Fourth floor, Oman Avenues Mall, Baushar, MuscatNearby Landmarks Average Cost
Dinner for two: RO25.99Website
We’re located at Fourth floor, Oman Avenues Mall, Baushar, Muscat. Call in at 9288-4322
Team Y finds that Yoko Sizzlers falls short of the eastern promise while failing to deliver enough on the dessert options front.
Yoko must be the most abused Japanese word of all time. Yoko-this and Yoko-that – its presence is ubiquitous: from movies to music (a certain Beatle’s wife), and now even with restaurants.
While the word translates as ‘side’, it comes with half a dozen other meanings. Yet, we just couldn’t fathom whether or not a restaurant named Yoko Sizzlers was a desperate attempt by it to hark back to its Japanese roots.
A quick dig into the chain’s history revealed its HQ to be in India. As it stands today, Yoko Sizzlers is a Mumbai-based eatery that operates mostly in the sub-continent and the GCC.
But maybe a touch of India was what Japanese cuisine has always lacked, we presumed, as we sauntered into the hushed outlet in the desolate top floor of the Oman Avenues Mall.
A dour waiter showed us to our seats. He handed us two menus but quickly departed without even offering us a bottle of water or explaining the rather complex menu.
Moments later, however, we were joined by another waiter – a cheerful one this time. He suggested we opt for a Cream of Valencia soup and a Chicken Bruschetta to kick things off, before moving towards a Pepper Steak with Mushroom, a Mutton Satellite and – thanks to a buy-two-get -one free offer – a Sizzling Chicken with Garlic Sauce and Mushroom.
The soup and bruschetta arrived first – and we clocked instantly that it had missed the mark, offering little flavour whatsoever. While the consistency and presentation of the soup – which was garnished well with cream, broccoli, and boiled chicken slices – was impressive, we found clunks of powder on our soup spoon, suggesting it had probably been used in the preparation process.
On the presentation front, the bruschetta scored highly but lacked condiments and the requisite garlic piquancy. That said, the bread was freshly-baked, and the portions of mozzarella relish scored some points back.
Our sizzlers arrived next – and surprisingly, all at one go – leaving us with about five minutes to gobble down each one before the metal pot mellowed down. Still, the sight of three smoking sizzlers emanating a thick aromatic smoke was a sight to behold.
From the lot, the chicken sizzler with garlic sauce was the star turn, offering just the right smack with its mild garlic sauce and the tender chicken pieces that split with a simple poke with the fork.
The accompanying veggies, however, were a letdown. Soggy chunks of cabbage, carrots and raw servings of green peas suggested the sides had probably come from frozen or had been sitting in the refrigerator for too long.
This was also the case with the other two dishes. Next in line was the Mutton Satellite, which was essentially chunks of Aussie mutton cubes marinated with pepper and Indian spices. They were finally brought alive on the grill, before being topped off with (disappointing) slices of square cheddar cheese.
The result was a spicy chunk of melt-in-the-mouth mutton, the zest of which was toned down by the cheddar.
That said, stay clear of the beef steak. The thin and dry slices of well-done (despite our request for medium-rare) steak were unforgiveable – even if they did come as part of an offer. Not only did they lack flavour but the stingy portion of mushroom sauce accompanied by the soggy veggies also made for a rather displeasing finish.
We went to order pudding – and our waiter suggested we try the sizzling chocolate brownie, due to the lack of other selections on the menu. Only later did he reveal that the other options were being kept aside due to a lack of customer interest.
After asking for a bowl of Oreo Bell and a sizzling brownie, both the puddings arrived in less than five minutes but – to our astonishment – it was the Oreo Bell that stood out. Complete with fresh slices of strawberries, grapes, cranberries, apples, and topped off with Oreo chunks and vanilla ice cream, the dish piqued our taste buds with just the perfect amount of sweet and dry elements.
It was actually one of the better puddings we’ve had in a while. The searing chocolate brownie topped off in a thick layer of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and vanilla ice cream made way for another delightful bite – negating our earlier experience of the sub-par beef sizzler.
There’s not much going for Yoko Sizzlers on the main course front except the sizzlers – and even those turned out to be a mixed bag in our case.
This eatery could be one of the top Indo-Japanese restaurants in the country – but not yet, by a long chalk. It should refine its dishes and turn around its menu to please its primary audience: Indians, Pakistanis, and Omanis.
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