Nov 14, 2010

Al Hamra | Al Khuwair

Al Hamra (2448 2955) is a new Lebanese restaurant in Al Khuwair. The restaurant is located right next to Rotana Hotel which can be reached if you are coming from McDonald’s Al Khuwair by taking the right turn right before the Zawawi mosque on the service road – the restaurant is a few seconds after the mosque before the end of that road.

The size of Al Hamra is quite decent with many big tables, a quiet area at the back for couples and families, and a private room for dinner parties. Unlike the many Lebanese restaurants known for their excessive use of fake house plants and ugly furniture,  I thought that the place looked really nice and had a nice atmosphere.

We were not the most adventure during our visit at Al Hamra, so for the starter we ordered a plate of hommos (crushed chickpeas) (RO 1.300), in my previous visit to Al Hamra the bread was heavenly and tender, in the visit in which these pictures the bread was just alright – it was nice, but nowhere as good as what we had the other day. The hommos was good as usual though!

For the main course we had a Kabab Kheshkakh (pictured above – RO 2.400) which was minced beef mixed with various spices served with fries, pickles, some flat bread thing with leaves on them (? – but very tasty), a homos dip, and a chilli dip! The kabab is buried below everything on placed on that plate! We also ordered a plate of Shish Taouk (grilled chicken pieces – RO 2.500) which came with the same things as the kabab. We thought that both dishes were good, in my first visit I preferred the kabab over the chicken, but this second time I thought that the kebab came a little bit cold.

For the dessert we tried a plate of Kunafah (RO 0.950) which was a bit too creamy for my taste, and I’m really not a big fan of Arabic sweats, so I couldn’t have more than one.

For drinks we ordered a lemonade with mint and a “Colored” fruit cocktail which I think had something like mango, strawberry and kiwi juice – I really liked it!

The food was good at Al Hamra, but the service at the time when we went for lunch was horrible. They usually have a buffet on for lunch and most people seem to go for it, yet somehow nobody seemed to care enough to come take our order after we got seated even after we told them that we would like to order from the menu. The attitude of the waitresses was strange to say the least, and we had to wait for about 15 minutes to get our hommos starter which shouldn’t have taken them more than a couple of minutes to serve (especially as they had all the bread and everything ready for the buffet). One of the waiters also almost dropped the glass of juice on our table. It was just a total disaster.

I have to admit that this was not the same case when we went for dinner at Al Hamra the other day, the food and the service were much more better.

In total we ordered 1 starter, 2 main courses, 2 juices, 1 bottle of water, 1 dessert, and our bill came to RO 10.150 in total.

Al Hamra let me down in my second visit to it, but I’m hoping that this is just a consistency issue that they will sort out as the restaurant is still quite new.

Has anybody else been to Al Hamra, what did you guys think?

Aug 8, 2010

Kurkum | Mattrah

Kurkum (Telephone: 24714114) is a fancy new Indian restaurant in Mattrah. It’s located on the corniche between the main entrance of Souq Muttrah and the branch of Bank Muscat on the corniche.

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Aug 8, 2010

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Aug 6, 2010

Bamboo Kitchen – Qurum Commercial Area

Bamboo Kitchen (Telephone: 96969645) is a Thai/Chinese restaurant located in the basement of Al Araimi Complex in Qurum Commercial Area. It is jointly operated with Golden Bean Cafe, which is a bit confusing because both the restaurants are attached to each other, have their menus joint, and share staff. Bamboo Kitchen is the restaurant with the green coloured furniture (pictured above) and its items are on the green pages of the menu, while Golden Bean Cafe is the purple-themed place and its items are on the purple pages of the menu.

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Jul 9, 2010

Wasabi Sushi – Bareeq Al Shatti

Wasabi Sushi (Telephone: 2469 9490) is a Japanese restaurant located in Bareeq Al Shatti mall. It is located in the far right side of the mall right opposite B+F.

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Jul 8, 2010

Stomach – Jawharat Al Shatti

Stomach (Telephone: 2469 2486) is a restaurant with a very weird name located on the first floor of Jawharat Al Shatti mall. It is located right in the back of the mall and not a lot of people seem to know that it exists, so it is not exactly a crowded a place (I’ve been to it a few times and I’ve never seen anybody eating other than us at the restaurant). Stomach serves a bit of everything from chinese food to pasta and steak.

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Apr 16, 2010

Ubhar – Bareeq Al Shatti

Ubhar (telephone: 24699826) is an upscale Omani restaurant located in Bareeq Al Shatti mall. It is located at the main entrance of the mall and has another entrance from the inside opposite Caribou Coffee. Ubhar is the name of an ancient lost city that is now believed to be located in the south of Oman.

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Apr 1, 2010

RBG Grill – Park Inn Hotel

RBG Grill (Telephone 2450 7888) is a grill restaurant located in Park Inn in Al Khuwair. The restaurant is located on the ground floor right left of the main entrance of the hotel.

We went to RBG Grill early on an evening of a week day, we did not make a reservation before going and the place was practically empty when we were there. RBG stands for Red Bar Grill, and the theme nicely matches the name. The seating area of RBG Grill is quiet nice and spacious.

RBG Grill serves a variety of light snacks, salads, steaks, and burgers. The restaurant is licensed to serve alcohol and has sections for wines and beers on the menu. We did not like any of the starters as they seemed all more like snacks than actual starters (small sandwiches, etc). We only ordered main courses, but we received an introductory basked of bread and butter to munch on until the main courses arrive.

RBG Grill is known for its steaks, there are about 8 or so different steaks offered on the menu, my friend’s ordered a Rib Eye Steak (Pictured first above – RO 11.5) and a Sirloin Steak (Pictured second above – RO 12.5). Both came with mashed potatoes, salad, and a choice of sauce that comes with it.

I ordered a chicken fillet burger (RO 8 ) which came with chunky chips, I thought that it was nice especially the caramelized onions –  I also found having a hard shell bun for a change nice!

We also had a chicken tikka (RO 5.5) with a side dish of mashed potato (not pictured – RO 2).

I thought that the staff at RBG Grill were friendly and the service was good, though a bit on the slow side even though the place was practically empty when we got in.

In total we ordered 4 main courses, 1 sideline, and 4 soft drinks, our bill came to RO 43.5.

My friends seem to like the steaks they had and I enjoyed the burger that I had, but as I am not really big on steak, I’m not really sure if I’ll be coming to this place often.

Anybody else been to RBG Grill? What do you guys think?

Mar 19, 2010

Quiznos – Sohar

The first branch of Quiznos (Telephone: 2684 4869) in Oman recently opened in Sohar. It located right next to Lulu near the Globe Roundabout. Quiznos is a fastfood sandwich restaurant that is very similar to Subway.

Quiznos is so similar to Subway half the sandwiches are almost identical. They they both serve Chicken Teriyaki, Meatball Marinara, Classic Italian, and Pizza Sub to mention a few, but in addition to these Quiznos also has some unique sandwiches such as the Mesquite Chicken with Beef Strips, Peppercorn Steak, and Chicken Picante.

Sandwiches come in 6″ or 12″ sizes, but unlike Subway, in Quiznos you don’t customize your sandwich bit by bit. The menu specifies what salad and sauce the sandwich will have, but you can explicitly tell them to remove an item from it you don’t want to have it.

I was very frustrated by the menu and the staff, the moment we got in the cashier gave us the menu which doesn’t mention anywhere that the prices on it are for takeaway only and it costs more to dine in. I discovered this only after I paid and discovered that asked him how come we got charged more for each item (even before taxes were added).

The menu also didn’t mention that there are a variety of bread types which you can have your sandwich in, once we made our order, the cashier told us that we can have white bread, brown bread, or rose mary parmesan bread, I asked to have mine in parmesan bread, he replied to me saying “BUT that will cost you 200 baisa extra”. It is not that I cannot afford 200 baisa, but I think that it is just not reasonable to tell me that I have options and I after I make my selection you tell me that I would have to pay extra for this even though other places offer it for free. What’s even worse is that after I got my receipt I discovered that he charged me 300 baisa for it?!! I asked him why he did that when he told me it would cost me 200 baisa. He apologized saying that he made a mistake and ordered two breads instead of one. (I don’t understand how two 200 baisa items would cost 300 baisa, but anyway). He then gave me a 100 baisa back.

I ordered a traditional sub (pictured above) which had smoked turkey breast, roast beef, cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, red onions, black olives, and ranch dressing. According to the menu I had it cost RO 1.500 for a 6″. I asked if they had any alternative for a meal deal other than the Lays crisp. I really didn’t feel like having a crisp, so I thought I’ll just have a drink by its own. It costs RO 0.500 to have a refillable cup of Pepsi and RO 0.600 to add a small bag of Lays crisp to it.

I was not blown away by the sandwich I got, even though the bread was in my opinion nicer than Subway’s I think I made a bad choice with my filling. I think that I am more into meaty sandwiches that have solid pieces of beef or chicken. Or maybe I was just bitter about the messed up prices on the menu and the misleading cashier that I couldn’t enjoy the sandwich enough. I don’t know.

Mar 18, 2010

B+F Roadside Diner – Bareeq Al Shatti

B+F Roadside Diner is a burger restaurant in Bareeq Al Shatti mall (Telephone: 2469 8836). It is located on the far right side of the mall if you enter from any of the main entrances. B+F (short for Burger & Fries) is supposedly a branch of another restaurant called Burger Boutique originally from Kuwait.

Unfortunately B+F was crowded as usual when we went to it, so we couldn’t take proper photographs of the seating area. The restaurant is not massive in size and is stuffed with many tables and chairs, it is not uncomfortably crowded, but it is not exactly the place to go to if you want to have a private conversation. B+F has a unique theme of low lighting and modern stylish art. It is almost always crowded in the evening, on weekends it is normal to record your name and wait for up to 45 minutes before you get seated. They will offer to take your mobile phone number so that you can walk around the mall until they call you to come inside. B+F does not take phone reservations anymore.

B+F offers a variety of burgers, salads, grilled meals, and pizza, but the place is ALL about the burgers. We do still take starters when we go there, the starters they offer include nachos, soups, beef skewers, and a variety of tex mex starters. We had this time the Spicy Chicken Quesadilla (pictured above – RO 2.450) which I thought was awesome. It was not really spicy, but still full of flavour, the bread was also nice and tender.

There are loads and loads of burgers at B+F, some classics, some gourmet, some in sandwich form, you name it. Each of these burgers may be served in “Burger Style” which is your regular burger or in “Slider Style” in which you will get two mini burgers served on a long pad. This time we had a Bacon Swiss burger (pictured above – RO 2.850) which had a juicy beaf patty, beaf bacon, swiss cheese, grilled onion, grilled mushrooms, lettuce, pickles, and a special B+F sauce. It came in the perfect size and I really liked it, it was juicy as described and the sauce was nice.

We also ordered a Oz Gourmet burger (pictured above – RO 4.250) which had a grilled beaf patty, topped with cheddar cheese, fried eggs, onion rings, bacon, tomato, pickles, beetroot, lettuce, ketchup and mayo. It was a bit hard to handle as it was big, but it was still quite nice!

For the drinks we had a Banana Berry Smoothie (1.950)  which had fresh banans and mixed berries and a Red Planet (RO 2.250) which had red berry, pomegranate, pineapple, and apple juice. I really liked my Red Planet, I thought it was refreshing and the pomegranate bits were cool!

B+F also offers a number of sidelines such as fries and onion rings and desserts such as cakes and brownies, but we didn’t try any of them during our visit.

The service is B+F is good, the staff are very friendly and talkative, the food took a bit of time to get to us, but we did not mind it.

In total we ordered 1 starter, 2 main courses, and 2 smoothies, our bill came to RO 14.438.

I love B+F, their food is amazing and the atmosphere is nice for people who into that sort of place. If you have not tried yet you are really missing out!

If you are another B+F addict, what is your favorite burger?