May 5, 2008

Japengo – Shatti Al Qurum

Japengo - Shatti Al Qurum

Japengo is a new Japanese restaurant located in Shatti Al Qurum area on Shari3 Al Hub (Love Road). It opened three days ago. Unlike the what the name suggests, it is not cafe, but a proper dine-in restaurant. The Love Road was hit badly by Cyclone Gonu and it has not been fixed yet, Japengo is the first restaurant to open up there and there aren’t enough proper parkings yet around, but people seem to somehow find a place to just stop their cars and come in. The place was busy today when I went to it.


Japengo is pretty big from the inside and has additional seats outside from both sides of the restaurant. There are some allocated tables on which smoking is allowed inside, the restaurant is pretty big so the non-smoking section should not be disturbed by it, but still, there is no separator or barrier between the two sections (I did not know where one starts and the other ends).


Japengo was opened less than a week ago and more than half of its menu items is not available for serving yet. You are given the full menu with all the unavailable items indicated with an x mark. A point worth noting is that Japengo is not your average Japanese restaurant, as it seems to have a lot more than just sushi. The menu has an appetizer section, salads section, sandwiches section, sushi/ sashimi section, sushi rolls section, Italian pasta section, pizza section, and even Lebanese food section (which I thought was insane!).

Japengo - Sushi Rolls

We decided to go for Shake Kawa Sushi Rolls for the starter (6 pieces in a single portion, cost RO 3.3), those  were sushi made in a roll and then cut into six pieces, the dish came with a plate of Soya sauce and some Wasabi (the green thing). Our Japanese-food-knowledgeable friend told us that we are supposed to use our chopsticks to take small bits of Wasabi and mix it with the Soya sauce then dip our sushi in the sauce before eating it. Our experiment succeeded and it was delicious. I really cannot remember what the Shake Kawa Sushi had in it, but it was cold, soft from the outside, and a little bit crunchy from the inside.

Japengo - Calamari

We also had fried calamari (costs RO 2.9) as our second starter, I had no comment about it other than it was very well done. The dip that came with it was amazing.


We had a tough time selecting our main course as the majority of dishes were not available yet, we did not want to go for something Italian or Lebanese dish, because that would just be wrong. Why would anyone go for a Lebanese dish at a Japanese restaurant?! I had a tougher time selecting a dish because I wanted to have something with chicken, and there was nothing with chicken other than the sandwiches. One of my friends ended up taking the Japengo Club Sandwich (pictured above- costs RO 3.9) and the other took a Cheese Burger (pictured below – costs RO 4.4). I ordered a Chicken Breast Sandwich (not pictured – costs RO 3.9) which came in a bun with French fries. I thought that was really good, loved the sauce that they used, but half way through I realised that maybe we ordered too much for a day. But it was very good.

Japengo - Cheese Burger

For the drinks we ordered watermelon juice (RO 2.1), lemon juice (RO 2.1), and mango smoothie (RO 2.5). I loved my mango smoothie so much I had to order another one before we left. It was surely one of the best smoothies I had in town.

In total we ordered 1 starter, 4 main courses, and 5 drinks. Our bill came out as RO 34.750 taxes included.

We thought that the food at Japengo was amazing, the service was good overall – even though the waitresses acted plainly weird and refused to let me photograph them.  The prices are a tiny bit more expensive that the Noodle House, but are Okay for a restaurant of its range and in that location.  We would have loved to try some other things in the menu, but we couldn’t because the restaurant is still not fully ready yet. I would recommend it for everyone when it properly starts offering all the items in its menu.