Jul 22, 2012

Love at First Bite – Shatti Al Qurum

Love at First Bite (Map) is the latest craze in the dining scene in Oman. It claims to be Oman’s first themed restaurant and lounge and it is located in Shatti Al Qurum in the building behind Al Masa Mall.


Love at First Bite is a love themed restaurant and lounge, the restaurant is divided into three sections: the French section, the Italian section, and the Arabian section. Each one has a different seating arrangement, but they all serve the same menu. The French section is meant to look like a palace bedroom, while the Italian section is meant to be a Sicilian garden, and the Arabian section is a tent in which you are meant to sit on the floor. The jury is still out on whether this looks gorgeous or extremely tacky, especially with the huge bed which people can sit and dine on on the right side of the restaurant. No comment. Just make sure that you do not sit at the Sicilian garden side of the restaurant because these chairs are not comfortable.

Love at First Bite seems to be one of the most happening restaurants in town these days, with a crowd that is primarily made up of girls and odd couples. One one of our attempts to go on a weekend at night the restaurant was fully occupied and we were asked to wait for 30 minutes to get a table. The restaurant still doesn’t have a phone to call yet, so you can’t book a table before coming.

The menu of Love at First Bite offers starters, salads, sandwiches, grills, pastas, other mains, and desserts. The cheesy love theme runs through the whole menu as all the items on it have lame names which can be at times funny, but at most other times have no correlation with the item you are ordering. The menu is also longwinded and difficult to read because of its attempt to sound all poetic and romantic.

For the starter we shared a “Fries With Benefits” (RO 3.400) which has fries topped with beef, salsa, jalapenos, and other sauces. I have to admit that I thought that name was actually funny, and the fries were nice, though not exactly special.

For the main course I had a “Platonic Friends” (RO 4.400) which was a fajita-style chicken shuwarma served with lebanese bread and salads and tahini on the side. The chicken itself was good, but the bread was cold and rubbery and really spoilt it for me. My friend had Love at First Bite’s signature “Denial” pasta (RO 4.300) which was cooked in a cream and tomato sauce and topped with parmesan and mozarella cheese, which he thought was OK, but not special either.

For dessert we had a “Take It To The Next Level” (RO 2.300) – a crushed biscuit based chocolate mousse with chocolate topping, and “Addiction” (RO 1.900) red velvet cake with cream cheese served in a cup. Take it to the Next Level could probably win the award for the most ridiculously named dessert in the Sultanate, but it is one of  the most delicious things I have had in a while, it was rich, moist, had a nice texture, and was not too overwhelming. The red velvet cake was also great, though probably having it was an overkill after devouring the chocolate mousse.

For the drinks I ordered a mango banana and strawberry juice. (RO 1.900), which I thought was alright.

In total we ordered 1 starter, 2 mains, 2 desserts, 1 juice, 1 soft drink, 2 bottles of water. Our bill came to RO 20.500.

I thought the service at Love at First Bite was not too bad, the staff tried their best to be friendly, but it was clear that they still needed a lot of training as they acted more like like domestic servants than restaurant waiters.

I am probably not the target customer for Love at First Bite, maybe if I were a teenage girl I would have found the place pretty and fun with all the cheesy dish names and pretentious decor. I was almost embarrassed just to be there, so I don’t know maybe my review is not fair. I thought that the starters and mains were average, but the desserts were really great. Love at First Bite is not exactly my kind of scene, so I don’t think I’ll be going there again any time soon.

Have you guys been to Love at First Bite, what do you think of it?

  • Taimur_0D

    Why write a review in such a way? How can you keep insulting visitors of any place leave alone a local restaurant, not a pub or anywhere shameful? I think the place is quite special and serves quality food, i only wish they open for lunch which i hear they are doing after eid.

  • Waweee2002

    This review is the opinion of the Omani cuisine writer. It is plain and simple, either you agree with him or not this is his opinion. He writes about his own experience and from his own prospective. I can not believe that people are asking the writer to rewrite the post. If you do not like it do not read it and create your own blog.

    People you need to move on

  • This review is not really critical!

  • Dunga

    i went there with my family a couple of times, they seem to really like it. My dad who’s about 60 now said the atmosphere was unique and diverse. I’m not too sure how can someone feel embarrassed being there.. Maybe someone who’s insecure?

    and i have to say, riyadh, why not give a few recommendations, since you consider yourself an expert in cuisines and run this website. it would least be more informative. 

  • Dunga

    Yeah but why write a review that is uninformative and kills a local business? its just mean

  • Dunga

    *in an attempt to kill a local business

  • Ham Halal

    I really like the food in this place and personally think that the menu is quite clever. The decor of the place is outstanding in its attention to detail.. Just want to congratulate the owner for coming up with such an original idea, see it through, and most importantly watch it flourish so far.. He should also probably be thanking Mr. Al- Balushi for this review, which in my opinion was OK but nothing special.. The only thing it has managed to achieve, if it’s not piss off a hell of a lot people with the it’s insensitivity and slightly sexist comments, then it’s sheer ability to generate such a huge amount of publicity for the place.. With everyone now being extremely interested in checking it out for themselves.. Rendering any negative opinions posted here completely harmless..

    I would like to point out that yes the owner is a close relative of mine, and yes it is no secret that I wish him to succeed. However I think it is embarrassing for Riyadh to claim that the place is only filled with the owners friends and family.. That is a false statement, as well as the sad idea that the owner is telling his friends to come on here and comment. I have only had the pleasure of dining at Bite once since its opening, and even though I was in a group with the rest of his family we still had to wait for an hour to find a place to sit.. And I think that just gives you an idea just how popular this place is.

    One more thing, Riyadh.. I am one of the very few people who think that maybe everyone on here slightly overreacted to your initial review, possibly misunderstanding your “odd couple” comment and taking it the wrong way.. However I think you should’ve at least had the decency to reply on the thread to calm matters down instead of hiding behind your twitter account insulting people and making fun of people’s grammar and spelling mistakes, sniggering with your handful of followers.. But hey.. Controversy sells.. So I’m guessing that was your agenda all along.


  • al maz

    Come on grew up and stop judging people and places , are we always going to be like this in this city
    we should help and support all local owners by expanding there restaurant and improve there services and foodit doesn’t matter how bad the food is (which I doubt it cause most of the people liked it ), the places is amazing and well designed and if there is anything needs to be changed than u guys should go and advise them and share ur feedback..

    What’s wrong if the place is filled up with teenagers , its not a club or bar that says above 21…
    its good that those teenagers go to safe places and enjoy their time rather than being on the street and place no one is forced to go to places they don’t like.

    I’m not pointing fingers to any one on this page , but my personal opinion is we all have to open up our closed minds and support everyone , cause at the end its us who would like to go out and have a good time or dine out…come on people , u should all be proud the place is owned by an Omani so where is ur support plus we have to thank the owner for his hard working and achievement , come on ppl the guy is only 22 yrs oldso support him , cause with ur help and support he might be number one in the future…And one more thing if u guys have a bad personal opinion than save it for ur self and try to help not hurt or destroyand also if u have a good personal opinion than share it with everyone and also help to change it to better

  • MazinS

    I am confused. What are you trying to say? As a decent Omani you should be giving your remarks and recommendations instead of butchering a fine place with cheap language.  

  • MazinS

     Ham Halal i like the facts and points that you have raised. I believe that this has revealed that the writer was not looking to improve this place rather destroy its reputation and image. The fact that he is having a field day on twitter further cements the truth that he really is up to no good or else why would he be doing that.  I have not been to the restaurant yet but this place has my 100% support.

  • AZ

    Honestly, I have great difficulty in understanding this flood of comments. He did not like the place particularly. So what? It’s his blog and it’s his review. I have not been yet but the review made me want to check it out (although, as Italian, I will never touch the pasta in the photo…). 

  • Ghaliamuhairi

    Riyadh Al Balushi, you are going no where with this review. Honestly do let us know what you were thinking when you were writing this. Now you can sit there all day and say that this is your opinion but i think a thousand comments later that you have done something wrong somewhere otherwise this would not have happened. How about you read through what you have smartly written and try to READ the parts everyone finds pointless and insulting.Call me a 28 year old “teenage girl” or whatever you like, I think the place is by far the best restaurant in town. oh and do not go deleting comments that offend you we thought that wasn’t the way you do business mr thick skin? or maybe you just say too much, either way, I know exactly what app to delete from my phone right away.

  • Ghaliamuhairi

    AZ Try their signature denial pasta and you will cry with joy!

  • Hussainlawati

    I think the place has really really good food and both the critic and his critique lack the skill, professionalism and the integrity in giving out recommendations. you see Riyadh this sounds like an article in sugar magazine i would catch my little sister reading not a mature mans thoughts or maybe that is something you enjoy doing. Be a man next time or else keep quiet and say nothing because this review is just pointless for real and i can see why people are feeling insulted. 

  • Faisal_Rawas

    They have my favorite dessert which is addiction! 

  • Faisal_Rawas

    It is my pleasure to write and defend Love At First Bite. First of all you have not been fair and I can see that your attitude is insulting. Second of all where are your manners in insulting everybody further and calling them crazy. makes what kind of a person you are. I would pay to see the day you learn your lesson you rude amateur desperate tweeter. Karma will hit you right in your face one day because allah knows your true intentions.

  • S989

    Riyad Al Balushi I have been with you in school when you were a scholar, remember our football games and cafetria lunch time talks. This is not fair to attempt to bring people down especially those of your country, i would expect to hear you pushing them to do better and not make fun and undervalue their efforts. I have not been to the restaurant yet but I can see that it has a huge amount of followers who have so much respect for the efforts that went into making this place. It is for that same reason that I advise you to reconsider what you have done and edit some of your sentences which both me and so many on this page find unfair and not what we understand critiques to be. I would hate to agree and say that your way of writting correlates to that of girly gossip magazines but in this case i have to. The proper thing to do is to stop your tweets and name calling and refrain from responding and simply fixing your review by removing pointless remarks such as lame tacky embarrased odd people teenage girls jury still out there domestic servants – that can all be said in a more civilized and manly way i.e younger generation and couples , and you can also say that waiters need more training and that way the restaurant would do better etc. Yes this is your opinion however you can keep it to yourself if you are going to insult people. We all have opinions but if we have nothing nice to say we dont say nothing.
    No one would interfere if you had written this fairly, personal agenda or not, words can hurt peoples lives and you are responsible for the things you say. Just like you deleted some of the comments that were clearly visible yesterday i am sure many of us here wish we could do the same since your review is really not going anywhere. You had the chance of removing a comment and u did so how would u feel if u were not capable of removing it.
    Riyad this is not what anyone expect from a grown man especially not tweets further insulting people.

  • Dffdw

    i noticed that most of the replies are from muscat youth that i happen to know (nick name too Revealing


    I think that they’re happy for the owner and dont wana bring him down. he is one outgoing guy and I applaud him for trying to make use of money.

    I heared other ppl commenting on they way he turns customers away when its a full house. maybe he is under pressure but a happy face should always be there if you want to keep it successful.
    food is  just ok. waiters are not enough but that needs time, money and maathonia!

  • Sameeh100

    Dffdw for the hundredth time do not try to explain or make sense of a total wacko’s review. Please start naming the “youth” who have written! Another attempt at trying to rationalise what is happening. Young or not, you can never ever talk to anyone or insult anyone for that matter, i dont care how young or old. You and a couple of low lifes are trying to calm your selves down by saying anything that can make you feel better.

  • Rana_Humood

    What has gone into some of the people commenting. How can you justify calling people crazy and insulting everybody and then saying its ok because some of them are young? It does not make sense to me or anybody else on this page. Anyway back to food. Fabulous food and love the decor, only thing that could ever come close tacky or lame is the presence of ridiculous characters such as the critic.
    Over the past 48 hours we have seen fathers, mothers, tourists, foreigners, men, women from all walks of life taking their time to comment and express their opinions which is enough to prove that critic is insulting too too many of us. Sad.

  • Rana_Humood

    I totally agree with you. Hiding behind his twitter account and making fun of people is literally what a teenage girl would do. Correct me if im wrong but I think Ricky martin or riyad or whatever his name is needs a reality check.. for real. Next time he might want to consider taking a photo before finishing his fries to pretend like it was really OK nothing special. Peace!

  • Wildildeera29

    ????? ??? ??? ? ??? ??? ???? ?? ?????? ??????. ??? ???? ??? ???? ? ???? ? ?? ?????? ?????? ????? ?? ??? ? ?? ??? ???? ??? ???? ???? ???? ???? ? ??? ?? ???????? ? ??? ??????. ??? ??? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ? ????. 

  • M200

    Plain and simple, review is completely personal and lacks credibility. Sad part is i actually read the reviews from time to time to make up my mind, looks like im back to square one the next time im looking for an opinion. I hope this guy can see how baseless his review is, could not believe when everyone was telling me but my question is why post something so immature for the world to see and laugh about! If you could only see what everyone else see i think you would be crying out of embarassment because your review is that bad.

  • SaudbinH

    1. To those of you who havent been yet, i advise you to try out the marry me chicken risotto, the cheesy bites in the startes and the chocolate pudding for dessert.
    2. It is one of the best restaurants in muscat which i have been to at leasy 4 times in the past month
    3. I heard about this stupid review today and who cares about what this guy writes, he barely had any visitors before yesterday or day before and i dont think anyone is really interested in any of his reviews just this one, this is how proud we are to have this restaurant in oman
    4. I would not want to change anything about the place i enjoy the entire experience
    5. Book online if you are going

  • SaudbinH

    A Critic called John said: Wow, Critic you have really ruined your credibility here. With all of these comments I’m starting to feel like this is a personal vendetta against the restaurant, or a loner who’s pessimistic about love.. I haven’t been to Love at First Bite and a straightforward honest review would have been appreciated. This review is riddled with contradictions and barely mentions anything about the way the food tastes or towhat cuisine category they fall under. Instead, its descriptive at best and, asother commenters perceived, you have clearly set out to slander the restaurant. Unsuccessfully I must add, as it seems that all you managed to dois insult the customers.
    I’ve only been in Oman for a year but it is evident that the Omani’s are a loving crowd who view friends as family; the people theyare with and the places they go to define them. Therefore, when a place is as booked as you claim it to be then categorizing the customers the way you did wouldof course insult a lot of people. This is especially true when you use judgmental adjectives such as “odd” to describe couples (that would raise eye-brows in ANY culture) and when your information is inaccurate as it is clear from the comments that guys go there too… I think an apology is inorder for the customers… you simply can’t write generalized comments like that!!
    From the pictures you have posted the décor looks elegant andcreative and the food looks mouth watering… definitely going there soon. A word of advise from one journalist to another please be professional and put your personal grudges aside; freedom of speech and opinion are one thing and a biased review is another. Not cool or classy. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation are also key if you want people to take you seriously.
    Best wishes.
    (Note to other commentators… any dishes you recommend me to try out?)

  • SaudbinH

    This is also very true: SuhailTS said: I think you spent two lines commenting on the food and you spent the next 100 lines insulting us- the people who visit that place and do not fall under the odd couple or teenage girl category. I find it to be a new low, even for you. Insulting food is one thing, but insulting half the population of Muscat is another. You claim you’re not teenage girl but you fit that category so perfectly.

  • SaudbinH

    Go start your own business if you are jealous and fail miserably so we can have the pleasure of eating you alive. Jealousy kills Mr. Balushi.

  • Reem0

    Hey all i just booked my table at love at first bite for this coming thursday. Its my first time so any recommendations? Also, I urge you all to ignore the review. I doubt the critic has any credility so why bother yourselves about it? Waiting for your recommendations 🙂

  • Samir_times2

    I heard everyone talking about this and i figured it would be bad. This is not bad this is embarrasing to see someone use his review to get personal not only with the restaurant but start sexist remarks on women and make a sticky situation a thousand times stickier.
    I have not been to love at first bite but this does get me blood boiling.

  • Mansooooor

    Haha Seriously Riyad? This is your review of love at first Bite? I mean i don’t want to believe that you are being personal but i have to ask if you are? can I say that i am shocked? Love at First Bite serves some of the best food in the entire country! How did u manage to come out with such an empty review. and why go personal?

  • Mansooooor

    Annis312 I totally agree and think the writer has gone too far with his insults. We are not in harlem for gods sake, does he have to sit there making pointless insults.

  • ayam002

    Shame on such a critique. Love At First Bite is on my top 5 restaurants list. Best food i have tried in a very long time.

  • DAB

    Riyadh has a right to his opinion, and every reader is free to agree or disagree with it.  Having eaten at L@FB, I find that the food is average at best, particularly the bread which was hard and cold; the chocolate dessert, to be fair, was excellent.  The ambience is not to my liking, but that is merely my opinion.  What I find strange is that some people seem to have responded to this review multiple times.    

  • Sweet_angel_1989

    I totally agree with this critic that place is a disaster, the chairs are extremely uncomfortable, and oh god I cannot explain how very very bad our food was, I ordered the cheeseburger and it was honestly the worst burger I’ve ever eaten, the bread is exactly the same KFC offers, n the sauce they put inside is disgusting. The ceaser salad was extremely dry! I didn’t waste more time by ordering deserts so I just left, oh n ofcourse the waiters have no clue Wht they r doing some have hearing problems I’m sure, I had to repeat each sentence twice, I would never o there again n I’m definitely not recommending it.

    As for the attack the person who wrote this is getting, people get a life it’s his bloody post his life to say whatever he wishes if u don’t like it post something different don’t go exposing his past and his habits at work, now ur taking that too personally, what is it a sin to hate this restaurant! We are all supposed to lie and pretend that’s it’s good when its not?

  • Mohd_salim_86

    This “Restaurant” is definitely Omani owned business. Why the hell all these comments coming – apparently from few same people- saying that this review was insulting? 

    Grow up people, this is a personal blog, personal review, the writer can write whatever he wants, however he wishes. Get it? 
    Ok go do some work. 

  • bistro

    er ……  this might be a bit elementary, but how can one complain about the food crit’s experience being wrong  if you have never even tried the food there, do you know something we don’t ! Never been to the Bite, was gonna try next week, but after flavouring the kind of cliental on this blog that hang out there and their inability to be open minded or take constructive criticism, only wanting to be “different” for the sake of being different, might have to give them amazing deserts a miss.

  • Guest 11111

    We’ve all complained about how Oman lacks good places to go to and come on, lets face it, we all go out here to eat. Well, most of the time. It’s great to see Omanis taking the next step and taking the risk to build something from scratch. Running a restaurant may seem fun and easy BUT don’t let the idea fool ya. It’s Difficult (like the exam I had two months ago). To the owner of the restaurant (if you read this) some of us, Omanis, are going to throw some words at you about how the prices may be high or the place isn’t nice when ironically these are the people who complain about how Oman lacks places and how it would be “oh so wonderful” to have someone local open up something amazing. Oh the irony. The reason they do this is because.. honestly, it is because they are used to places like … hawasna. To the writer of the blog, you were just giving your opinion and people took it personally. Happens.. as opinions sometimes hurt. Oh well, LIFE. 

    To conclude, LET US GIVE IT UP TO ALL THE OMANIS WHO ARE MAKING THEIR WAY UP! Good luck to all of you! No one is perfect, no place is perfect, no restaurant is perfect, unless you call my kitchen a restaurant then yes I have found a perfect restaurant 😀 joke people! Lets not take it personally 😛 anyway, that photo of the nachos or french fries looks good and i’m hungry so Ramadhan Mubarak to all of you. SALAM. 

  • A.A.

    Dear all (excluding the critic), Opinions are like nipples, everybody has one. Some have firm points, others are barely discernible through layers, and some are displayed at every opportunity regardless of whether the audience has stated “I am interested in your nipples” or not.  Stop flashing your nipples.

  • Mukhtaralr

    the comments show the mentality of the people who go the, this is one person’s point of view its either you take and consider it just leave it. I have been there before but left to McDonald’s 2hours later because i didn’t get my food the treatment i got from the owner was unpleasant took it that he was stressed to costumer should be treated that way took it that he was stressed and kept my cool i am an inpatient person, there is definatly room for improvement in all aspects of the restaurant i would go back there again for my final judgement. The owner should take these comments to his advantage and all you ‘friends’ of his shouldn’t just say nice stuff abt his restaurant but actually help him improve in aspects that need to be improved. To be honest there is something that really insulted our culture when i was there just look and the wood skirting at the arabic seating area and you will know what i mean.

  • Florrena

    low lifes? have a life man. its food not rocket sci. and btw, respect ur self, im free to say what i like and ur opinion doesnt matter to me

  • Abdullah

    chillout people! This is almost a blog, I haven’t been there but seriously the names are cheesy and many people would think its lame. He’s entitled to say whatever he thinks about it, there is no “you crossed the lines”. If you think it’s a personal attack, then so be it. You take what you wanna take from these blogs, and move on.

  • mr. Mapengo

    oh my god, what a bunch of crybabies!! First of all, the target clientele does very obviously seem to be teenage girls. Secondly, a place like this needs to serve alcohol to have any redeeming qualities. So, I hope the same group of 3 or 4 teenagers defending this place enjoy their scene, I’ll see the adults at more appropriate venues.