As I posted before, Shangri-La is a having a Taste of Thailand promotion until March 9th. As a local blogger, the wife and I were invited to the first night’s media invitation along with several other bloggers and newspaper/magazine outlets to sample the food for ourselves! Bend my rubber arm! As if we need an excuse to visit Asia! The evening started with social drinks and entertainment in the form of dancing in the courtyard of the Omani Heritage Village before dinner started. Fabulous way to start off the evening!Here’s a much better pic from the Shangri-La Barr al Jisseh facebook album of this event.If you’re interested, you can click here to see my original restaurant review of Asia. Or here for their Indonesian promotion they had in November.Would you believe they served us an 8-course meal?! Wow! Here are the dishes we were served one by one: This appetizer is called Miang Kham: fragrant betel leaves filled with thai herbs, chili, lime and dried shrimps. Make sure you have plenty of water nearby if you try this as it’s spicey!This soup was SO good! Tom Yam Gung – hot and sour soup with prawns flavoured with lemongrass and thai herbs. If you get to Asia during this promotion, be sure to try this soup!One of the guest chefs hard at work in the kitchenThe salad was quite good. Yam Ma Muang Pla Foo – Crispy shredded catfish with green mangoes and cashewnut salad.This was one of my favorite dishes of the evening. Kaeng Massaman Nuea – Slow-braised beef short rib in rich peanut curry. It went so well with the steamed Jasmine rice (Khao Suai).The other dish that was one of my favorites was whole lobster in dry red curry (Chu Chi Kung Mangkorn). By this time, I was getting pretty stuffed! Not enough to stop, mind you! The guest chefs pictured here who flew in from Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang whipped up this dish specifically for this photo. Here’s a closer look at the dish:It’s always a treat to meet up with Ingrid Hotanijaya, the Communications Executive. Nobody does hospitality like Shangri-La! Back to the set menu…Steamed seabass with lime and chili sauce (Pla Nueng Ma Nao). This was quite a delicious dish. Only one more dish to go…dessert!Khao Niew Ma Muang did not fail to please! Sweet sticky rice with ripe mangoes, sesame seeds and honey. Great way to end a fantastic evening at Asia! We showed up at about 7pm and didn’t leave until around 10:30pm with all the socializing and fine eating. Wow! I’m glad that Rasha al Mandani insisted on getting a pic of me and the wife under the Asia sign just inside the main entrance. Here we are together with Rasha who always makes everyone feel right at home when visiting Shangri-La:Thanks Rasha, Ingrid and the entire crew at Asia for another unforgettable evening!The chefs take the time for a thumbs up (from Shangri-La’s facebook page), but it’s really them and their cooking that deserve a big thumbs up! Try to get down to Asia before March 9th to try all these great dishes for yourself. There are also specialty drinks specifically for the Taste of Thailand menu that are definitely worth trying out!
The Manhattan Fish Market (Tel: 2449-9102) has been open for about 2 weeks now (since Feb 12th). The pics and videos we’ve seen being shared on facebook were enough to convince us to try this restaurant out for ourselves. It was this video in particular with their new “sea-lections” that really caught our attention:
The Manhattan Fish Market is on 18 November Street in Azaiba. If you’re driving from the direction of the Wave, it’s on the right hand side of of the road just before the shell station and Al Fair supermarket. Several tables near the front doorSeems to have more privacy in the back room where we decided to sit. The menu is fantastic. It contains some of the history of this restaurant chain and plenty of clear, laminated pics of all the dishes. Manhattan Fish Market also has branches in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka. It obviously originated in Manhattan! We all enjoyed the Fried Country Mushrooms (1.9 OR) for our starter. Here are all the starters available at MFM:2 choices of soup and 3 chowders. They only make one of the 3 chowders each day so you will only have 1 choice. On the evening we went, it was salmon chowder. For salads, they have garden (1.7) and Caesar (1.9) with the option of add-ons: crispy whitebait (.9), grilled chicken (1.7) and tuna (.9). They also have coleslaw (1.8), corn salad (1.7) and potato salad (2.2). Sides include Chef’s baguette (.4), garlic herb rice (1), chippy fries (1) and hot veggies(1).The wife and I both had the Salmon Chowder (1.5 OR). Delicious!Our friend, Geoff, enjoyed the Cream of Mushroom Soup (1.2). The pastas look SO good. Will have to try one on a future visit. This is just one of the pages of pastas available. It is hard to decide what to get from the menu as it all looks so great.Grilled Dory (3.2 OR)My wife had the small flame (4.9 OR). Manhattan Flaming Prawns with grilled dory fillet on a bed of garlic herb rice, chips and veggies. Our Omani friend had the fish and chips (3.2 OR). You can choose Dory or cherry snapper for the fish and chips. Our friend ordered cherry snapper and he didn’t have anything bad to say about this dish!The MANHATTAN FLAMING SEAFOOD PLATTER (11.9 OR) which we were told is the “1 indisputable choice of manhattan seafood market fans”. After trying it, we could see why. This was a fantastic platter and highly recommended. Hand battered fish fillets, oysters, calamari and Manhattan flaming prawns, all on one dish! This dish is large and intended for at least 2 to share. 2 more of the 6 platters available on the menu Citrus Mint (1.8 OR) Gummy Bear (1.6) From the menu: “The exciting flavors of Curacao and tropical fruit mix is guaranteed to liven up your senses”. Looked more exciting than it tasted… 4 satisfied customers! Overall, we had a wonderful dining experience at Manhattan Fish Market! In total, the bill for 4 people came to only 37.39 OR which works out to only about 10 rials/person. We highly recommend this restaurant and we’re already looking forward to our next visit. Check out their facebook page and go through the menu items in the picture folder there. We didn’t have room for dessert, but they looked incredible. Have any of you been there yet? If so, how was your experience? (Tel: 2449-9102 / 2449-9627) http://www.manhattanfishmarket.com
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. 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. 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. 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“: 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. 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 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! 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. 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. ) 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! 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) The club card is a great way to promote repeat visits!
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!
Charley’s Philly Steaks (also known as Charley’s Grilled Subs) is a great addition to the fast food market here in Oman. I believe the Muscat Grand Mall was the first branch they opened up in Muscat and they just opened up another in Muscat City Center after the renovation and expansion of the food court there.I’ve been to Charley’s Philly Steaks twice in the past few weeks and I believe it’s one of the best options in the foodcourt.I’ve included the entire take-away menu in this post to let you know exactly what they serve there.This was what I ordered with a friend on my first visit to Charley’s. The cost of 2 small Philly Steak Deluxes, 1 cheese fries, 1 ultimate fries and 2 pepsis for 5.4 OR. Not bad! And quite delicious! I really like that the prices listed already include all taxes and service charges. On my 2nd visit, I tried a medium Chicken Teriyaki (with ultimate fries). The bread was soggy and fell apart a bit but it was still good. I think I’ll stick to small subs on any future visits as I was quite stuffed with the medium.With all of their subs, you have only 2 options for bread: white or brown. It would be nice if you had more options which included healthier breads. A closer look at the Philly Steak Deluxe. You can add all kinds of extras with your sub for no extra charge like Mayonnaise, Pickles, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Lettuce, and Jalapenos.Our family really enjoys the seating at the newly renovated Muscat City Centre food court. If you haven’t been there yet, you should definitely head down there and check it out. Like any foodcourt, it’s best to avoid during weekend peak hours.My wife and her sister really enjoyed the Signature Philly Bowls. That’s obviously the Veggie Rice on the left (1.3 OR) and the Philly Steak Rice (1.7 OR) on the right.It was disappointing that they didn’t have any of the Signature Lemonades which look fantastic on the menu! We had to go with the original lemonade which tasted basically like sugared water.The Ultimate Fries (1.1 OR) are awesome. I love the taste and texture of cheese and turkey bacon bits on the fries. Mmmm!!!Here are all the other locations in Oman and few more opening soon.One last thought…You’d think they’d get the spelling right on the receipt!
Anyone else out there a Charley’s Sub fan? Have you tried Charley’s before? What was your experience?