Hasan Al Lawati and friends indulge in a spot of African cuisine at a restaurant in Al Ghubra that also offers a variety of authentic Omani delights.
For incredibly affordable food, seek out the famed Africa Restaurant and Coffee Shop for Zanzibar Food (I know, the name sounds like a job description) in Al Ghubra. After my first — and surely not last— visit to the eatery, all I can say is that, among Oman’s most beloved cheap eats, this restaurant is a crowd-favourite.
Located near the Al Ghubra traffic lights on November 18th Street, the restaurant offers a variety of authentic Omani delights and at a real bargain that made sharing the bill unnecessary for me and my three friends. It was so much affordable that one of the friends came forward to foot the entire bill.
While a ‘self-service’ sign was hung on the window, the staff were friendly and patient to guide us through the menu.
We spent around two hours there, and during that time there were at least two takeaway orders every five minutes, which tells you quite a bit about the popularity of the place and its reasonable prices.
The eatery offers a wide and comfortable space and a spacious parking lot, but it is more of a takeout joint.
Apart from the exotic Africa’s banana with meat dish (I did not dare to try that), the restaurant offers many animal-free meals that even the most committed carnivore might not be able to resist.
We ordered curry and potato, stewed vegetables, kachori (spicy potato), chicken samosa, meat curry, dal (lentin), chapatti bread and three different kinds of pastries.
The potato was tender and the curry was flavourful. The stewed vegetables, my friend’s order, were blissfully melting in my mouth.
Their kachori, a spicy Indian snack, was my favourite, a must-eat for anyone who plans to go there. For drinks, we ordered two pineapple juices but my friend was keen on trying their passion fruit juice which, unfortunately, they did not have at that time. For desserts, we had custard, which was all right, and which complemented the delicious starters and main dishes.
However, when it comes to presentation, this is not the most Instagram-friendly place in Muscat as the food is served directly (and generously) from the buffet.
In general, the food tasted like it was home-cooked and we ate like kings for just RO7.7!
Not that he saved much of our budget, a friend decided to take care of the bill to mark his birthday, lucky me!
“It’s one of the few places in Muscat where a vegetarian can eat fresh and to full belly and for a low-cost price,” my friend, Irina, said.
Yashwan, her husband, fell in love with his meat curry and Marlen polished her plate which was, not long ago, full of tempting pastries and yummy dal. I am seriously planning to pay another visit to the restaurant to test their Mandazi, a banana delight with meat and spaghetti and white sauce.
Overall, I envy Al Ghubra residents for having such a place in their neighbourhood that offers them daily supplies of fresh and delicious food at competitive prices.
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Vegan friendly, dirt-cheap and tastes like wholeheartedly home-cooked food