Do you have a bottomless craving for seafood? Are you tired of mediocre google search results for ‘best seafood restaurants’? Do you crave for fresh, tasty seafood that does not come with a ‘you need to sell your kidney to afford it’ price tag? If yes then I have the perfect answer for you.
Fishers Grilled Restaurant. It is located bang opposite the Fish Market in Muttrah, between the fancy restaurant Bait al Luban and the Marina Hotel. Park your car in the parking lot in front of Bait Al Luban and walk towards Marina Hotel, turn left as soon as you spot ‘Hall for Foods’.
I went with a friend who did all the ordering (THANK YOU FOR TAKING ME TO THIS FOOD HAVEN). So here’s the drill. You need to walk up to the outlet with the Fishers Grilled Restaurant signage (located in the inroad). Pick the fish of your choice, they also have squid and prawns.
Meet the king of grill Mr. Mohammed or the big boss Mr. Ashraf, they are grill masters whose secret ingredient has to be magic.
After you pick what you want; head towards either the air-conditioned tiny room called ‘Hall for Foods’ or sit outside and play with the cats till your order arrives. WORD OF CAUTION:It is better to call and place your order in advance, as everything is done super fresh, you will have to wait for 40 minutes or so for your order to be served.
As I waited my anticipation kept building. I was looking forward to this for a long time. I was hoping it wouldn’t be a complete disaster. After 35 minutes or so the gentleman below came with a plate of salad, sumac dusted hummus and a big basket of bread.
Taste, enjoy and don’t pass any of these off as fillers. The dressing on the veggies was intriguingly delicious, the hummus was creamy and packed with flavour.
The grilled fish was coated with a near exotic spice rub, just thinking about it right now wants me to stop writing this post and head to that fish place. Take a look at the pictures. Sheri Fish 850 grams and cost RO 3.
Then came the juicy platter of prawns. What a pleasure it was to shell, suck and munch away each of the deliciously pink prawns. And they were deveined and large.
The grilled squid tossed in a medley of spices and charred onion, capsicum and eggplant was a true delight.
This is probably the first time I feel I am unable to do full justice to a post, as recollecting the flavours, the aroma and the sight of the glorious seafood from last night is leaving me in a trance.
So to sum it up, this is the go to place in Muscat if you wish to eat fresh, perfectly marinated, healthy (grilled) seafood that does not cause a hole in your wallet. The salad, the bread, hummus, the fish, the prawn, the squid – all this for just RO 11. Had I not been surrounded by a conservative crowd I would have broken into a happy dance. I LOVEDDDD IT…
The rates were high so naturally my expectations were high. Fine-dining was the classification so finitely delicious was my expectation. As the title suggests I was mighty disappointed. For a brand that claims to be one of Mumbai’s favourite restaurants, they delivered neither in class nor in flavours. Let’s not even try to assess the value. I am no restaurant expert, but can any restaurant set up shop and decide to call itself fine dining?
I believe in giving restaurants a second chance, especially if they have just opened, because I appreciate the effort and the dream that goes behind doing something like that. I repeat, I am no expert, I do not have a degree in food anthropology or the likes but I connect with food, I am emotionally attached to what I eat and every food experience is a learning.
Trishna did not disappoint me on their claim of using fresh sea food. Yes, the fish, prawn and crab were fresh. But were they treated with respect? No. We ordered Prawn salt n pepper (RO 3.8) and Prawn Koliwada (RO 3.7) as starters but the prawn was overcooked thus hard and devoid of that wholesome flavour.
The signature dish ‘MEDIUM Crab butter pepper garlic (RO 10.1), was good, across the table, everyone enjoyed it. I liked it as well, but there is something about the sweetness, the warm-earth flavours of crab meat that was overpowered with the garlic and to an extent the butter.Crab meat is buttery in itself, I personally didn’t see the need to smother it up with so much butter or garlic. The meat however, was tender and something that I believe everyone will enjoy.
But the rate of the dish goes up depending on the size of the crab. The one that we order is fit for two people ONLY. A friend of mine said that he could wipe it out all on his own and still be hungry, I have to agree with him. For me, a crab that size, for that rate and that flavour profile does not translate into value.
The Pomfret Punjabi Masala (RO 8.1) was a complete dud kind of dish. Nothing new, nothing old; a ‘nothing’ kind of dish that lacked inspiration and had no story to tell. Waste of RO 8.1 for sure.
The drinks were mediocre as well. Garlic Nan (RO 4.1for 4Nos.) was yum and garlicy just the way I like it, Neer Dosa was good as well. We also ordered Roomali Roti (900 baiza for 1No.), Mango Lassi (RO 1.7), Sweet Lassi (RO 1.1), Strawberry lemonade (RO 2.1), Litchi Temptation (RO 2.1) and Gulab Jamun (RO 2.6 for 1 portion).
My Verdict: I will not be going to this place again when there are better alternatives in town. They have to bring down their prices. Reallocate the spends in the right place. Strip the fine-dining title and thus cut the frivolous overheads and build on the soul and the story of the brand. I gather (again from a quick google search) that they are planning on introducing set menus at lower prices to attract the lunch-time crowd. Good Move? Already long overdue.
*Prices mentioned are inclusive of taxes
*Location: Gallery Muscat Mall, Near American British School, Al Khuwair.
After having driven passed Chatime a couple of times, my bestie and I finally made it to this new Tea joint in town. Today, I completely understand how my non-food adventure seeking Hubster feels when I push, pull, tug and drag him for a food experiment. This feeling of being completely unaware of what I got myself into engulfed me. First off, my brain refused to accept the concept of cold milk tea (I am Indian, I drink piping hot tea ONLY), secondly, exotic (borderline scary) sounding ingredients that I have never heard of, third they had no FOOD in this joint (no food, really?). But before I make you think this is going to be a negative review, let me tell you that I enjoyed this curiosiTEA filled experience at the newest Taiwanese Tea place in town.
Chatime has a unique Tea concept dedicated to make Tea a healthier, refreshing and fun alternative to Coffee. This trendsetter from Taiwan has close to 1000 outlets in 80 cities across four continents.(info courtesy a quick google search)
For a change, it was my girlfriend who asked about the food and not me. But the concept of this tea place is such that each drink is a mini snack in itself. You can pick your choice of tea, hot / cold or smoothie and add to it the toppings of your choice. By toppings I mean really bizarre but delicious stuff. If you are anything like me, you will be curiously confused at first. But I have done the homework for you. Look at the menu at the counter. They have marked it out. Look for the yellow stars, which are the best sellers (that’s how I decided what I wanted). The ‘Cold Drinks’, ‘Stronger Tea’ and ‘Upcoming Drinks’ are also marked out.
They also have non-tea based juices and smoothies and those are really good. I think the guy behind the counter sensed my curious and confused expression and gave me a shot of their grape apple smoothie. We raised a smoothie toast, post which, I was confident enough to place my order.
I called for a Pearl Milk Tea Smoothie. The pearls are squishy, black tapioca balls and I also asked for an extra topping of Coconut Jelly. (RO 2.3). I loved the squishy balls and the coconut jelly [though its called toppings, it sinks to the bottom 😉 ]. I did not however get the distinct tea taste. But I enjoyed the drink.
My friend, who has this fetish for flower based tea, and for some crazy reasons pays a bomb for it every time, stuck to her strategy and ordered ‘Chrysantemum Pu Erh Tea’ (yeah you find it hard to read, just think how hard it was to type) from Chatime’s Oriental Pop Tea Section (RO 2.4). She loved it and said it’s the perfect drink for summer. And she is right. Chatime is the perfect way to beat the onslaught of this heat wave that’s so stubbornly embracing us here in Muscat.
No offence to my favourite Mocha Hazelnut Frappuccino at Starbucks, but this place has some really healthier yet tasty options. You get to control the amount of sugar that goes into your drink and there are plenty of non-milk based drinks as well.
Do give it a try and let me know what you think. (my brother thinks that I only write about the positives, so help me prove him wrong)
Just got back from lunch and so excited to write about my date with yumminess. So let me dive right into it… coz ‘SHARING IS CARING’ 😉
Location: Deccan Darbar is located just off Ruwi high street. The lane opposite Raymonds showroom. (Thanks Fazal for the directions.)
Word of Caution: Not a glitzy place, but you won’t regret a second.
What to Have: If you are going there for the first time then these are the must try dishes.
Mutton Fry: (RO 2) Heard of cooked to perfection, falling off the bone, melt in your mouth etc? Well the Mutton Fry at Deccan Darbar is all that and more. We always order an extra plate because we know one is not going to be enough.The mutton pieces are cooked perfectly, which makes it so much easy to eat. Its a bit spicy for me as I do not have a high tolerance level for green chilli. Paratha:(100 baiza 1.no) Perfect accompaniment with the Mutton Fry.
Chicken Hyderabadi: (RO1.6) For some of us, an Indian meal is not complete without curry. This is the best one to try. Cooked in true Hyderabadi style with a smoke infused flavour this rich chicken gravy is sensational.
Biryani: Tender chicken and the hidden boiled egg with perfectly dum cooked rice makes this biryani a must try.
The Sultanate of Oman has given me so much. When I came to this country 3 years ago I didn’t know what to expect. My mind was blank but this beautiful country has managed to turn a blank canvas into a colorful collage and Oman is Oman because of our Sultan, the visionary and compassionate leader His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. This post is a tribute to him, a celebration of his safe return. He is back in the country after an absence of eight months (as he was under medical care in Germany)
This morning (at work) we walked into a celebration. the nation is celebrating our Sultan’s return in many different ways and we joined the festivities with songs, speeches and of course food.
For a change food was not the hero… His Majesty Sultan Qaboos was and rightfully so. No marketing campaign, no 360 degree activation, no PR brigade… We salute the ‘father of modern Oman’, whose 45 years of reign is a living testimony to what leadership should be; what a leader should truly be!
Trying to think of excuses as I type… Why haven’t I blogged since January?
I was squashed under pre-vacation work load.
I was busy traveling to and in India.
I did not always have good internet connectivity… or
I was so engulfed by family and extended family drama and stress, that I couldn’t even think of EATING. The last reason will and can never fly… because no matter how stressed I am, I EAT. I eat when I am happy, I eat when I am sad and I eat because that’s what I do.
So no excuses and given the number of people who read my blog, I am sure an explanation is not due. What have I been up to? I was on a whirlwind of a vacation to India. Hopping between states and cultures in the land of diversity. Travelled from the laidback Southern part of India to the loud and colourful North. I spent a week in Kerala; devouring my mom’s yummy treats, prepared specially for me and only me (I can safely claim that as I was the only one in the house), walking down memory lane in my ancestral home, exploring my uncle’s vegetable garden and spending time with cousins at Kentucky Fried Chicken – clear sign of how easy it is for food to break cultural barriers. And not to mention attended the coming together of a beautiful bride and the most compatible groom at a family wedding and feasted on the true Kerala feast – Sadhya.
I knew I was heading to the northern part of India, when Mr. Hubster came with ‘Idlis in a Cup’. Yeah heard of Cup Noodles… well now its Cup Idlis. Tasted pretty good though for airport food.
Landed in Chandigarh. Was amazed at how polite and well-spoken the taxi drivers there are. And not to anyone’s surprise, while Mr. Hubster enquired about the great French architect, the mastermind behind the planned city Chandigarh, I cut in with the most pertinent question “WHATS THE BEST PLACE TO GO FOR AUTHENTIC PUNJABI FOOD”. He asked us to go to Pal Dhaba. He said, “It doesn’t have the glitz n glam of a shiny five star restaurant but the food is the best in the land”. Exactly my kind of place.
It was just the two of us, so we ordered half butter chicken, a dish which can most definitely be called the brand ambassador of Punjab or even India. Wasn’t prepared for what arrived. The portion sizes in this land matches the heart of its people. The half portion was equivalent to two full portions elsewhere. The taste – can never have butter chicken outside Punjab again. I am ruined! And the tandoori roti, just reminiscing about it right now makes me crave for it. In Punjab, and how can I say no to dessert. Headed to Gopal Sweets for Moong dal Halwa and Gulab Jammun. After quiet literally supping up all the richness of Chandigarh we went into snooze mode. I wrapped up my trip at a big, fat Punjabi wedding. My bestie was tying the knot, post which she will be relocating from Muscat. I was welling up with the sheer thought of having to part with her and my sole solace was the juicy tangadi kebab (tandoori chicken drumstick) and the endless mouth-watering dishes on display. My friends and I without a doubt devoured every bite
The radio, the newspaper and the social media channels have been abuzz about this new restaurant Qureshi Bab al Hind, located in Muscat, Oman. My friend has been pestering me to go there but I never took the initiative as Indian restaurants tend to easily disappoint me… That’s probably because I know the flavour profiles so well.
Nevertheless we were there last night! This restaurant is actually housed inside the hotel Homruz Grand, located a few meters away from the glorious Bank Muscat building at Airport Heights, Seeb. It is on-route to the resident/labour card renewal ROP office.
As soon as I entered the porch, the high ceiling, larger than life columns and doors, the immaculate interiors, tastefully selected cutlery, velvet & leather couch, and the mesmerizing courtyard pool view, established that I was in for a fine-dining experience; did a quick math and made peace with the fact that its going to be an over the budget dinner. Hoping and praying that it doesn’t disappoint and makes it a worthwhile experience.
We started our meal with Masala Lassi (buttermilk) and it was just perfect, not overpowering with condiments, herbs or salt. It was fresh and woke up our taste buds for the coming onslaught of complex yet divine flavours. The beverage list at Qureshi is truly special, wanted to try the Thandai but there is only this much a girl can eat 😉
The appetizer, though not fancy looking, scored high in taste. The Murgh Peshawari (chicken kebabs) were A] tandoored to perfection and B] were coated with creamy layer of smokey marinade. The dish prepared in desi ghee (clarified butter) added oodles of richness to the soft and moist chicken. The pickled onions, carrots and veggies (a staple in most homes in Uttar Pradesh, India) as garnish was an accompaniment that elevated the dish to a whole new level. A MUST TRY!
The Koh-e-Awadh (lamb shank) RO 11.5 made me want to cry out of joy – for it introduced me to the simple yet soulful flavours emanating from a slow-cooked dish. Famous celebrity chefs keep emphasizing the merits of a slow cooked dish, but last night I got to live it. This dish is cooked for 6 hours and this process brings out the true character of the meat. I wiped the dish clean. Don’t be deceived by the looks, this one dish can be shared between 3, even 4 if you order other stuff from the menu.
We also sampled the Warqi paratha (layered bread dressed with desi ghee). Perfect match. Most dishes here follow the authentic recipe, hence they are richly laden with butter and spices.
Please do not equate spices with spicy, as the spices played the role of the supporting cast and allowed the key ingredient to shine.
My Verdict:Splurging justified!Dinner for two with one appetizer, two refreshing drinks, one hearty main course with bread, cost us around RO 34. When you are able to gauge the quality of the food presented in front of you with just a whiff then you know you are at the right place.
Word of Caution: The restaurant is in its debut phase, thus don’t expect the service to roll out like a well-oiled machine – but like me, you will forget that and melt into submission after devouring the dishes that represent the passion of the chefs and the soul of Awadhi cuisine.
Semsom is the newest addition to the Sultanate’s restaurant scene with a promise of delivering “Lebanese Cuisine with a Twist”. So I visited this restaurant to explore the offerings; And… did it live up to its promise? A HUNDRED PERCENT!
Don’t you just love it when restaurants can walk the talk… the promised twist, was not only delivered but it was done in excitingly unexpected ways. The magic of Semsom lies in its ability to surprise your senses like never before! It is about doing a hundred little things right. Its about truly taking us on a culinary voyage.
The Hummus Trio
When the notoriously famous pink hummus (RO 2.1) was placed in front of me; my eyes instantaneously started feasting; followed shortly by my taste buds that went on a merry discovery ride. The tanginess from the sumac powder (tart red berries) and the freshness from the zaatar (thyme) blended in perfect unison with the creamy chickpeas. Drizzle some Olive oil (imported from Lebanon) over the hummus if you find the dip a bit too tart. (please note: I have been told tart n tangy are the predominant flavours in Lebanese cuisine)
The olive & sesame hummus (RO 2.1) was another personal favourite. Do sample this one and enjoy the delicate flavour profiles. It Is a must try.
Next on the menu was the hot appetizer chicken liver. I honestly liked this dish. It was hearty, tasty, packed with flavour and a richness, which I was not expecting at all. It’s not a dish you would find everywhere and it definitely is not a dish that everyone can get right. But Semsom does. They Nailed It!
Moving on… the Lamb Bread (Lahm b’Ajine RO 2.3)… I ate not one, not two but three slices… Do I need to say more???? The pastry was soft, the meat succulent and packed with oodles of fresh-burst in your mouth flavours.
The next dish is one of the Semsom favourites Fish Kebbeh (RO 2.9) – Apt for fish lovers and the not so enthusiastic seafood diners. Put your cutlery down, scoop up the mini parcels, bite into it and sup up the oozing sensationally juicy caramelized onions. For a second you might think there is nothing fishy about this dish, you are not hit by the clichéd ‘taste of the sea’. The flavours are masked and you unlayer it as you work your way through the crust, which is a dough made with fish and burgol mixture. Expected? Nah…totally Unexpected!
Now comes the big daddy of grills. Mixed Grills (RO 6.5) This was a true treat, a peek-a-boo kind of dish, as the succulent chicken grills were kept hidden by the colourful and tempting bread. Once the veil of bread was lifted, our curiosity was rendered speechless with the sheer sight of lined rows of grilled meat and chicken. Needless to say, I broke into an invisible happy dance. Grilled to Perfection.
It’s Dessert Time!
I generally brace myself as desserts are really hard for any restaurant. You either get it right or you don’t. There is no midway here. Just look at the pictures below, I am sure it speaks for itself. If it doesn’t speak to you, then read the captions.
Lebanese Pannacotta – Mhallabieh
Only legends can come up with something as yummy as this. This dish is special, as it is the owner’s grandma’s recipe. Cannot get more authentic than that. Do you know what orange blossom water tastes like? If not you don’t know what you are missing! And now you know where to find it.
Desserts are incomplete without a whiff of chocolate for some, hence this version of chocolate ice-cream with crispy flavoured vermicelli will truly leave you in a choco trance.
I nearly forgot, and that would have been a crime! Jelab – try this drink, it is a must, must must… (did I mention MUST) try… I think this could possibly be the drink of the Lebanese Gods! The floating pistachio and pine nuts make for excellent munchies after you slurp up the sweet, rose water flavoured ambrosia.
My verdict: A must try, leave all food prejudices aside and surrender yourself to the Semsom kitchen. The passionate owner Christine has made sure that you will be taken care of just as if you were a guest in her own home.
“We went to Golden Orxy for a business lunch and it was a munch fest”…
…These are some of the tempting statements Muscateers have said about one of the oldest restaurants in Muscat. Somehow our paths never crossed up until last week, when I was invited for a food blogger event at the restaurant.
The ‘food-adventurist’s meet’ coincided with the restaurant’s new Japanese Menu launch, which added to the excitement of being around a bunch of food lovers, who have explored the depths of Oman’s food scene.
As the conversations flooded the table, so did the food. The dishes from the new Japanese menu kept flowing. Yay! We go to taste it before anyone else in Muscat, the sushis, sashimis, California rolls, tempura and what not.
I am familiar with sushi; I worship Global Fusion the coolest sushi joint in Mumbai; but do not qualify as an expert (even though I am a major ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ fan).
Image licensed under Creative Commons courtesy <Movies in LA>
There are some dishes on the Golden Oryx Japanese Menu that I absolutely loved, some I couldn’t comprehend, a couple that I disliked, some familiar and some completely new.
I got introduced to EDAMAME – young green soybeans that were steamed. An absolute must have!
Vegetarians will find this menu enthralling as some of my favourites during this exploration were Mushroom dim sum, Negima roll (Negi = green scallions), Three Seasons roll.
I also loved the California roll and the Cocktail Roll (latter a combination of two types of sushi, with fish roe, adding an interesting flavour and texture to the sticky rice)
I am an understudy to Japanese cuisine, if you are the same then here’s a break up for you.
Sashimi Platter: Comprises of fresh slices of fish that is served raw, often with daikon (raddish) or gari (pickled ginger)
I liked: Tamagoyaki (a slightly sweet, Japanese omelette made on the grill, by layering cooked sheets of egg), the sliced salmon was fresh and creamy, crabsticks…well were crabsticks, I always like them, tuna – not so much, octopus – not so much either.
Nigiri Platter: slices of fresh raw fish served over pressed rice.
So, after my visit to Golden Oryx, I have got a status upgrade, from being an amateur to being a Japanese cuisine understudy. Can’t wait to act like a ‘food snob’ with the newly acquired set of vocabulary.
All in all, I think, if you are familiar with authentic Japanese food, it may be hard to satiate all your senses. (I say this not because I doubt the chef’s calibre – He is driving this new Japanese menu based on his in-depth understanding and hands on experience with Taj New Delhi – one of India’s premium hospitality brand. But I say so because some of the produce (prawn in particular) used weren’t fresh enough)
Nevertheless, there are some winning dishes on the menu and the novice in me would like to go back and sample it after the official launch.