Monthly Archives: June 2014

Mongolian Barbecue at The Golden Oryx, Ruwi

Image We had heard from several people that the Mongolian Barbecue at The Golden Oryx was very good so we decided to give it a try before leaving the Sultanate.  I’m glad we did. Good and cheap food!    menu cover  This post requires very little explanation as the menu (broken up and presented in this blogpost for you) describes the entire concept, history and ingredients.     mongolian barbecue cooking areaThe Mongolian Storyseating The Mongolian Barbeque is located upstairs in the restaurant in this rather small room.more seats golden oryx dragonThe Conceptsoup 1  The soup is very good! soup 2choose your meat  The food is frozen but still good quality for the very low price.   Ingredientssauces sauces on table before cooking  Before after barbecuing  And After        I really enjoyed our 2 experiences at the Mongolian Barbecue this past week.  The taste reminded me of Go Grill at MGM.   The Offer       rice statues stained glass oryx golden oryx entrance

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Zanzibar Bakery & Confectionery, North Al Hail

zanzibar restaurant  Zanzibar Bakery & Confectionery is one of the best places in Oman to try authentic Zanzibari food.  It’s located in North Hail, exactly one roundabout north of the Wave up the coast.      selecting food  You should go inside and point out which food you’d like to have from behind the glass.  You could also just have a seat and ask one of the waiters to see the menu.  It’s always nice to see what it is you’re ordering.  I tried getting pics of all the different types of food you can order there.  This is mainly a post of pics and I recommend going there to try it out for yourself.  Good, cheap food!like a cafeteria juices snacks yum yum rice and more more yummy stuff specials appetizers grills tastes better than it looks sticky substance all kinds of goodies  another great food cooking soups sandwiches dessert hotdrinks dish 1 dish 2 dish 3 main dishes one of the dessert like dishes  great breadgreat soup  The soup was incredibly good!great company  It’s always so much nicer to go to such local restaurants with Omani friends! 🙂fresh bread and such  Let’s not forget that this Zanzibari restaurant is also a bakery.  As you see here, you can order some products near the door to take home with you.zanzibar sign  I was really impressed with this gem of a spot that is quite famous to the locals but often overlooked by foreigners.   Would you believe that the total bill was only 8.5 rials?!  And we ate LIKE KINGS!  This is a definite “must try” for you foodies out there.  GSM numbers for restaurant: 99201536, 92408212, 98534311zanzibar logo and info

VOX Cinemas in Oman – Movie Lovers, Rejoice!

VOX cinemas pic  Now that all the bugs have been worked out after the initial opening, VOX Cinemas is a wonderful experience for movie lovers in the Sultanate!  I’m a little late in putting this post out but I wanted to share my experiences watching 6 movies during June of 2014 just after VOX opened in Muscat City Centre (MCC).  BTW, they are now open in Qurum City Centre (QCC) as well!  That makes 17 new theatres in Muscat to enjoy!ticket and waiting area  One thing that is different from other cinemas I’ve been to is that tickets and food items are purchased at the same counters! I’ve seen some frustrated people who simply wanted to buy a ticket real fast waiting behind huge families who were ordering every food item possible.  I definitely recommend buying tickets online (It’s a cinch!) and then proceed to one of these kiosks to push in your confirmation # and “voila”, you’ve got your tickets! You will need to go to the counter anyway if you are watching a 3D movie as you need to pick up a pair unless you have some from a previous 3D movie experience. I think the 3D glasses were 300 baizas each.ticket kiosksvox apps  If you have a smart phone, these mobile apps should come in handy!whole theatre to myself  For my first cinematic experience at VOX, I had this entire theatre to myself! It was at an 11:45am showing of “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” with Robin Williams and Peter Dinklage who you might better know as Tyrion Lannister of GoT fame. Enjoyable movie that didn’t do well in reviews.  This movie didn’t last long in the cinema here as dramas are not that popular in the Sultanate I’ve noticed. BTW, the best time to watch a movie is late in the morning or early afternoon to avoid the crowds.  (Movies only run in the evenings during Ramadan.)  My favorite lines from The Angriest Man:

  • “Everyone has regrets except for idiots and pychopaths.”
  • “Who ever heard of a doctor without money! This isn’t Toronto!”
  • “The only normal people are those you don’t know very well.”VIP seats  I chose a VIP seat (4 OR) not realizing that the VIP are furthest from the screen!  The VIP are these leather types chairs I don’t really care for rather than the more comfortable blue cloth seats. My advice-Save yourself some money and get a regular seat.popcorn  Plenty of food options of course but the prices are a bit steep for snacks. Example of some prices: small pepsi-1.09, reg. pepsi-1.31, large pepsi-1.53,  kids popcorn (small)-.87, regular popcorn – 1.42, slushpepsi – 1.74.hotdogs!  Love the hotdogs at VOX! They had this special style in which there is only one open hole at the end of the hotdog rather than the slit along the side. Unfortunately, it often resulted in all the ketchup, mustand and mayo forming at the bottom! Steep price at 1.74 OR.color coded timings  I love the signboards which tell you how many minutes left before the next movies are scheduled to play.  Even cooler that they color-code them based on how much time is left.

Here is a list of the VOX theatres now open in both MCC and QCC:        MCC cinemasQCC theatres3D glasses  Seems like just about every movie coming up these days is 3D! (The regular 3D movie prices is 4.7 RO. VIP seats in 3D cost 5.2.)maleficent  The wife and I really enjoyed Maleficent.  The best 3D experience I’ve had thus far. Instead of things whizzing past your head and giving you a headache like many 3D movies, the artistic use of 3D made the fairyworld really come alive. We’ll definitely buy this one when it comes out on DVD.big screen experience  This is the largest cinema known as “VOX Cinema”. They have one of these 16.6 meter mega-screens in MCC and one in QCC.  It seats 261 people while the one in QCC seats 236.  I believe we watched the romantic comedy Blended and the Tom Cruise action flick Edge of Tomorrow (3D) in this theatre.  A warning if you intend to watch a romantic comedy in Oman: Omani young male punks love to attend romantic comedies in pairs and groups and are extremely loud and even shout out inappropriate comments during the film. Extemely annoying! And what’s with people putting their feet up on the seats in front of them? It shows nothing but a complete lack of class and consideration.edge of tomorrow poster  I found Edge of Tomorrow to be kind of boring.  It only got interesting once the “repeat and no risks involved segment” (a large part of the movie) finally ended.  Very groundhog day like but GroundHog Day is actually a much better movie.X-Men 3D  X-Men: Days of Future Past was not that good either but what do you expect…it’s X-Men.  Another one of those movies that I think would have been better in 2D. (Peter Dinklage was in this movie as well!)smallest theatre  This is one of the smallest theatres at MCC. I saw Godzilla 3D at midnight in this tiny theatre. I enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would! On a sidenote, make sure you look very carefully when looking at movie timings and don’t book a movie by accident at midnight when you might have assumed that it was for noon… 😦 In my defence, it was confusing as Movie Showtimes list 12am 1st rather than falling at the end of the day’s showings.VOX in ME  Besides our horrible experience dealing with young Omani punks during a romantic comedy, the VOX cinemas are something to experience for yourself. Great screens and awesome sound, apart from the over-the-top deafening “sound demonstration” (which is so unnecessary) before the movie begins.  Check out their website here.

Marjan Lounge’s Cool “Tent Mode” during Ramadan (& World Cup) at Grand Hyatt Muscat

Marjan Lounge Ramadan  Looking for a cool place to hang out in the evenings during Ramadan? Marjan Lounge which is normally closed during the hotter months has been transformed into an “Arabian tent” for the next month or so.  The food is a fine selection of Arabian dishes that we were lucky enough to sample a few nights back during the Germany-USA game.  They will have 4 or 5 50 inch screen tvs up!  I highly recommend catching a game there as they’ve put a lot of work into making this an awesome venue.

Marjan for World Cup 2014

from inside  Very comfy couches with plenty of ACs and fans to keep you cool.

food pic one    Open every night from 8pm to 3am, they will be serving suhour, shisha, delicious Ramadan specialties and juices and showcasing the FIFA World Cup games.

susan with shish  They have lots of interesting shisha flavours at Marjan Lounge including a new one I tried called orange and mint. (Susan pictured enjoying her lemon and mint! 🙂 )

food pic 2

Arabian sweets

 

watermelon and more

USA Germany match Marjan  We had a blast trying out the lounge at a “pre-launch party” hosted by the Grand Hyatt! (Yeah, it’s a rough life, haha!)  This is actually the 3rd venue  where you can enjoy Ramadan in the evenings at the Grand Hyatt with the others being The Majlis at Sirj and Mokha Cafe.

iftar at majlisSo come on down to the Hyatt and enjoy!  Even if you’re not a big football fan (or “soccer” for those of you who REFUSE to conform to the world, haha), you might be surprised how fun it is to head to such a venue with friends. Nothing like good food, good fun and good company! 🙂

hyatt from front

Rumba Lattina Restaurant, The Cave

Rumba sign Rumba Lattina is one of the 8 restaurants within the Cave Complex on Qurum Heights Road.  We recently had the privilege of attending an official “food tasting” evening there thanks to our friend, Maurizio!  The place itself is spectacular and I hope you get a good sense of the ambiance and an idea of just how good the food is from the following 28 pics within this blogpost.rumba scene artistic mask The artwork located throughout Rumba restaurant is gorgeous.  It was all shipped from South America and Mexico! tapas barI love the lighting and look of the Tapas Bar!native like artworkmore artwork on tapas bar details on wall champagne room  The Champagne Bar – Oh la la! smoking room  How cool is this smoking room?! another view cocktail bar The gents preparing mocktails for guests. This is the main Cocktail Bar.  The liquor license for the Cave Complex will be available soon and will cover all locations there I was told.  Rumba will be open until 3am and it’s sure to be a cool place to hang out and have a drink.  Che and Susan My honey and Susan in front of the Tapas bar. Check out Susan’s food blog “Fatsu” here.mask on wall native statue another mask ceramic lizards another view of rumba Carlos at Rumba    Carlos, one of the friendly waiters at Rumba.  The drinks they prepared were so delicious and they kept bringing more and more!Tapas  Tapas we tried include seafood tamales, arepa reyna pepiada and vegetable empanada.  60% of the materials for cooking are imported so you can be sure you are eating authentic Central and South American food! another fine drink    caribean ceviche  The Aperitivo we tried: Caribean Ceviche.  One of my favourite dishes of the evening.  The fish and shrimp cooked in lemon juice was like nothing I’ve ever had before! watermelon salad  Ensalada: The Watermelon Salad was also very good! chicken mole  The first dish we tried from the “Principales” or “Main Dishes” was the Chicken Mole.  It was made with a chocolate sauce but I would not have known it was chocolate if they hadn’t told me.  Some of these dishes were completely new to me as I’m unfamiliar with South American cuisine.  I’ve definitely been missing out as the food is so unique and something that you really have to try for yourself.  nogada  The 2nd main course we tried was the “Nogada”.  Nogadas are stuffed capsicums.  They served us 2 actually: Lamb & Vegetable. Both were fantastic.maurizio taking a pic for fatsu  And here we have Maurizio in action, the official photographer for Fatsu! 😉 quesillo  The 1st of 3 desserts we were served: Quesillo.  “Mmm, Mmm” and once again let me say “Mmm!”   tres leches  “Tres leeches” – Let’s hope they have this on their main menu as it was a winner with everyone at the table.  This is a Venezuelan dessert that simply must be tried. marquesa  And last of all but definitely not least was the “Marquesa”.  Note the spices on the side which were arranged to represent the colours of the Omani flag.  Nice touch and great dessert! chefs and kitchen team The head chef, Guillermo, (3rd from the left- not including the Amazon-warriorish statue!) and the other chefs and kitchen staff taking a bow at the end of an incredible gastronomical evening of great food and equally good company.  The restaurant should be opening some time next week.  When it does open, this is a restaurant I would definitely recommend trying out for yourself!