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?

  • Guest

    i’ve been to love at first bite and i agree with you the food was OK nothing special, and when i got my food it was cold, the services was “Alright” the menu was a bit confusing but to be honest, the theme of the resturant is amazing, its quite different from the other restaurants in Oman 

  • Rahma

    yes I have been there and your review is fare! “not bad is not acceptable they need to step up. my main remark was their frise which is a crucial element to a restaurant , it tells you if they can perfect something as basic as frise , but they failed miserably !!

  • Saifriyami

    Been there more times than i could count, and I’m not a teenage girl nor an odd couple, so i find what you wrote rather insulting! =P! I love their food, their starters as well as their main course were exceptional, and their desserts were something special! I really love the theme, i find it to be different than any other place in Oman, especially when it comes down to the details of it! 

  • A7medino

    that is because the owner of the restaurant is your friend.

  • SuhailTS

    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.

  • Aisha

    I agree with saifs comment, I find the comment insulting. Regarding the decor, as we all know “some omanis” maybe like u, have quite a closed mind when it comes to new experiences and ideas, and might find it “tacky”. Love at first bite offers an experience different from any other.
    The staff are so welcoming and friendly also the food is delicious, esepcially the starters!
    I think u weren’t fair and went in with a certain point of view .. Next time consider writing a fair review before slandering a restaurant.
    Oh and I’m not a teenager nor an odd couple.

  • Saifriyami

    I admit that the fact you mentioned could have made my judgment a bit biased, but the comment above was an expression of my personal opinion on the place, disregarding any other factors such as the one you mentioned!

  • Hamed

    The thing about this restaurant is that it is different. It’s not your typical restaurant where the menu just describes the food. The menu is like a story. The experience the restaurant offers is something you don’t get anywhere else. The food is good, and I feel the prices are quite reasonable. The desserts are amazing. I have been there 3 times so far, and I plan to go many more times

  • Joorzwawi_88

    Been to te place countless times and ur review is far from fair. Its always packed with different customers from different backgrouds. I’m not a giggly teenager nor an odd couple. Your review seems personal. Its something different and unique.

  • Stephanie

    Riyadh I am so disappointed you didn’t comment on the sequined pillows. Amazing. I don’t know if I could order anything like “platonic fries”… just, awkward.

  • Maryam

    Been to the place many times with different groups of friends and we all agree the decor and theme is unique and nothing like it in Oman. Everyone seems to love the mode and atmospere of the place. The food is delicious and i believe they have some of the best desserts! Your review doesnt make sense at all.

  • LaniSpec

    This doesn’t seem like a critique, this sounds like a personal grudge? If so, please don’t include the people who visit the place in your insulting words which are quite worrying to me as a food critic, you are insulting everyone. I believe you have forgotten to comment on the food. I find your attention to detail quite poor. Also, What do you mean by OmaniCuisne? It’s factually incorrect. I have only had drink at the Bite restaurant, I find the decore fascinating and I loved the packed house, my Virgin Margarita was different in a good way and I would keep coming back for sure.

  • Faaa6

    Ive been to the place 3 times but only dined twice. The 2nd time I was there, the place was fully booked. Great, no problem. But the owner turned us away at the door step, he did not wait for us to actually come in nor did he have the courtesy to fully open the door to greet us. Maybe he was under pressure, but that does justify turning away customers the way he did.

    Food wise: Mediocre and non-memorable. Fries were slightly stale and clearly frozen i.e not fresh. Food was served too quickly (before drinks) and sometimes cold.

    While I encourage young Omani entrepreneurs, I believe love at 1st bite needs some tweaking and tightening here and there. The menu could use some rejuvenation every while or so.

    I don’t think I will be visiting again any time soon.

  • Susan Alshahri

    Hah! It seems the same group of friends (or the same person) is attacking you under different names. I think the theme is a bit tacky and think your review is fair.

    Susan

  • This is a critique, it is not personal.
    I agree with most of the review, dined twice and was disappointed.1. Staff need more training.2. Seats are not comfortable and chairs are too low too eat.3. My food was burnt the first time and tasteless the second time.4. Desserts are actually not bad.5. Decor tacky for me but then again its an acquired taste.6. Fact: the 2 times i have been there it was mostly teenage girls.However, A on creativity but not my kind of place. Maybe if you change the chairs, train the staff and up your food standards. 

  • Abdallah_85

    To  the Owners of the place and to all the people that like it. Ignore the Hate mail! You’re place is succesful and that is the only reason people are discussing it here. I can see Ramadan theme from outside and will go check it out. Keep it up.

  • 123

    Woah why’s everyone got their panties in a twist? This review is a personal opinion which we’re all entitled to. And there’s nothing insulting about being a teenage girl or an odd couple.

    I’ve been to Love at First Bite when it first opened and firstly let me say that I wholeheartedly support Omani initiatives so was looking forward to it for that reason. It’s obvious that I lot of thought and effort went into every aspect of the restaurant which is something I really appreciated. When you’re eating out however you’re primarily doing it because of the food, and the food was not memorable, save for the dessert. Major thing the restaurant needs to work on. As the decor, the seats we were on were very uncomfortable but I expect that’ll change soon with the number of people who’ve brought that up. The service was slow when I went and the staff while very friendly was not as professional as I expected. But I loved how the owner took the time to come around every table and make sure things were OK.

    I haven’t been back since but I haven’t ruled out the place either. Will be sure to go back once I hear there’s been a major improvement with the food.

  • Abdallah_85

    Read the review two more times. This is definitely offensive. Who writes this blog anyway?

  • TalalJabri

    What a mess! I actually like L@FB, it’s the nicest place in town. I do agree that this review is quite unfair and out right rude at some instances. You yourself said that you might not be fair because you were embarrased (apparently) in your last paragraphs so why bother writting anything?

  • Macki78

    Hello all, can we calm down? Been once and my experience was fine like any other place. Critic, what was the point of saying you were embarrased and calling visitors names, I dont think you had to add that, I would remove it. Guys calm down.

  • MaleehaToubi

    The Bite Lounge has exceptional food, a harsh and unprofessional review won’t change that fact.

  • AhmedTaqi

    Disregard review. Good food. Beautiful place. Will be visiting again definitely.

  • Hannah

    I agree with your right to critique , however I do think how you addressed certain matters ie. ‘domestic servants’ like it’s a bad thing? When I ate there the food was good, but room for improvement ( like ANY new business) . I think we should encourage and support Omanis who are taking the initiative to startup businesses and work hard. Nothing is perfect. The decor and service are things that can be altered and improved but it is evident that there is TLC being put into the restaurant and that is what’s important. Just like you had the willpower and determination to start and continue this blog, the owner I’m sure has the very same.

  • Lamia_Mohammad

    Say what! Love the gigantic cupcake which was enough for all 6 of us! Adore Forget you strawberry margarita and Trouble is my favorite appetizer. Literaly Love At First BITE!

  • Lamia_Mohammad

    True 🙂

  • Juhaina Al Farsi

    I find the review quite inconsiderate as the restaurant is still new and a great change to the common.. and such a review shouldn’t be posted at this stage of the business.. but there are points that are true and should be improved such as the training of the staff and also the management of the restaurant as waiters would usually be lost here & there and we’d have to wait so long to get our orders/requests sorted.  But overall I love the food and the deserts are AWESOME! Love the drinks too! Can’t wait to check out the Ramadhan theme to the menu!

  • Bin_yafai

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

  • Bin_yafai

    U aer very jelos of ppl

  • Bin_yafai

    ????? ??? ?????? ????? ??? ?????? ? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ? ?????? ?????? ?? ?????. ????? ????? ???? ? ???? ????? ? ??? ????? ????? ????????.  ????? ??? ?????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ????? ???? ??? ??? ? ?????? ?????? !!!? ???? ???? ? ??? ???????? ? ?????????????? .

  • buthainaajmi

    Is the Bite restaurant the best restaurant i have ever dined in? not the best restaurant on earth but quite like it. Is it bad? not at all. Would I ever recommend? yes of course. Is the food bad? no, it’s quite good actually. Would it make my top 5 restaurants list in Oman? yes for sure. Do i think writing such a review at this stage is fine? obviously not, why would i use my critique to insult everyone who goes there. Oh and I had the Platonic friends Beef shwarma a couple of nights ago, quite nice actually. As for the menu, we love it so please keep it. I am a mother of 2, my husband loves your place. Keep up the creativity and good luck!
    PS. dear blogger. remove the sentences which people find insulting in your article what were your intentions anyhow?

    Ramadan Kareem to everyone.

  • MENAdesignfollower

    Love At First Bite. An Inspiration: featured on the MENA Interior desgin magazine (Middle East) May Issue. http://www.designmena.com/inspiration/pictures-omani-lounge-love-bite-interiors

  • Haneeno

    Love at first bite is my favorite restaurant. We dined on the bed twice for your information and we were a group of friends who enjoyed the food and service. They were a little late to serve the betrayal steak but my friend loved it and they did apologise for the delay, the staff are extremely sweet. I cant make you love is simply amazing, i have never tried a chichen sandwhich so delicious. This Review should be dismissed cuz it is too personal to the extent that i see insults here and there because unlike u i can read between the lines etc anyway the only places that suit you best are cheap restaurants and dont call that insulting, this is my critique so live with it.

  • ShajinRaav

    Hello. I visit you blog regulary but this is the first time i decide to pitch in. The love Bite restaurant and lounge is certainly a fresh perspective on restaurants and dining in Oman and in the region in my opinion. I do respect your opinions but you have crossed some red lines by calling your experience “embarrasing” and calling the restaurants efforts “tacky” and ” lame” “If i was a teenage girl”. I do not know whether this is personal as your bloggers are claiming but i still think you owe it to the Omani society and visitors as well as your followers to remove phrases which are not considred as criticism. remember you live in a place where pride and courtesy are king so no one would like you to say that you are embarrased to visit thier place, such opinions can be kept to yourself, i know that as a foreigner. I celebrated my 58th birthday at the Love Bite restaurant and i look forward to celebrating many more birthdays and celebrations there. I like the food and the staff and any new restaurant will have to work on some improvements which is something i expected you as a critic to mention instead of what you have said. 

    Regards

    Shaji

  • Mohd_Alaw83

    Their r hot girls around always which is GREAT for any restaurant. I can close my eyes and pick anything on the menu and I know it will be love at first bite. GREAT vibe and as for Riyadhs insults on the place and the visitors i think he is just desperate for attention so he is getting more than he can take in terms of feedback on his sad attempt at stealing the thunder away from this quality restaurants feet. My only feedback would be: you need more waiters!!!!!! Its always nice to have waiters attend to your needs as soon as possible but i appreciate that it is difficult for a new place such as yours. Please add more dessert options, that would be even better. Overall i love the place and i dont think u need me to say how much people love it too!

  • Mohd_Alaw83

    Dont order it. If you find it awkward then it’s not the place for you. It’s the most talked about place in town. Certainly one of muscats favorite places.

  • Zkali

    People, if you would agree with everything around you at any time, you would be a cuecumber, so get over it. This is an opinion and we all have to learn to take opinions good or bad.
    If you dont like something or you have a different taste it does not make you an insulator or bad person. So please….read, if you don’t agree and feel like saying it, do or otherwise leave the page. Happy Renessance Day

  • Talal_T4life

    excellent. Kind waiters, and a wide variety of food it is amazing to see how many comments this palce has got. Tip: go there early and service will be superb before 7 30, i agree they need more waiters. Advise you to check it out, try the red velvet dessert, gotta try the crispy chicken starters or the cheesy bits and then the Salmon sandwhich is pretty good since i like fish or u can order selfishness. good stuff! Remove the insults which affect the visitors from your review it is only discrediting you as an amateur blogger or whatever you like to call your self.

  • Sama_UOI

    I agree with the positive comments. I enjoyed the banana and honey drink, my happiness salad and i had the salmon sandwhich, i asked the waitress to get the bread warmed again and then it was fabulous. Love At First Bite you are a wonderful addition to the restaurants around town. Seems like the only odd person is the article writer and on renessance day im embarrased to call this blogger Omani. Whats with the lame attitude in which the review was written. those are my two cents.

  • Ahmedalsalmi

    I think Haneeno summed it up perfectly. Love at First Bite is the perfect place for a gathering. Excellent food and good company make the perfect meal and a memorable experience 🙂

  • EyhabHasni

    ????? ??? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ? ??? ?? ???? ???? ???? ??? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?????? ??????? ??? ????? ?? ????? ? ???? ??? ????? ????. ???? ?????? ????? ???????? ?? ????? ??????? ? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ????? ?????. ?? ???? ???? ??????? ?????? ? ???? ????? ???? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ??????? ??? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ?????. ?? ?? ????? ?????? ?? ???? ???????? ??????? – ? ??? ?? ????? ?? ????? ????? – ?? ??? ???? ????? ? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??????. ???? ???? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????.

  • Nabegh

    Well well a7medino if its not for hypocricy speaking.. I think i forgot who used to blatantly market for a restaurant because te owner was his friend

  • Aisyakharusi

    I recommend trying Marry me chicken risotto and the rendevouz strawberry drink i think. I agree the review is quite insulting and unwelcomed by too many of Bites visitors. I think this is reflected in the number of comments this place is recieving. for anyone who has not been yet. It comes strongly recommended.

  • Aisyakharusi

    not to mention that the blogger has called all of love at first bites visitors and tweeters “crazy” on twitter in addition to the use of other rude words in his review . please dont tell us this is not personal. 

  • Not sure what is insulting about this review. Personally, I heard about the restaurant, yet never read anything about until now. I think the article clearly indicates the writers opinion based on his experience, which can differ from one to another. Anyway, I found it informative and made me interested to go and check out the restaurant.

  • Nabegh

    People criticizing this place like the owner/ restaurant owes them something.. Why is it so hard to give a constructive criticism? Give the place a chance all new businesses need time to develop. If you dont like it dont go, simple as.

  • Rawaso

    I second the point above: where is the contructive criticism?  Calling it ’embarrasing’ which you really could have kept to yourself. I consider myself well travelled and this place did stand out in my point of view and we certainly did not find anything to be embarrassed about. I take it that you were rather intimidated, you see, if you didnt like the place just dont go. But name calling and insulting is really not something you should be doing as a critic, i hope you understand that you have no right to call us Crazy for commeting. Why so rude?

  • Tameemrasbi

    Hey after reading all of this i have come up with 3 points: 1. The article writer clearly has issues since I think he did cross the ethical boundaries a few times  and there was nothing constructive that came out of it 2. Most people seem to love this place. 3. I am more interested in visiting the place than i ever have been before. So..here i come!

  • Sariya Al Ismaili

    The name and menu sounds way too corny for me. I agree, it’s almost embarrassing to go to such place. The target market seems to be teenagers anyway, so I guess they’ll fill up the place regardless. Point being, the owner doesn’t need to worry about reaching the decline stage of the PLC anytime soon :p 

  • G55

    ????????????????????????????????????

  • John_Alec75

    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?)