While the service might be a bit hit and miss, Felicity Glover finds that the food’s pretty good at the new B+F Roadside Diner in Al Mouj.
It’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and the cooler weather means we can spend more time outdoors, which means dining al fresco.
And so it was that my daughter Cia and I found ourselves walking along the marina at Al Mouj Muscat with some friends – the P Family – as we headed to B+F Roadside Diner, which can be found in the new Marsa 2 area.
It’s become quite a bit of a hotspot since a number of cafes have opened their doors here over the past couple of months. From kids shooting about on their scooters to teens showing off their inline skating skills and families going for a stroll along the waterfront, it’s no wonder that it has become so popular so quickly.
Because there were six of us and we wanted to sit outside, the friendly waiters at B+F asked if we could wait about 10 minutes for a table to be free. Sitting outdoors at this time of the year is at a premium – there were very few diners inside B+F’s modern, industrial-looking space.
Finally seated, we were given our menus quickly. Fortunately, it wasn’t an overwhelming menu – just two pages that kicked off with starters, mains, burgers and drinks.
Many of you are probably already familiar with B+F at Shatti, and the outlet at Al Mouj is its second outing. It’s an upmarket burger joint that goes that little bit further with modern American cuisine. From chicken and waffles to sliders, burgers, country-fried steak, salads and pasta, the menu is short and sweet – just the way I like it.
But choosing was still difficult. Mrs P chose the jalapeno chicken and cheddar waffle, but then spotted the Coyote Canyon burger – a green chilli-infused beef patty with pepper jack cheese. However, when it came to ordering, the burger wasn’t available so it was back to Mrs P’s original chicken and waffle choice.
Mr P settled on the Dynamite slider, while Miss Pre-teen plumped for the DDM burger, and Miss Teen and Cia the Roadside burger. I was intrigued by the shrimp risotto cakes and ordered these.
Miss Pre-teen also ordered the salted caramel shake, and Cia and Miss Teen decided to have strawberry crush mojitos. As always, the adults stuck to water.
First out of the kitchen was my order – three golden risotto cakes beautifully presented with a sprinkling of greens and sitting on a drizzle of thick balsamic vinegar and a homemade tomato sauce on the side.
It was then that we realised that, as my order was a starter, perhaps the rest of the meals wouldn’t be coming out until I’d finished. But five or so minutes later, Mrs P’s meal arrived. And then there was nothing for quite some time. Mr P finally got his slider, but the girls’ meals still hadn’t arrived. Next up was Miss Pre-teen, then another wait for the final two burgers. In all, it took about 30 minutes for all of our meals to arrive – all of them separately – so by the time, Cia’s burger was placed in front of her, I’d already finished. It is safe to say that we were not impressed by the service – and were rather puzzled by the approach.
But that would have to be the only major complaint. My shrimp risotto cakes were delicious although lacking in shrimp (I think there was only one or two in each cake). Soft and creamy on the inside, it was a lovely contrast to the crunch on the outside.
Mrs P said she enjoyed her waffles and chicken while Mr P’s sliders were “very good”. There was a slight spice of jalepeno that lit up the burger, while the brioche buns were very soft and the meat was moist even though it was cooked through rather than pink. His only complaint? It wasn’t a big enough serving and needed to be served with a side, such as B+F’s delicious home-cut fries.
Miss Pre-teen gave her whopper of a burger (it came with two beef patties) the thumbs up. Served with a heap of hand-cut fries, Miss Pre-teen said the sauce in the burger had a little “ting” about it – in other words, a hint of spice. However, her salted caramel shake was a little too sweet and sickly for her liking.
Cia and Miss Teen loved their burgers as well, saying the meat was tender and juicy while they loved the fries.
Unbelievably, the three girls were up for dessert, with Cia plumping for the chocolate brownie pudding, Miss Teen the mug chocolate fondant and Miss Pre-teen the skillet cookie. Cia and Miss Teen gave their desserts another thumbs up but the skillet cookie – again with the caramel sauce – was too sweet and doughy for Miss Pre-teen.
Overall, everybody said that they’d go back again, while we thought the service was hit and miss because B+F had only recently opened. At least we are hoping that’s the case. In the meantime, it’s a great spot to sit outdoors and shoot the breeze while sampling some very good modern American cuisine.
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Marsa 2, Al Mouj
Tel: 2454 8444
Opening hours: Daily from 12 noon to 11pm
Dinner for six: RO49.9
American diner concept that serves up great burgers