Food does not usually taste good during restaurant openings. The waiters get nervous, the chef makes mistakes, and the guests’ expectations are just too high. But when I visited Bakery and BBQ (BandB) restaurant in Qurum, I struggled to find glaring flaws in their food or service.
For years, I have been trying to find an authentic Lebanese restaurant in Oman where they do not serve microwave-reheated falafels or canned hummus, and BandB was one of the very few I managed to find.
My head screamed “jackpot!” when I tasted their hummus. I scooped the Lebanese appetiser with loaves of warm, freshly baked bread (yes, they have an oven that delivers them), and it was fantastic.
Later I gorged on the fattoush, a Levantine salad made from toasted pieces of flat bread and mixed vegetables, such as radishes and tomatoes. It was overflowing with tasty herbs.
Then I had caesar salad. The bowl was large enough to feed at least four people.
The restaurant has a Lebanese theme but also offers some Italian dishes — a great mix.
Then came the mini hot fatayers, stuffed with zaatar, meat, cheese and olives. I had two cheese fatayers which were okay and one zaatar which was dry.
The restaurant served me a complimentary strawberry juice, which would have triggered a sugar rush. Not that I am complaining of extra sugar but the drink was more suitable to be served after dinner — it just did not go well with the food. So, instead, I ordered lemon with mint.
Then it was time for the signature dish, the halloumi sahwarma, which was great for both carnivores and vegetarians. It tasted different from the classic halloumi sandwich which you find at Starbucks or Costa Coffee. Not sure if it was better or worse — just different, that’s it.
I was having dinner with three Lebanese nationals and we were having a nice chat until the main course arrived. The smoky smell and the different shades of red of the chicken tawouq and kebabs were breathtaking.
The chicken was the highlight of the dinner. Though by then we stuffed ourselves with delicious foods, we could not help but to lick the plate clean. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the chef did a great job in mixing the spices.
Overall, the restaurant serves well-cooked meals in a simple and practical way that goes well with its fast food-themed setting.
And with its prime location in Qurum, I think other Lebanese restaurants in town should worry about this ambitious competitor.
Arjan Towell Building, next to Qurum Park Roundabout
Dinner for four: RO28
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