As most expats living in Muscat know, TGIFridays had their official opening yesterday and it was packed! In case you’re looking for the place, it’s located directly in front of City Seasons Hotel in Al Khuwair.
I guess they officially opened at 11am for lunch but my honey and I decided to go there for dinner. We arrived at 7:15pm and there was already a 30-minute waiting list. The lineup was even longer about an hour later and we thought it was pretty cool that they were serving free drinks to people waiting in line. I’m guessing that this place should be quite busy during its first few weeks so you might want to call ahead and reserve a seat at 24488899 to save yourself some time!
The main seating area to the left as you enter
I didn’t get a chance to check out the decor of the entire restaurant but from what I saw, it’s got a lot of the same type of decorations you can see at Chilis, Outbacks or Hard Rock Cafe type places; your basic American memorabilia that is always interesting to check out while waiting for your food. We got stuck under the “In Here, It’s Always Fridays sign” in a dimly lit area near “the bar”. I have to write “the bar” with quotation marks because it has the definite look of a bar but there are absolutely no alcoholic beverages available here with no plan to introduce them (the manager, Ahmed, from Egypt told me).
This was one of our waiters, Amar. We had several waiters waiting on us during the course of our meal; one gentleman from Oman, another from India, a Filipina waitress and an Egypt manager coming around to ask if we were enjoying our meal. Like many of these types of restaurants, wacky hats and goofy pins are a must for all servers, ha!ha! :-)
Decided to try the French Onion Soup (1.75 RO) while my wife had Mushroom soup (1.75 RO) (as the potato soup wasn’t available). We were disappointed to find that both our soups were far from hot. We decided to just go ahead and eat them. It was so busy that it would have taken forever to get our food if we started sending things back to be reheated and we tried to bear in mind that it was their first day of service. Let me just tell you that french onion soup is not enjoyable at all if it’s not nice and hot.
The appetizer “Three-for-all” is really like a meal in itself and is highly recommended by yours truly! It comes with loaded Potato Skins (with Colby sauce and Beef Bacon), Fried Mozarella (coated in Italian-seasoned breading and deep-fried) and tangy Buffalo Wings (NewYork style marinated and deep-fried). This dish is served with sour cream and green onions, Bleu Cheese and marinara sauce and celery sticks. (4.5 RO)
Plenty of fancy drinks on the menu. We ordered an Ultimate Strawberry Daquiri (his) and an Ultimate Electric Lemonade (hers). (1.75 RO each) The strawberry daquiri was quite good but there was not much taste to the lemonade apart from sugar. (I wonder if they couldn’t have picked a slightly riper strawberry! :-) )
I had the Fisherman’s Platter (RO 5.75) which is a combination of seafood-calamari, shrimp and fish which is battered and fried golden. I really enjoyed the shrimp and the fish, but the calamari was overcooked resulting in something closer to rubber than calamari. No, I did not send it back and yes, I did eat it, but that’s just me!
My wife enjoyed “Friday’s Best BBQ Ribs” (RO 6.95); Friday’s original Angus Beef short ribs grilled tender and juicy. Served with Texas BBQ Sauce along with a side of crispy horn hush puppies and and grilled New Orleans corn on the cob. The ribs were soft and delicious and my wife really loved the corn!
So not a bad 1st visit to T.G.I.FRIDAYS. There are still a few bugs to work out, which is to be expected for any place which has just opened, but we’ll definitely be back.
Have any of you living in the Sultanate been to T.G.I.Fridays in Al Khuwair yet?! If so, please share your experience in the comments section. Especially on dishes you highly recommend. Thanks! :-)