Tag Archives: Muscat restaurant

Istanboly Turkish Restaurant, Al-Khuwair & Al-Khoud

ImageIstanboly is another fine choice for cheap but good Turkish food in Muscat!  If you enjoy the Turkish House, you’ll definitely enjoy Istanboly as well.  The pics from this most recent visit are from the Istanboly in Al-Khuwair next door to Rawasco Supermarket. It’s a fantastic place to hang out with friends seated outside in front in the cooler season (Oct-March) and of course there is also plenty of seating inside as well.  The other location in Al-Khoud is more of a take-away place as there are mostly male students hanging around there from the nearby (SQU) university.ImageIt’s called “Istanboly Coffee Shop” but I didn’t put that in the title as it may confuse North Americans who mostly think of places like Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Second Cup when they think of “coffee shops”.ImageYou can never go wrong with the Istanboly Mixed Grill!! (4.3 OR) 9 times out of 10 this is what I order when we go to Istanboly.ImageMy wife almost always gets the Lamb Chops (4.2 OR). This is also a fantastic meal. Chances are if I didn’t order the Mixed Grill it’s probably because I went with the Lamb Chops! 🙂ImageThe humus is always good at Istanboly as well as the hot pita that comes with it. There is also this other bread that is great as well that they will most likely bring to your table:ImageHere’s the full menu:ImageThe bill usually works out to 4 or 5 rials per person.ImageHere are the locations and phone numbers of the 3 locations of Istanboly: 1 in Al-Khoudh and 2 in Al-Khuwair including the main shop featured here which is by far the most enjoyable.Image Have any other Muscateers tried Istanboly? If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend Istanboly to your friends?


Elevation Burger, Muscat Grand Mall (“Ingredients Matter”)

Elevation Burger logo                                                                        Elevation Burger opened in Muscat Grand Mall (MGM) about 8 months ago. They are a chain of American restaurants that originated in 2002 with its founder, Hans Hess.  They have branches throughout the GCC including Kuwait, Dubai, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. I kept hearing great reviews about this place and how the burgers are so healthy (especially from our friend, Geoff, who goes there often) so we finally decided to give it a try tonight.Elevation Burger in MGM  It’s a very spacious restaurant and was quite empty on our visit (awesome!) but I think it’s because it was on a weekday. The employees told me that they are much busier on weekends.compared to other burgers  They have an interesting pamphlet on each table that explains the difference between Elevation burgers and others.  I’ve included the whole thing (broken up and intermingled with pics I took) so you can get an idea of the health benefits of their organic burgers and fries.seating 1some differences in burger  Less fat, few calories and fries that are cooked in olive oil sound good to me.  Obviously burgers made from 100% organic grass-fed cattle are much healthier than grain fed ones.  This visit to Elevation Burger and their focus on healthy options reminded me of this video called “The Meatrix” with “Moopheus“: seating 2more differences in burgersElevation Burgers  I had the Elevation Burger (with 2 patties) (3 OR) and my wife had the cheese burger (2.4 OR).  The burger was delicious but fell apart easily as I had too many toppings I think. My wife loved her burger.Burger Choices  There are your main choices.  I can’t imagine more than 3 patties on your burger as my mouth could barely fit around 2.  The Vertigo Burger has an option of 3 to 10 patties!toppings  Toppings are free (except blue cheese dressing) for any of the burgers (or cheese sandwich).  Be careful though as I asked for all the toppings and was surprised to realize after biting into my burger that there were jalapenos. They are not listed on the toppings! 😦cheese fries  The fries were an all-around winner!  Sit somewhere within eyes reach of the main counter to check out how they take fresh potatoes and squeeze them through their manual cutter right before your eyes.  If, like me, you are accustomed to overly crispy and salty McDonald fries, it may take a few forkfuls of fries before they win you over. They may seem soggy at first but just keep digging in and your tastebuds will be glad you did.drinks and sidesbeverages                                              Nothing beats free refills!  You don’t have to hand your cup over the counter or ask a waiter for it; you just get up and fill it yourself. Ah, the simple pleasures of life! By the way, there are no “waiters” really, as you check out their simple menu, order and then pay at the front till and once they bring you your food, you’re on your own. (Apart from the standard “How is your food?” question at some point. 😉 )shakes and malts  Apparently their hand scooped icecream is a real treat but we’ll have to save that for another visit as we were pretty stuffed. My recommendation is go for a single patty (hamburger/cheeseburger) and save room for iceacream or a root beer float!employees at elevation  3 of the friendly employees on staff during our visit.  They were extremely helpful with explaining the menu and how it all works at Elevation Burger. (Even though it should be pretty straight forward)loyalty program  The club card is a great way to promote repeat visits!

receipt  Not bad at all! 9.3 OR in total and I always love when a restaurant includes taxes and service charges within the price on the menu!  (Take note that there is a tip jar at the front counter, folks!)

Have you been to Elevation Burger? If so, what did you think?  Check out the Elevation Burger in Oman facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ElevationOM  They definitely get the Andy-in-Oman stamp of approval! 🙂

“Yours Truly Indonesia”Promotion at Asia, Shangri-La Muscat Until Nov. 26th

ImageWe were invited to the fabulous Asia restaurant at Shangri-La on Thursday evening to try out the Indonesian promotion that started Nov 12th and continues until Nov 26th.  It was an incredible evening of entertainment and unbelievable food.   For those who visit the facebook page of Shangri-La Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa and answer 3 questions each week (during the promotion), you will be entered into a draw to win a 3 day vacation at Shangri-La Jakarta with tickets provided by Oman Air!Image  This was not our first time at Asia.  Click here to read about our experience during our first visit there.ImageThe lucky man is this picture is Mark Kirk, General Manager of Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.  The 2 ladies on either side of Mr. Kirk are members of the Indonesian community in Muscat who got all dolled up in traditional Indonesian dresses.ImageThe cocktails were great! These are specially made for the Indonesian promotion.ImageImageImageKaredok – Raw vegetable salad with peanut sauce.  This salad alone is worth the trip out to Shangri-La!  There really was something magical about the peanut sauce on that salad!  One of my favourite dishes of the entire evening.ImageSoto Betawi – Batavian Beef Soup – Words can’t describe how delicious this soup tasted.  Seriously one of the best soups I can ever remember enjoying.  Indescribable taste and the beef was so tender in the soup that it seemed to almost melt in my mouth.ImageSate Lilit Campur – Mixed Balinese Satay served with Nasi Goreng, Acar and Sambal.  The delicious main course of the evening  came with a generous helping of rice (with pineapple in it, I believe).ImageAnother specialty drink for the promotion called the Bali drink which contains rum.ImageImageKue Lapis Surabaya Dengan Es Krim Kelapa – Layered cake from Surabaya served with Coconut ice cream.  Yummy!ImageAnother look at the main dish that the guest chefs from Jakarta prepared as it was coming out of the kitchen for one of the guests.ImageChefs Nur Budiyono and Marlina Tulus Salam are happy to serve during their 2 week stay in Oman. True Indonesian ambassadors bringing the finest authentic Indonesian delicacies here to the Sultanate for a limited time.  These 2 expert Indonesian guest chefs are from Shangrila-La Jakarta and are here to present Indonesia’s best kept culinary secrets in a unique menu of natives’ favourites.ImageL to R: Eihab Attia (Communications Manager), Chef Marlina Tulus Salam, Ingrid Hotanijaya (Communications Executive), Chef Nur Budiyono, Samir Abu Al Majid (Advertisinglass Executive for Al Watan), and Ania Zdunek (Assistant Director of Communications).  It was great meeting so many wonderful people at this brilliantly organized event!

Thanks a lot to the staff at Shangri-La Muscat (especially Ingrid and Rasha) for the invite!  What an unforgettable evening.  For those of you who have never been to “Asia”, now’s a great chance to try it out.  Who knows, you might even win the 3-day vacation to Jakarta, Indonesia!  Whether you win the draw or not, it may very well be the best Indonesian cuisine you ever get a chance to experience!

Shang Thai Launch Ceremony at Muscat Grand Mall

Invitation of Launch Ceremony  What an honor to be invited to the launch of Shang Thai at MGM this evening! (The restaurant had a soft opening on Jan. 22nd but this was the official launch.)Invitation of Launch Ceremony - Details (1)  My wife was very excited about heading down to Shang Thai even though we just enjoyed a fabulous Valentine’s Day menu at their Wave branch only 4 days ago!  We receive many invitations and it’s just not physically possible to attend all of them but this was one that my wife insisted that we attend. (Bend my rubber arm ;-)!)at entrance    Shang Thai now has 2 branches in Oman: this one in MGM which was moved from Al Khuwair and the other at the Wave (al Mouj).welcome  What a warm welcome!  🙂appetizers  My wife didn’t waste any time getting right to the appetizers.my social butterfly  It was a pleasure meeting up with Rajiv Kohli, the Joint Director of Inspired Talents Management Consultancy and Chef Praiwan Sriplai, the Executive Chef of Shang Thai.  Rajiv was a delightful host and we were impressed that he knew about every post we have ever published on Shang Thai.  Chef Praiwan was also very charming and it was fascinating to hear about his experience working as Executive Chef in Oman overseeing both restaurants.  Would you believe they even insisted on offering my wife complimentary cooking lessons with Chef Praiwan?!outdoor seating  The seating on the outside patio is a nice option!a great evening for all  Here’s my wife sitting with the guest of honour, His Excellency Dr. Pornchai Danvivathana, Ambassador of Thailand, and his lovely wife.  We also got to meet Hassan Jaboub, the General Manager of MGM, seen here sitting next to the Ambassador.  A big thanks once again to Rajiv for introducing us and giving us the royal treatment during our evening.  A big thanks to His Excellency as well who declared us to be on his “official friends of Thailand network.” 🙂buffet statuebuffet  It goes without saying, the food was fab! (2 points if you can identify the famous Omani blogger/tweeter in this pic! 😉 )friendly chefs  What would Shang Thai be without its chefs!?my honey and dancers  My wife with the Thai dancers just before their Thai Cultural Dance.dessertShang Thai Central Regional Food Art Work Muscat - Eblast, Restaurant & Facebook  This is the current promotion for “Thai Central Region Flavors” at Shang Thai which is only on till February 28th.  It’s a great excuse to check out the new location of Shang Thai in MGM while enjoying some of the best Thai food in Muscat if you haven’t been there yet.

What a lovely night!

Valentine’s Day Offer at 360° Restaurant

chef alan at workLast night we went back to 360° Restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday and to treat another friend who flew all the way from Germany to celebrate that friend’s birthday! (That’s what I call friendship! 🙂 ) Once again we had the Teppanyaki and it tasted even better than we remembered from our first visit almost 3 months ago!  As you can see in the photo above, Chef Alan had a little “pre-Valentine’s Day message” for us as he cooked!360 degree signMy friend asked us for directions to the restaurant but this huge sign (new since our first visit) on the building just next to the restaurant is unmistakable!green tea icecream                                  This is a pic of the Green-Tea Icecream we had that came with our orders of Samurai Tender Chicken (12 OR) and Surf and Turf Lobster (12 OR).  If you haven’t tried Teppanyaki at this restaurant, you really do have to give it a try!coffeeshop picThis is the outdoor coffeeshop-like area called “The Hydro Lounge“.  This is where they plan to decorate and host a special romantic candlelight dinner on Valentine’s Day with limited seats.  They mentioned that people could also order it indoors as well.valentines day info

details of menuSeems like quite an impressive meal for 25 Omani rials/couple (+service charge & tax so probably just shy of 30 OR).  I already mentioned 2 decent Valentine’s Day offers yesterday and so I thought I’d post this one as well.  Why not enjoy a romantic meal and check out this relatively new restaurant on the Muscat dining scene?!  To reserve a table, call (968)2490398.

For a more complete list of Valentine’s Day specials around Muscat, check out the incredible list put together at Muscat Mutterings!