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Archive for May, 2010

One of the bloggers asked me to write a review on the La Brasserie restaurant in Muttrah. Though I feel like I am stepping on bluechi’s space, but I guess that is fine. I bet the first and the last thing he has been thinking about lately is his iPad! and roaming around DC.. The restaurant was mentioned on the Week some time ago here.

Looks nice from the outside

Anyway, I went to the restaurant with a friend who is not that familiar with Muttrah area. However, while walking towards the restaurant she did happen to notice a bad smell. For those who have been to Muttrah would think that the restaurant is placed in the one of those houses closer to the corniche. It is a very beautiful scene down there, but we were surprised that out of all the places they could have gone to, they chose to put the restaurant right behind the fish market! Yes, right next to the bad stench.  Not just that! It is also right behind the Muttrah port. I have no clue who did their feasibility study (assuming there was one), and decided that that was the perfect place for a French restaurant.

The view of the for the ground floor was the storage side of the port, and the same for the first floor except you can manage to get a peak view of the corniche. I haven’t gone to the second floor, but I doubt it would be spectacular. Now, the Westerners that go to Muttrah go there for a more traditional experience: sitting on the side walk shops and drinking “cheaper” fruit juices or something. As we were walking down to the restaurant, there were at least ten Westerners sitting at the local restaurant next door. Also, the middle class Omani people go to Muttrah to buy fabric, incense, local goods. They rarely go to Muttrah to “hang out”. We have alQurum and alShatti for that.

Anyway, my friend and I went there at around 6pm to find out that they do not serve dinner till 7pm. So, that was a bummer!However, they were open for tea/drinks and pastries. The setting of the restaurant was very modern and elegant. The ground floor felt more like a regular restaurant and the first floor was more of a lounge area for breakfast, tea, and just hanging out. It had a nice feel and we felt very comfortable. However, I would have preferred to be there during their service hours. Though we were the only two costumers,  the waiters didn’t pay much attention to us. Once we got our orders, we were pretty much ignored till we went down and asked to pay for the bill.

So, I ordered some French tea and a Salmon tarte. It was good and the portions were large enough to fill me up. My friend ordered goat cheese with spinach tarte and it seemed like she enjoyed it a lot. The prices were average, but you would pay less at Pizza Express.

I would like to note that once the restaurant owner left the place, the two people that were working there started to play some not so French music (hip-hop). I’m not sure I enjoyed listening to Rihanna’s “Rude boy”  while eating my salmon. People sometimes need to listen to the lyrics!

[UPDATE] Claude, the owner of La Brasserie was so kind to comment on the post. I copied her response here so that it will be more visible to others:

Dear Reality,

I am Claude, the owner of La Brasserie the french restaurant in Muttrah and I would like to thank you for your review. In France we say “tout sauf l’indifference” which means everything except indifference.
I took your comments on a positive note and we will do our best to do better.
However let me explain you the location choice: the corniche in our foreigner eyes is a fantastic place, authentic, full of life and colorful. Everybody visiting Oman goes to the corniche. So I decided to set the restaurant there because people need different options: the small coffee shops on the corniche can satisfy some customers what about the other people?
You always need someone to start changing things, I have discovered a big project is planned for this area so I am not the only one beliving in another future for the corniche.
Regarding the recommendation for a restaurant in Qurum why not?
Thank you again for the nice comments and the feedback hope to see you soon in La Brasserie.

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