A fairytale walkthrough sets you up for a voyage to the unknown. An incredible gastronomic journey that unravels never-before splendours begins soon. Alvin Thomas chews over ‘This-is-it!’ moments
There’s a saying that goes: “Looks can be deceiving.” But, The Jungle Restaurant – despite its extravagantly decorated interiors and equally impressive welcoming jungle – doesn’t fall into that category.
Sure, upon entry, you’ll most certainly see yourself reaching for your phone to take photos and videos. It’s the aura of walking into the amazon rainforest: Upon entering the door, you’re greeted by a roaring tiger (just look to your left), tall trees and even waterfalls.
Albeit, nothing about this jungle is embryonic. There are lights on the floor that will guide you through to the restaurant, and you’ll be escorted by the waiters to your table.
Sitting down, I immediately asked for the new set menu that has been causing waves between those who have tried it already. My friend
claimed it to be “the best set menu in Oman”, but I presumed it to be a tall claim.
Upon request, the waitress – Annabelle and Rozario – served me a glass of sparkling water in a wine glass.
Following that, I was presented with the appetiser: Hunters Satay – which is a traditional Indonesian dish with marinated chicken garnished with nasi goreng and peanut sambal. Served to me in a bamboo plate and leaves, it was a great start to my early supper.
The chicken (served on the skewer) was tender and the flavours were enticing. Oddly, I also took a special consideration for the peanut sambal – and it went very well with the chicken.
To cleanse the palate, I then headed to the bar for a plate of salad (which was also a part of the set menu). It’s what you would expect from a high-end restaurant; everything from carrots and cucumbers to chick peas and salad dressings were available.
Following that, the waiter brought me my Forest Mushrooms soup. Principally, it’s what I would call a creamy wild mushroom soup, but I must point out that it was the best soup I had ever tasted in Oman. The consistency of the soup – even though it is inherently thick – was creamy and velvety, and the scent of mushroom was down to a minimum.
Next was the main course, which was undoubtedly the star of the evening. Dubbed the ‘Kilimanjaro’, it was a platter of grills served on a smoking hot metal grill on top of flaming charcoal. It consisted of two patties of Angus beef burger, lamb chops, marinated chicken drumsticks, livers, kidneys, and Australian beef medallions. They should’ve named it the Noah’s Ark, although that would’ve been highly ironic.
There’s no way I could have finished them all, so I took one of each. The chicken and the lamb chops were definitely my favourite. The chicken, again, was soft and succulent, while the lamb chops were well done, but gentle enough to be cut with the steak knife.
I also took a shying to the kidney, liver, beef burger and the accompanying mushroom sauce.
Now, let’s shine light on the item on the menu that captivated me the most: The Tiram – I – Miss – You (Tiramisu). The Jungle special coffee-flavoured mascarpone cheese pudding was simply superb. Simple words cannot describe the sheer taste and texture of the pudding. It was the best tiramisu I had ever golloped. Upon placing a spoonful of the pudding in your mouth, you’re first treated to the strong yet discernible flavour of coffee before the cream cheese takes over to cool your taste buds down. The biscuit layer in the middle was soft and juicy – and it all added to the allure of what had to be the perfect ending to a faultless dinner.
Before leaving, I even made sure to commend the efforts of the chef.
In all, it was the best Taste Test that I had ever experienced during my time at Y. That’s a tall and bold claim – but I stand by it – and you must give it a shot. It’s worth every penny.
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