Opening Hours Mon - Wed: 6:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.; Thurs – Sat: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.Call Now
The Kempinski Hotel Muscat wins over sports buffs with an all-new lounge that brings a modern culinary twist to an age-old concept.
It’s hard to describe an ideal night out on a working weekday, but devouring a rack of ribs on one hand and few other munchies to go with it as we soak in some football action is as close as it gets to brushing away the blues after a long, hard day.
Perhaps it’s that, or our incessant need to hit the pause button on work nights, that keeps us on our toes and on the lookout for a goodish sports lounge to unwind.
And, after spending some 15 years in the country with little to no hope of finding one that delivers across all fronts – quality food, humble prices, and an atmosphere to match – we think we hit the jackpot this week at the Countdown Sports Lounge at the Kempinski Hotel Muscat.
Decked out in style with high-quality televisions, wooden walls, and LED lighting to complement a setting that’s plush with a myriad of colours emanating from the TV screens, The Countdown Sports Lounge easily steals top spot as a staple worthy of wearing a ‘sports lounge’ nametag.
Walking into the lounge, we’re welcomed by the manager and Eden, our waitress, who seat us in a vacant corner of the lounge. The atmosphere is relaxed and peaceful as we glance through the menu. There’s an elaborate selection to sift through too – from signature burgers and hot wings, to steaks and salads for those weightwatchers.
Our order is quite extravagant. Though, Chef Nicolas Madueno is keen to explain each dish to us and also accommodate our mate’s dietary and allergic requirements in an interaction after Eden pens down our order.
The Golden Rings, Super Food Bowl, and Fire Wings are the first to arrive.
The deep-fried, batter-heavy onion rings are a delight. Crispy on the outside yet not too stodgy on the inside, we proclaim them to be one of the better starters we’ve had recently. This goes for the Super Food Bowl too – which is a dish done up with quinoa, kale, corn, feta cheese, tomato, avocado, and honey mustard dressing.
Our mate rates it high, deeming it a creamy, wholesome, and perfectly balanced salad; with the sweetness of the honey-mustard dressing offsetting the tartness of the feta cheese (though smaller chunks would have been good), and serving up a perfect balance of textures. The crunch of the kale and sweet corn, and the creaminess of the cheese, tomatoes, and avocado, and the earthy nuttiness of the quinoa makes for a very moreish plate.
Meanwhile, the chicken wings, which we ask for to be flaming hot, are a delight. Garnished to perfection in the chef’s signature sauce, the fiery hot wings do justice to their name. The hint of tanginess coupled with the generous dose of chilies has us in tears – quite literally – and are easily a must-order in our books. Though, it’s worth noting that you’ll need to personally ask for the hottest sauce to receive it.
It’s a stark contrast to our main course, which is comprised of a rack of Beef Ribs, Waffled Chicken, and a Countdown Cheesy Burger – all rich in flavour but subtle on the spice front.
The Waffled Chicken – which is exactly what its name says – is a Cajun crispy chicken schnitzel accompanied by golden brown waffles, chives, and doused in maple syrup. While the latter adds richness to the waffles, it also gives the crispy deep-fried chicken a savoury touch that we quite enjoy.
But, it’s no match for the rib-rack. With enough beef for two (or even three) people, the half-rack (which is a 1kg monstrosity) is a generous dose of barbequed and baked meat. The burst-in-your-mouth-flavours flow with every bite, and the tender fall-off-the-bone ribs are baked to perfection and among the best we’ve tried recently.
This carries over to the Cheesy Burger too. There’s no taking away the splendour of an honest medium-rare and high-fat beef patty, topped off with pickled gherkins, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, layers of delectable beef bacon, and goops of matured cheddar – it really is a masterpiece.
Having filled ourselves up to the brim, we’re not too keen on dessert – but throw caution to the wind anyway and order up the Snickers Delight, which is battered Snickers bar soused in vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, and condensed milk.
It’s a calorific combo worthy of indulging in. From the sweet batter, to the gooey, chocolatey Snickers, the ice cream and the cocoa fudge, there’s a lot to savour in the dessert – even for us after having just downed a hearty meal.
In all, we relish our time at The Countdown Sports Lounge – it’s a welcome addition to Muscat’s nightlife scene that fulfills the pleas of many patrons who have, for long, asked for a restaurant with an ambience fit enough to carry their flags in to cheer for their favourite teams in the world of sport. And, yet again, Muscat has delivered.
Kempinski Hotel Muscat, Al Mouj
Mon – Wed: 6:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Thurs – Sat: 12:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Contact: (+968) 2498-5000
Kempinski Hotel Muscat’s family-friendly sports lounge kicks up dust as it plates up scrummy dishes while upholding the ambience of a full-fledged sports lounge.
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