Qureshi Restaurant Muscat – Melting into Submission kind of love.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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 😉

masala-buttermilk

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!

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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.

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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.

 

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5 Must try dishes in oman

It’s not necessary to love everything about everyone we meet, right? Similarly when we go to a restaurant we need not like all of it. It might Be a tantalising main course or an absolutely glutinous dish that catches your fancy.

Here is a list of dishes found in muscat restaurants that are a must try according to me.

Murgh Musallam @ Fusion restaurant
MBD Area Ruwi

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Patthar Ghost (lamb) Shalimar Restaurant
Al Khuwair, Backside of KFC, opp Al Amal Medical

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Vegetarian Cannoli Darcy’s Kitchen
MQ , Jawharat Shatti

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Labneh and honey fatayer – Turkish House Al Khuwair

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Karak Saffron Chai, Tea House Al Khuwair

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Let me know if anything entices you enough that it makes you want to know the direction

Speechless kind of love

Sometimes you don’t need paragraphs, sentences, phrases, words or even alphabets to express love. A single glance, a gentle touch, a warm hug or a passionate kiss is more than enough. Such is my post today. Of food that makes you melt at first sight.
Carrot Cake at Darcy’s Kitchen, MQ, Muscat

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Grilled fish at Turkish House, Al khuwair, Muscat

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Speechless? Nah! You must have let out a happy sigh.

Worth the Wait, Kind of Love

Oh My! I can’t tell you how much I have waited to put out this post. I wanted it to be perfect; I wanted it to be the best; I wanted it to be so many things and more that I realised if I didn’t write it now I would never end up writing it. The Manhattan Fish Market – A dinner date with ‘the man I am waiting’ for at ‘the restaurant I have waited to go to’

best seafood restaurant in muscat, oman
best seafood restaurant in muscat, oman

It finally happened. My hubster took a short break from the 3 year course that he is pursuing in India and came visiting. So date nights were on an all-time high and I was on a spree of showing him all the treasures that I had discovered in Oman in his absence. Ever since I read the dreamlike post about The Manhattan Fish Market on Andy in Oman (thanks Andy, I owe that night to you!) I was dying to go there. Waiting for the perfect moment, waiting for the perfect company. Even if you don’t read what I have to say, look at the pics and make it a point to go there. It is totally worth it. The food is amazing, the staff is extremely friendly and it’s worth the wait and worth every baisa you spend. Best Seafood Restaurant in Oman The Manhattan Fish Market, 6855 Way, 18th November Street, Azaiba Tel: 24 499621  Facebook Page, Website  First Bite Experience Stewed Tomato Mussels. Costs RO 2.9 and is served in a pool of tomato gravy infused with magical spices and condiments. IMG_1747 Scoop the earthy, tangy sauce into the shells of the mussels and sup it up.

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Us – Muscling up the romance.

The creamy mussels and the magical gravy will make you want to lick the last traces off the plate. Manhattan Flaming Seafood Platter

Must Have platter at the restaurant seafood
Aren’t you happy when what you see is what you get?

We wanted to taste everything on the menu as that was not possible we decided to go in for the Platter (RO 11.9). Squid was deep fried to perfection not chewy, not soggy and oily but just light, crisp n tender.

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Flaming it up for us – Table side.

What can you say about a dish when even a grain of rice is flavoursome? The garlic fried rice, and the creamy flamed shrimp will help you attain nirvana. The fried oysters were good not great but good. The fish fillets were of buttery perfection. We wanted the veggies to be pan friend instead of their usual steamed version, and our request was delivered, without a single question. The quirky and creative decor wordplay combined with the oceanly love makes this experience totally worth the wait. But why wait… go for it and do let me know what you think.

Lunch Box: Magic Ingredient Freshness

So this week it’s all about freshness which I achieved by traversing through the route of traditional indian cooking.

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Smoked eggplant or baingan bartha

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Fresh herb chutney with cilantro, mint, green chillies

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Peal spot fish fried to perfection

yeah i couldn’t resist it…Had to have a strip of yummy in my tummy 😉

The Slurpy Kind of Love

It’s easier for a well-orchestrated proposal to blow your mind away but the excitement lies in the spur of the moment gestures. That is exactly how I would describe how the ‘Slurpy kind of love’ that intoxicated my senses and got me addicted.

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The shakes at ‘Tropical Juices & Ice-cream’ are a must, must, must try. Not just are they a healty meal alternative but are delicious to the core. There are a wide range of choices and what makes them special is the authentic flavours of Peshawari ice-cream that is used as the base.

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Must Try:

Kulfi Shake

Pista (pistachio) Shake

Chikoo Shake

Then they have all the regular flavour profiles.

For more details: (Location, Menu)

http://www.goldenspoongroup.com/tropical.php

For that instant gratification try this ‘Slurpy Kind of Love’

The Messy Kind of Love

It’s more than a mouthful, its overpowers you senses, your hand is the only implement to aid eating, it spills and leaves a trail…in short, its messy but that is what lures you into slurpy submission. This is an Indian treat called Pani Puri / Gol Gappa / Puchka, which will surprise you, so you need to be a food adventurist to truly fall in love with this messy addiction!

Forget fine dining and say hello to street food dining that may make you sweat a bit but there are always ways to get over it!

Not familiar with Pani Puri? Intrigued? Read on…

Pani Puri Al Khuwair Muscat Bakery

So pani puri are these individual fried balls of dough (puris) that are stuffed with a filling comprising of potatoes and lentils which are thereafter dunked into a water (pani)bath.  Thus the name pani puri (balls of water). And don’t think blahh when I say water… coz it’s far from it. The water is the soul of this dish, it’s tangy (from the tamarind), it’s sweet and the moment it touches your tongue your mouth will be

“tricked, tickled and tantalised.”

Best Pani Puri in Muscat – Muscat Bakery Hypermarket Al Khuwair, near Home Centre.

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First Bite Experience

It is so hard to get this dish right outside of India coz ‘freshness’ is the major deciding factor.  I opened my mouth to its maximum capacity and carefully placed the brimming pani puri in. This puri was made of semolina and is much better than the wheat / all-purpose flour puris as the semolina ones instantaneously melts in your mouth. FRESH!!!!!!!!!

I try real hard to be lady like and keep the released coriander, mint and herb infused sweet, tangy water from trickling out from the corner of my lips.

I demolished eight such puris and am left with sticky fingers and a happy tummy. Silly as it may seem this snack lures me into the must experience messy kind of love!

 

 

 

The Lovey Kind of Love

It was my milestone birthday this year and my friends and family made is spectacularly lovely. The icing on the cake was dinner at a restaurant in Muscat called ‘Love At First Bite’. With a name like that, need I say more? But I do intend to, coz this is a food experience that positively added the lovey kind of feeling to LOVE!

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Photo Courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/bitelounge

Lot of my friends do not know about this place and is the perfect opportunity for me to gloat. The romantic indoor shamiana or Arabian tent with silk drapes, cushions and lanterns is perfect to spend a romantic evening with that special person!

Restaurant Interiors

You can have a highly productive conversation just by reading the wicked and naughty menu with dishes such as ‘the way you look tonight’, ‘it’s complicated’, ‘dangerously delicious’, ‘sinfully divine’, ‘obsession’, ‘one night stand-wiches’…  Explore their menu at http://bitelounge.com/menu.html

While I enjoyed ‘Forget You’ – my strawberry margarita, my friend called for a ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ (chicken breast cooked with coriander and cream served with mashed potatoes) I must have been looking splendid ;).

Romantic Restaurant in Muscat:

Love at First Bite, Shatti Al-Qurum, Next to Fit Body or Opp. Al-Masa Mall

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 First Bite Experience:

 The chicken was cooked to perfection. The sauce added that extra punch to the dish which was elevated by the mash and the veggies. This restaurant is doing a lot of things right. The flavours are in place, the hospitality is top notch, the ambiance is warm, cosy, elegant and not to forget romantic and the food is to die for.

It is indeed a place for celebration, a place that rekindles the lovey kind of love!

The Fishy Kind of Love

Caution: This post may be inedible for the Finding Nemo fan base!

There is nothing fishy about my love for the ocean and the creatures that dwell therein. I would like to think of myself as a mermaid but my insatiable appetite for seafood would make me an inhospitable member of the community.

So I settled for a road trip to a fishing village located 50 kilometres away from Al Ashkhara, Oman.

going to the sea

It was during this trip that I witnessed the early morning ritual of fishermen setting out into the sea, coming back with a boat full of the freshest catch.

coming bac from the seaI stood there in awe as the locals untangled the fish from the fishing nets. I touched the freshly caught fish and was amazed at the absence of the distinctive smell that we have grown to associate fish with (thanks to the supermarket fish aisles).

all types of fishI went to the makeshift market where sardines, king fish, jumbo prawns, squid, octopus and lobster were being sold. I brought home some of the treasure and fried it with close to no marinade. The shiny skin crackled as soon as it hit the hot pan, the natural oil from the fish made it crispy and ready to eat.

Fishing Village in Oman (approx…50 km from Al Ashkhara Beach Resort, Resort Coordinates: 21°44’07.2″N 59°28’55.8″E)

First Bite Experience:

Took the first bite and I fully understood the adage “tasted like the ocean”.

I have been a heavy seafood eater but the sheer freshness, melt-in-your-mouth texture and taste of the sea won my heart and my palate.

How can you gobble up something you love so much…that’s why it is my fishy kind of love!

The Obligation Kind of Love

So, my husband and I were in Abu Dhabi celebrating our 3rd anniversary. While celebrating three years of confusion, fights, struggles and bouts of happiness, he came up with the idea of dining at a South East Asian restaurant called Cho Gao. On the way to the restaurant we got flashed for over speeding; lost our way as we were in a new city; hubby obviously was not at his charming best. The dinner plan turned into an obligation.

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We reached the restaurant late but the food that landed on my table mesmerised all my senses. Not only did it entice me with the way it looked but also with the way it felt, smelt & tasted. No prizes for guessing but I enjoyed every morsel and it helped me ignore my grumpy hubby.

Best South East Asian restaurant in Abu Dhabi:

Cho Gao – Crowne Plaza, Al Markaziyah, Hamdan Street

First Bite Experience:

The Fried Shrimp Dim Sum was a treat to the eye and as well as to the taste buds. The five perfectly bundled up, fried, mini-packets of goodness exploded in my mouth, with flavours that sent me into a gastronomic trance – my eyes rolled upwards and I instantaneously felt the release of those happy chemicals in my brain. The crispy exterior gave way to the gooey, herb infused, salty shrimp filling. Pure Bliss!

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The first spoon full of rice from the Nasi Goreng tasted like beads of flavoursome butter. The fried egg added a crispy texture and a nutty taste and was complimented perfectly by the coconut gravy.  It wasn’t the highlight of the night but considering a dinner date that had turned into a mere obligation, I was glad to fill the silence with my slurps, gasps and moans.

Cheers to the Obligation kinda love…something good always follows!