Level 1, Muscat City CentreNearby Landmarks Average Cost
Dinner for three: RO17.3Website
American, Fast Food
We’re located at Level 1, Muscat City Centre. Call in at 2428 4480
Whether you like ‘em mild or with a kick, this catch-all sports hub ticks the boxes for variety when it comes to the almighty wing – but does it stack up on service and quality? Ashlee Starratt tucks in.
Full disclosure: I usually avoid mall restaurants like the plague; big box franchises that draw you in with their neon splendour and then spit you out with a case of salmonella. On those occasions when swayed, it’s got to be worth it. So, it was with high hopes that we headed into Buffalo Wild Wings at Seeb City Centre Mall on the eve of the World Cup final.
A sports-themed restaurant, in a mall, on the conclusive cusp of one of the world’s biggest sporting events. Busy didn’t even begin to describe it. With most of the tables reserved for hungry viewing parties, we tucked into a corner spot at the back of the restaurant that afforded us a prime view across the airy, open-plan dining room. As expected in a sports-themed restaurant, large screens dominated the space with a gaming area at the back, a central ‘bar’ area, and an interior palette led with primary colours, offset by raw-wood tables and chairs.
The menu at Buffalo Wild Wings is your standard sports-bar/pub fare, and with our bellies growling, we were pushovers for its glossy pictorial menu. We were hungry enough to share an order of their Carne Asada Fries which looked locked and loaded, piled high with cheesy, beefy goodness.
What arrived at the table couldn’t have been more of a letdown – mostly naked fries sprinkled with a bit of chopped onion, tomato, and seasoning, sparse chunks of steak, and five lonely slices of jalapeno that gave more garnish than guts to the dish. The tendrils of ooey-gooey cheese, the hallmark of any good ‘loaded’ plate of fries, were nowhere to be found. Instead, the dish was inundated with a sour lemon cream – emphasis on the sour. Its saving graces were tender morsels of well-cooked steak, fries that held their own when it came to crispy quotient, and a side order of spicy ranch dipping sauce that was palatable.
Hoping the starter was a one-off, we ordered a few flavours of wings off their extensive menu ranging in spice factor from mild to potent. You can opt for either on- or off-the-bone varieties and ours arrived at the table in short order. We honed-in on a Honey BBQ on-the-bone variety and boneless versions of their Spicy Garlic and Caribbean Jerk seasonings.
It’s here when things started to go pear-shaped with the service – which had been prompt and attentive upon our arrival, but petered out the busier the restaurant became, and we were pretty much forgotten in our corner. In spite of our waitress reading our order back to us – one small order for each of the three wing varieties, when they arrived at the table we discovered that one small order of the boneless wings had been split into two for both flavours – meaning fewer wings on the plate.
Juicy and tender, the Honey BBQ on-the-bone ones went down a treat with just the right sauce-to-wing ratio – enough to get your fingers sticky but keep your chin clean. The boneless varieties, however, seemed overcooked. Both were tough, and the electric orange hue of the Spicy Garlic wings made us think they’d accidentally been swapped for a classic Buffalo version. The sauce was funky and sour-tasting. The Caribbean Jerk portion was more flavoursome although equally tough to tear into – but at least it had a sweet sucker-punch of spice.
Saving room for afters we tried our best to order a sharing portion of their Dessert Nachos – cinnamon-sugar tortillas crowned with deep-fried cheesecake bites, four scoops of ice cream, and a drizzle of chocolate-caramel sauce that was exactly as calorific as its sounds. We were informed by our waitress that the deep-fried cheesecake bites were out of stock but could be substituted with a fifth scoop of vanilla ice cream…for the same price. Not keen, we opted for a slab of their New York-style cheesecake to share, the arrival of which we waited 25 minutes for. Figuring they must have gone to Manhattan to slice it, we enquired about the delay to the manager who then, kindly, comped it from our bill.
Would we go back to Buffalo Wild Wings? Probably during the next World Cup, yes.
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