A new restaurant in Seeb has become the talk of the town for its quality and low prices. Nishad Padiyarath reports.
Eating out can pinch your pockets ever so badly these days. However, all is not lost, because there are some restaurants like Qibara in Seeb, for instance, that offer good food at an affordable price. It’s perfect for when you are eating out with friends or family.
Qibara Restaurant has been the talk of the town ever since it was launched recently. Social media is also abuzz with people posting pictures across Facebook and Instagram about the newly opened restaurant that that is fast becoming a household name among food lovers.
So on a recent Sunday afternoon, I, along with three of my colleagues, set out to Qibara for an early lunch. Located inside Seeb Mall, the restaurant dishes up a serious wow factor; with moody lighting, striking décor, a spectacular wall, and a creative choice of food. If you’re looking for a restaurant that will impress with both substance and style, look no further – Qibara is the place.
The restaurant is relatively quiet but the attentive staff and the clever design ensure it never feels empty. “This is ideal for a romantic date night, or a special catch-up with friends,” said my friend, looking at the interior of the restaurant.
Qibara’s menu looks impressive, with a variety of dishes to choose from. From pizzas to pastas to Arabian cuisine, Qibara has everything you would wish to eat. I begin with the Chinese soup of the day, the sweetcorn chicken soup, which is a good appetiser. Among other soups in the list, the Mexican beef chilli and Thai-style chicken soup with coconut milk are popular at Qibara.
In the salad section, there is a garden green salad and a tandoori chicken salad. Since I love garden green salad, I dump my plate with it and take a portion of the Tandoori chicken salad, which is generously topped with avocados and yoghurt.
Moving on to the main course, I find that there is a mix of Indian, Arabic and continental dishes. I go for penne chicken pasta while my friends choose chicken biriyani, lamb biriyani and a mixed grill.
The pasta was nice and creamy, with a white sauce that wasn’t too thick or saucy. The chicken in the pasta was juicy and tender, and the sweetcorn added to the flavour. The portions were good, too – one plate is enough for two people.
I took a portion of the chicken biriyani my friend ordered. It was soft and just spicy enough for me to tuck in with some gusto. More importantly, it was cooked skilfully enough so that my hand was not slathered with oil in so doing. The meat was tender and slid right off the bone, and the steamed rice was perfectly fluffy. It was a winsome combination that connoisseurs of biriyanis would certainly enjoy. The lamb biriyani was soft and the best my friend had had in recent times. “There is oil in it but it tasted good,” he said.
The mixed grill was unlike what you would receive in a Lebanese or Turkish restaurant: there were no traditional Arabic breads or hummus served alongside it. However, it’s worth its price for the portion of grill that was served. In true fashion, you get three sticks (each) of chicken tikka, sheesh tawook and beef tikka, served alongside a healthy portion of saffron rice.
The presentation was top-notch, the meats succulent, and the rice freshly steamed.
“But because I don’t particularly enjoy saffron rice, I had to set it aside and proceed to finishing the grill items lonesome,” said my colleague Alvin.
We also ordered fresh juices, and this time, the presentation surprised us. It was served in a unique package that resembled a light bulb. It’s a bright idea that helps Qibara stand apart from other restaurants. The total price of the lunch was RO19.740.
Qibara is a place where you get your money’s worth. So head to the restaurant anytime you want to eat a nice, heavy, but light-on-the-pocket lunch.
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Excellent food with value for money.