I’ve often said that Muscat could use a Korean restaurant. Hot Pot & Grills (in Bareeq al Shatti mall) was the closest thing that you could get to Korean food until they basically removed the whole “hot pot and grill” part of their restaurant and menu! (I hope they consider putting their menu “back to normal”…or at least change the name!) Anyway, it turns out there is not only one place that serves Korean food, but at least 3! The only problem is…they are not really restaurants. They are guesthouses for serving Korean food to Korean businessmen here in the Sultanate. If you know the right people, they can be persuaded to let you eat some authentic Korean food and boy, are we glad we know the right people!
Here’s a post our friend, Tin, put up on her blog about the Korean guesthouse restaurant. She’s fortunate to be working with Koreans and to have so many opportunities of eating such awesome food! Here are a few pics from our 1st meal there (and hopefully not our last!): A very simple looking place, but we weren’t there for the “ambiance” or interior decorating…we were there to enjoy some authentic Korean food! Just a few of the “panchan” (sidedishes) that they brought during our feast. Yum yum! Great dim sum or “Mandu” as they’d say in Korea! A lot of this food brought back some great memories from my 9 1/2 years in South Korea, like this dish of pajeon (or “Korean pancakes”). Mmmm!!!Good old Japchae! Korean noodles made from sweet potato (당면) and mixed with vegetables (and sometimes beef).Of course no Korean meal would be complete without KIMCHI!!! They even sell Kimchi at 3 OR/kilo.It’s been far too long since I’ve enjoyed such delicious Korean beulgogi!! The kimchi-chi-gae was so good! Memories of this delicious soup have my sister-in-law constantly asking for a return trip! Nice to see they use a high quality Korean rice at this place.
With all the dishes you see that we enjoyed pictured above, you might be surprised to know that we only paid 5 OR/person! (Or about $12.50 US) As this is not really a restaurant out to make a profit but a guesthouse simply there to serve Korean businessmen staying with them, the money we gave is basically enough for them to cover the cost. If you are interested in eating at one of the Korean guesthouses, ask around if you have any Korean friends. I’m sure they’ll know all about it! If you don’t have any Korean friends, you can get more info from Tin’s blog, Expat in Oman. Here is a map in case you are interested in finding the Korean supermarket in Ghala. This map was also provided by Expat-in-Oman.
Have any of you been fortunate enough to try one of the Korean guesthouse restaurants in Muscat? If so, how was your experience?
Palayok is a Filipino restaurant in Al-Khuwair behind McDonald’s and the Shell Station. The first (and still operating) Palayok is located in Ruwi which has been doing well with the Filipino community in Muscat since the 80′s. I can’t figure out what took us so long to finally visit this restaurant. I guess there are just too many restaurants in Muscat and not enough time to visit them all! :-) Of course my Filipino wife and sister-in-law were thrilled when I suggested eating there after church on Friday. The restaurant is pretty basic inside. I was prepared for the worst as I remembered that OmaniCuisine had put up one of his worst reviews ever for this restaurant about a year ago. That review might have been one of the reasons it has taken me so long to visit this place…I’m glad we did manage to finally check it out for ourselves as it was a decent enough restaurant and my wife was excited with the choices of so many Filipino dishes! This is a small bowl of Seafood Bisque Soup (1.5 OR). The small bowl was quite a large serving! Pretty good soup. Looks like a regular cream soup but all the good seafood bits are obviously hiding on the bottom! Here are other soups and salads available at Palayok: As often with my restaurant reviews, I have included the majority of the menu (minus the drinks) for those who like to know exactly what is available. This was my favorite dish by far – Stir Fry Beef with Mushrooms (2.8). This was so great to eat poured over a plate of rice! Tita Tet really enjoyed the Zizzling Mix Sea Food (6 OR).I certainly wouldn’t have thought of ordering something called “Ginataang Tilapia with Sitaw” (2.8 OR) (or even known how to pronounce it!) but this was a decent choice by the ladies. (Fish with coconut milk basically) I recommend ordering up a large plate of rice (.8 OR) if you order any of these dishes, especially if you are a group of 3 or more people. Tita was happy to finally try out Palayok in Al Khuwair. She’s been to Palayok in Ruwi but this was her first visit to the one in Al Khuwair which she said is much larger.
Overall, the family thought this was a great lunch. For all the food we ordered pictured above plus a take-away spagetti for the kids, 2 cokes and a large water (+10% service charge), our bill came to 19.25 OR. Not bad! When one is limited to choices for Filipino cuisine here in Muscat, we are certainly not going to be too fussy! Try it out for yourself and feel free to share your experience below in the comments.
Palayok in Al-Khuwair is open from 10am to midnight each day. They cater for birthdays, weddings, baptisms, anniversaries and other functions. For home delivery, reservation and party orders, call +968 220-244-68 or 941-182-89. Email: email@example.com