was very tender and barely had any traces of oil. The toppings also felt fresh.
We didn’t try any desserts but they had a couple pizza-style sweets. For the drinks we just had soft drinks, but surprisngly they were served in fast-food style plastic cups even though were dining in. The drinks were not refill-able.
In total we had one starter, one family size pizza, and four drinks, our bill came out to RO 9.800.
Overall we thought that the service was good and the food was really excellent. I was not happy about the way our drinks were served and I thought that our table was too small for our plates. If you are going to dine-in at Pizza Inn make sure you do not sit at the small tables if your group is going to be more than two people.
Blogger Rashad made a post about Jean’s Grill, the restaurant up in Sultan Center. I’ve never been the place myself, but according to Rashad the place serves an awesome breakfast buffet for RO 2.5. Check out his review over at his blog.
The Bollywood (Telephone: 2456 5653) is a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Qurum Commercial Area right next to CCC. We felt adventurous a couple of weeks ago and decided to give this restaurant a go. The Bollywood has been around for years, it was previously known as Bollywood Chaat, but I do not know a single (Omani) person who has been to it before.
The Bollywood restaurant is all (guess what?) Bollywood, the spacious restaurant is covered with photographs and posters in various shapes and sizes of Indian movie superstars. The crowd in The Bollywood is Indian and mostly families and couples. The Bollywood is not a fancy place unlike Mumtaz Mahal, the cost of food is lower and the service and venue is not as fancy either. I don’t think that it is licensed to serve alcohol because we were not offered a drinks menu. I don’t also think that were seated, we entered the restaurants and had to look for a table ourselves and only after we sat a waiter came to us with a menu.
The Bollywood only serves vegetarian food – we did not know that before sitting down. I personally considered leaving when the waiter told us this, but we decided to just give it a try because were not that hungry anyway. Unfortunately the menu of The Bollywood is not very helpful, it has all sorts of fancy ethnic dish names but they barely had any explanation of what that dish actually was.Â We asked the waiter for help but he couldn’t explain anything to as at all. So we ended up picking stuff that had pictures of them on the menu. For the starter we had a Tandoor Platter (pictured above – RO 2.500) which was made up of different things which we did not know, some of these things had a texture of minced beef burger but tasted quite unique in a good way, some bits of it were moderatly spicy.
We also had a some paratha bread with cheese (pictured above – RO 0.900)Â and some buttered naan bread (not pictured – RO 0.450) ,Â the cheese paratha bread was awesome. It came perfectly warm and the cheese inside it tasted amazing.
I very rarely eat rice on regular days, so I always take the opportunity to try out a rice dishÂ if I’m in an Indian restaurant, EVNE WHEN ITS VEGETARIAN… unfortunately though I did not like the vegeterian biryani (pictured above – RO 1.350)Â of The Bollywood, it was quite spicy, but somehow I just did not like it. I did not like the mix of things they had in it and I thought that it was boring without any chicken.
My friend had a Chole Bhature for his main dish, it was a spicy chickpeas dish that come with funny looking bread.The only memory my friend has of this is that it was too spicy for him.
We decided to also try a new drink at The Bollywood, so we went for Kala Katta (pictured above – RO 0.400), we tried very hard to make the waiter explain to us what it was made up of, but we did not understand one word of what he said, the drink turned out to be some sort of fruit-like juice, reddish-black in coloured, it tasted quite sour and very weird (vimto and laban mix?). It was not cold enough and I did not like it.
At the end we had one starter, two main courses, some bread, two drinks, our bill came out at RO 7.850.
Our dining experiece at The Bollywood was quite *unique* to say the least, the fact that a place is vegetarian will probably be a turn-off to many people. The waiters did not guide us through the menu to help order stuff which we might like. I do not think that I will be going back anytime soon. However, I am sure that a vegeterian Indian family that has an idea of the food served would likely enjoy the place. Others willing to pay a little bit more for a better Indian experience can visit the Mumtaz Mahal instead where there is greater variety in food, the ambience is nicer, and the service is way much better.
Cafe Ceramique is a new cafe/art-workshop that opened a couple of months ago in Al Araimi Complex in Qurum Commercial Area. What I mean by a cafe/art-workshop is that the cafe serves food and also offers you ceramic pieces which you can purchase and paint at the cafe as well. Visiting the place was an awesome experience, the food was great and we had so much fun with the painting.
Ceramique Cafe is located on the ground floor of Al Araimi Complex right next to where Baskin Robins is. We came around 6.30pm and the place was almost empty, but by the time we left (around 9.30pm) the place was almost full. The crowd seemed to be mostly families with their children with a very few groups of mature people with no kids.
The food menu of Ceramique Cafe is half way between Darcy’s Kitchen and Cafe Barbera with hot and cold coffee drinks, juices, soft drinks, breakfasts dishes, bagels, sandwiches, quick bites, desserts and some other speciality dishes. We started our course from the drinks menu where we had a Cafe Latte (pictured above – RO 1.5), a Minty Lemon Juice (RO 2.2) and a couple of Mix n’ Match Juices (you mix two fresh juices – not pictured – RO 1.9). I had a Mix n’ Match Orange and Mango juice which I thought was really good.
For the main course I had a Tough-in-The-Gulf Club Sandwich (it is the only club sandwich they have – pictured above – RO 3.5) which you can order with salad or with chips, I had mine with chips and I loved i, especially for its salad fillings. We also ordered a Chicken Quesadilla (pictured below- RO 3.6) which can also be ordered with salad of chips, and comes also with three dips. My other friend had a Chicken “Shawarma Pockets”(pictured down below – RO 3.5) which was pretty hard to handle, but supposedly tasted great as well.
We thought that the food at Cafe Ceramique was great and the service was also good enough, but we also wanted to try out the painting part, which was the thing that made this place special. To paint a ceramic piece at the cafe you simply have to pick one from any of the shelves in the store, there are loads of different ones in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there are plates, cups, mugs, pots, boxes, ashtrays, and all sorts of statues and simple decoration pieces. The price of the piece is placed on its bottom and I think that it ranges from RO 2 to RO 15 or so, depending on the size and the shape.
Once you select the piece you want to paint, you are given a paper to select 5 colours and 2 outliners. These colours are then given to you with a sponge, water, and a set of brushes. You can colour as you please (instructions for this or the table paper and an *artist* is available in the store to help you if you need drawing guidance!) and when you are done you have to leave it in the cafe for them to fire the piece and glaze it (that takes at least 7 days).Â You are given a receipt which you must use to collect your piece after the completion date. The pieces are all supposed to be microwave and dishwasher friendly and the colours do not contain any toxins so you can eat and drink using them.
The painting activity is really fun and relaxing, it felt like art classes from school, but seriously this is not something that you should attempt to do without planning on spending a lot of time in the cafe. We stayed for more than three hours and decided to leave cause it was already kinda late even though in theory we thought we can spend even much more time painting.
Ceramique Cafe is the perfect place to go to if you have a family and would like to do something fun or even if you dont’ have a family and still want to go out and try something different for the weekend!
We’ll post a photo of the Omani Cuisine artwork when we get the piece from Cafe Ceramique next week!
Nandos is a spicy grilled chicken restaurant in the Qurum Commercial Area right in front of the CCC. The cuisine of Nandos could be said to be Portuguees with an African twist, and is loved internationally by its fans in a cult-like manner. The restaurant closed down after the cyclone Gonu hit Muscat last year and only opened up on Eid last month. It looks different and nicer now, but a bit tighter in space as well
Nandos in the Middle East is different from branches abroad in that it is a proper dine-in restaurant, you do not go up to the counter and order in Oman, you get seated, the menu comes, and then you order the same way you would do at a Pizza Hut or a Chilli’s. I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant in places where you had to almost serve yourself, get the sauces, cutlery, and everything else and think that Nandos is ‘almost’ boring here because of this, but I guess that it might not work in the Middle East because of culture differences.
Nandos menu is made up mostly of chicken dishes. For starters, they have chicken liver, chicken wings, corn, mixed olives, and humous. I think that I tried them all, and my favourite is the humous which comes with a bit of Nandos spicy sauce and a deliciously tender pita bread.
The famous main course of Nandos is grilled chicken which you can order either as a quarter, a half, or a whole chicken marinated with the level of spiciness you choose: Lemon and Herb, Mild, Hot, and Extra Hot. The Extra Hot is probably way too hot for many, start with Mild even if you are a fan of spicy food. Nandos is very famous for its spicy sauces that you should find on the table, there are various ones which you should try out if you’re there.
Other main courses served at Nandos include chicken burger, chicken breast in pita bread (pictured above) , chicken rolls, chicken strips with rice, and espitada – which is a dish of grilled chicken cubes served with cooked vegetables. (pictured below) Some meals such as the burger and beast in pita come with Nandos spicy mayo which you could also order separately as a dip. Many of the dishes come as meals that let you pick one or two sidelines to have with the chicken, these sidelines include chips, rice, and coleslaw.
Starters at Nandos cost about RO1, while a main course meal for one person costs between RO2 to RO3 – taxes excluded.
We are happy to have Nandos again in town after Gonu, many of the people that went to it in the few first days did not seem to be happy with the service, and I was not happy with the food either, but the last time we went to it for dinner a couple of weeks ago everything was perfect. If you have not tried Nandos you should surely give it a try.
Kobe is the relatively fancy relatively new sizzler restaurant in the first block of shops next to the Zawawi car showroom in the Qurum commercial area. I do not know when exactly it opened, but the first time I go to it was sometime last month.
The first thing you notice about Kobe is that it has a serious theme/identity crisis, the restaurant table paper sheets say that Kobe is a place (or a thing – can’t remember) in Japan and the restaurant is nicely decorated with bamboo sticks, but all the food served is Indian. All the staff members are Indian. And occasionally between the Britney Spears songs and the Nancy Ajram songs a random Indian song would be played. We consider Kobe to be an Indian restaurant regardless of their confusing mention of Japan here and there.
Kobe Sizzlers, as the name suggests, serves mainly sizzlers, these are meet, chicken, or fish dishes grilled or fried and brought to you sizzling. All the sizzler dishes of Kobe come with cooked vegetables (spinach, carrots, tomato, flower, and green beans) and either chips, boiled rice, or mushed potatoes depending on your choice. The menu has a long list of sizzlers in all various forms, shapes and falvours, along with soups, some random little sandwiches (e.g. cheese chili sandwich), burgers, one pasta dish, and three fried rice dishes. On the drinks side, Kobe offers a selection of juices which we did not try, ice tea which a friend tried and thought that it was okay, and good old soda.
Kobe has several things messed up, but the major thing that they do have right is the food itself as it is really very good. I have already been to it three times, my favourite dish is a delicious schezwan sauce chicken sizzler which is rich in flavour and quite spicy but not to a crazy extent. We thought that the amount of food served was good. The sizzler meal costs on average RO 3.500, a rice meal costs about RO 2. The total we spent for dinner for four was about RO 15.
Dinner at Kobe was a pleasant experience, we wished that it would have a greater variety of appetisers, but that section of the menu had only soups. A point that we think is worth mentioning here is that the whole of the Kobe restaurant is engulfed with the sizzling smell of the food, we do not think that you would like to go for an important meeting after staying inside Kobe for an hour.
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