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?