Trishna Seafood Restaurant, Muscat. Never Again Kind of Love

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.

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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.

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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.

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Veggie Delight – Not so much: There was one vegetarian on the table and she ordered for a vegetarian Shangai Soup (RO 1.7), which was a disaster according to her and I second that. Dal Hyderabadi (RO 3.1), what can I say, if I didn’t have the restaurant bill in front of me for reference, I would have forgotten to mention it. The restaurant can justify the price of their seafood dishes by saying:  “Some items like King Fish is available locally, but there are other items on the menu which are not available in Oman. So we have tied up with one of the seafood importers to bring in live crabs and lobsters and fresh prawns from Dubai,”  but what is the justification for the mark up on the veggie dishes?

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.

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 😉

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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.