Sometimes, it’s the simple pleasures that make life worth living. The same idea can be applied to food, writes Adam Hurrell
They say food is the best way to a woman’s heart, but it’s a pretty good way to mine too. There are few things I enjoy in life more than a Michelin-starred meal, and if you take me to such a restaurant, I will most likely love you forever – especially if you pay.
Yet, for all this luxury, one of my favourite places to eat back home in the UK is a small fish and chip shop called Dimarco’s, in Leominster, Herefordshire. I would call in there on my way back to Gloucestershire, having been to see an elderly relative who used to live near Leominster. I used to have battered cod, fresh chips, perfectly mushed mushy peas, bread and butter and a mug of tea for a little over RO3. My point here is that although I love a bit of posh nosh, there are times when good simple food can be just as satisfying. And that brings me nicely to my visit to Shuwa Express in Bareeq Al Shatti.
It’s a small sandwich bar in the food court of the mall. The primary trade is takeaways, but you can sit in if you want to. Upon arrival, the staff were warm, friendly and very welcoming. I took a table off to one side and was handed one of their brilliant menus. Brilliant because it was wonderfully simple. Sometimes I don’t have the energy or the inclination to thumb through numerous pages of starters, mains, sides; it’s boring. Sometimes less is more. All you need to do at Shuwa Express is choose your bread, chose your meat, choose your filing and order. For me it was chapatti, lamb, yoghurt and mint. Done. Six pages of my book later and it arrived. I had chosen to eat alone because there are times when we need our own company, a bit of breathing space and time to think.
The chapatti was soft, warm and packed tight with filling. There was a lot of flavour for such a simple meal and I loved how it initially tasted mild and yet there was a slight hint of spice coming through, without being overbearing. The mint and yoghurt made the filling moist and the lamb was very tender. There was a variety of additional options to decide between and I could have had salad with it as well had I wanted to.
My sandwich came cut into two halves, which made it much easier to eat. Had it been left whole I fear the sight of me eating it may have been less than elegant. The chips that came on the side were fresh and crisp, so no complaints there. The food at Shuwa Express won’t win any awards, but if you’re looking for a traditional Omani snack between shops I can heartily recommend it. Eat in or takeaway the food is fast, hearty and wholesome. Everything is cooked to order and doesn’t have that feel of having been sat under a heat-lamp for the past two days, as other fast food places sometimes do.
I wouldn’t make a point of going there again unless I was in the immediate area, but if I happened to be shopping in Bareeq Al Shatti and was in need of a spot of lunch I would happily return. The guys at Shuwa Express know what they are doing and so long as they keep the formula simple and carry on cooking up good fast food I can see this little and relatively new sandwich bar being around for a long time.
8 / 10 Service
8 / 10 Food
7 / 10 Ambience
Good, simple fast food.
Bareeq Al Shatti, Qurum
Telephone: +968 9807 2498
Dinner for one and a drink: RO2.4
Y Magazine reviews anonymously and pays for its meals