Jan 8, 2012

Narenj Restaurant – Al Khuwair

Narenj Restaurant (Telephone: 9415 4154 , 9415 2152 – Map) is a new Irani buffet restaurant in Al Khuwair located right opposite the left side of Al Zawawi Mosque. If you are driving up the service road in Al Khuwair from McDonald’s towards Al Zawawi mosque you cannot really miss Narenj as it has one of the biggest and flashiest signboard on that road.

Narenj has a really nice location as there are a lot of parking spots around Al Zawawi mosque. The restaurant is also based on the first floor of the building and has glass walls all around the restaurant giving all its guests an awesome view of Al Zawawi mosque and the highway. The seating area inside the restaurant is also bright and quite nice with white leather seats and cool rotating platforms on some tables. There are also mini-tent like sections on the other side of the restaurant for those who prefer to sit on the ground. We visited very early on an evening of a week day and the restaurant was literally empty at the time of our arrival.

Narenj is primary a buffet restaurant that charges RO 10 per person for the buffet, but we decided to do a la carte and order from the menu instead of doing the buffet. The menu of Narenj isn’t structured well and it is clear that it has not been well thought through. The menu has a few types of rice, a few mixed grills, two types of salads, hummous, and soups. There isn’t really a starters or a mains section as everything is jumbled up together.

We thought we’ll try to have some logical structure to our order so we ordered a portion of hummous (RO 1.200) , a portion of youghurt and cucumber (RO 0.800) and a salad (RO 0.900) – thinking they would come before the rest, but they came at the same time as our mains which were a Special Narenj Grill (RO 2.800) and a Mixed Kebab Grill (RO 4.200) which we ordered with a portion of Saffron Rice (RO 0.500) and a portion of Black-eyed peas rice (RO0.500).

The hummous we ordered came with a portion of rubbery cold bread that wasn’t  really bad, but extremely boring. However, I still managed to enjoy the hummous and the yougurt, but I was not a big fan of the salad which came with a strange looking pink salad which we couldn’t figure out what it was made up of.

The Special Narenj Kebab turned out to be a skewer made up of mixed chicken and beef layered over each other, while the Mixed Grill basically had a chicken skewer and a beef skewer. I thought that they grills were extremely average and not memorable at all. The saffron rice on the hand was acceptable, but the black eye peas rice had an extremely strange dry texture and unpleasant.

In total we ordered 3 side dishes, 2 mixed grill dishes, 3 portions of rice, 3 drinks, and 1 small bottle of water. Our bill came to RO 13.200.

I thought that the food at Narenj was mediocre at best, probably just as expected of a buffet restaurant. It was such a let down because the location is great, the restaurant  had a nice atmosphere and the staff seemed very cheerful and friendly. The fact that the menu of Narenj isn’t structured well is an indication that you probably should not bother looking at it and just go for a buffet if you want to come here.

I am not a big buffet fan and I do not think that I will be trying out Narenj again any time soon.

Have you guys been to Narenj? What do you think of it?