T.G.I.FRIDAYS, Al Khuwair – Now Open!

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!  :-)

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12 responses to “T.G.I.FRIDAYS, Al Khuwair – Now Open!

  1. of course we have tried to have a dinner last friday, unfortunately they have long waiting list… so my stomach can’t wait have something to grind…

  2. Thanks Andy for that review, will let you know once I visit it:)

  3. macbookprodad,
    Sorry to hear you didn’t make it. I think we lucked out by arriving when we did! Give it a try when it’s not so crowded and let me know what you think.

    Cocktail Party,
    My pleasure. Cheers!

  4. Thank u, Andy, for the detailed “report” and even phone number provided; I wish there was anyone to answer it though. Was calling for no less than 2 hours, all in vain. Decided to test our luck and try it for lunch – “Madam, please wait for 45 min”, while the break is 1 hour. For my question on if the phone is in order, they said it’s only the manager who answers it and I believe he was managing something else but bookings. Another example of poor service in Oman, thus no surprise!

  5. Lina,
    That sucks! They really need to have someone available to answer those phones!

  6. We did visit it last Saturday afternoon and managed to get a seat. But those who came after us had to wait though. We ordered an orange juice for our daughter and that took 15 minutes to reach and the food a good 20 mins. My husband tasted the juice to see if the sugar was Ok and found that the juice was not fresh, then we got it changed and the new one was definitely not orange but anyways it was fresh so didn’t get it changed. We ordered for fresh lime soda and we could make out that the lime was not fresh. ‘Three for all’ was quite filling and we loved the ‘mozarella fritters’but the buffalo wings were far from tangy and were cold and bland.
    The Cajun shrimp and chicken pasta is really good but their burger was a real let down. But yes! the ambiance is awesome and the staff were pleasant but I feel they should hire more people as the waiting time can be reduced.

  7. Cocktail Party, (That’s quite a username by the way ha!ha!)
    Sounds like service is still quite slow. We waited quite a while as well and now that I think about it, it took them a lot of time and reminders before we got our drinks. We thought the three-for-all was filling as well. Like a meal in itself! The wings weren’t the greatest for us either but I thought it was because we ordered the regular style instead of with the barbecue sauce or whatever it’s supposed to be covered with. Cajun shrimp and chicken pasta sounds great. I’ll have to give that a try. Thanks!
    Hiring more people sounds like a great idea.
    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

  8. You are welcome:)

  9. No body is picking up the phone, they should do some improvements in their services as most of you mentioned in your comments theres a lot of adjustment they need to do? Customers satisfaction should always be consider specially they are costly than the other food chain in the sultanate.

  10. @Anonymous,
    Good points.

  11. Good Afternoon,

    yesturday i invited my faily to TGI Fridays -Oman, my first time visited TGI was in USA, then Dubai. Oman branch service was really very bad, i suprized really from the service.

    if this is the service i am not going to visit oman TGI fraydys any more.

    regards,

    Yaqoob

  12. Yaqoob,
    Thanks for the comment. We also had some very bad service on our 2nd visit there recently. The lady completely forgot my wife’s order!!! It was a good thing we had ordered an another dish we were planning on wrapping up later for takeaway.
    One tidbit of info to help out anyone dealing with the long lines. If you simply give your number and walk away, you’ll wait a long time. If you ask if you can wait in the bar area, you will almost automatically be given a seat. (This happened to us twice! :-) )

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