Sunday, 18 April 2010

Abala Cafe review

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A new Omani café that got a lot of attention. Owned by a young Omani and located in Bareeq Alshatti, the new hot spot in Shatti Al Qurum. I got some good feedback and some bad feedback about people who have been there, so it came to a time where we should give it a try.
Mohammed Al Raisi asked us to have an OT team meeting and suggested we try it.


The atmosphere is ……… well I don’t know how to describe it. Maybe it’s a mix of modern style and with some Omani touches (the paintings on the wall). It’s not my cup of tea but I guess some people like it.


We ordered a variety of meals. The order didn’t take that long to be served (unlike the last time I have been there). I personally had the Hareera soup and the Swiss burger. I liked the Hareera but hated the Burger big time. Ali Ordered Arabiatta Pasta which he liked but said it was too spicy. Mohammed tried out the “Faris Burger” which was some sort of a competition. Abala Café challenges its costumers to finish up this burger. If a customer was able to do that, he/she would get it for free. Mohammed was able to finish up the burger but turns out there was a hidden rule: you must finish it in 20 minutes or the deal is off. Basically what they are saying is that you need to treat your body as a trash can and just throw the burger inside. Our friend ordered an Italian burger and he liked it. Their Shawarma and Pasta are good overall. I never heard anyone complaining about that and I have tried both myself.

Italian Burger

Chicken Burger

Swiss Burger

The famous "Faris" burger

Arabiatta pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese


I had cherry coke which was ok but nothing special. Ali had the worst experience when he ordered a fresh watermelon juice which he returned to the kitchen twice. Their Lemon and mint drink was better though. My other friend ordered a cherry temple (7-up + cherry syrup if I'm not mistaken) and said it was great.

Cherry Coke

Cherry temple

The horror Ali went through, Fresh Watermelon juice

In conclusion:

Abala has a variety of good meals but can be found elsewhere. I would go to B+F if I wanted a burger. I would go to Pizza Express or Pane Caldo if I wanted Pasta. To be fair: I don’t think we should judge Abala as a restaurant, but as a café. The positive feedback I got was from people who went there to have dessert and drinks, not from the people who had a meal there.

Bareeq Al Shatti

Type of food:


Average price for a person:

5-6 Rials.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Jaguar XF review

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There has been a lot of fuzz and buzz about the new Jaguar XF. Mainly because jaguar doesn’t introduce new models that often and this is supposed to be the start for new generation of Jags. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of Jaguar but I thought this one was interesting and my good friend recommended test driving it. I’m going to be honest again and say: when I checked the XF in the showroom, it reminded me of the Ocean’s eleven movie. The movie starts and you can’t help but to notice that a movie star pops up every couple of seconds. The Jaguar gives you the feeling that it has all the stars in one movie.


Along with the XK, those are the only two jaguars that I like their design. Jaguar dumped the old classic look and finally realized that most people got bored from the old designs and want other people to know that they have a 2009 model instead of 1909. Wavy design with an aggressive front definitely catches the eyes on the street. Some may say that in profile, the XF looks like the Lexus GS. Overall, an Aston Martin-ish design has to be good. That’s like George Clooney; the sexy man standing in the front line of the gang.


So Jaguar spent around 10 year developing the XF? That’s the time span between introducing the S-type and the XF. What I think is they spent most of these years developing the interior features. I really think that this is the best part about the car (or at least the sexiest thing). Kinda like Brad Pitt in a movie. Jaguar has succeeded to combine luxury with technology. Jaguar now seeks to combine old rituals with the latest fashion and technology. Starting from the start button and the cool gear lever, passing through the navigation screen and AC/Radio controls and ending with the “Jag sense” features like the interior lights and the touch-sensitive glove box. You can’t help but to smile when you enter the cabin and look at all those luxury gadgets. The tilting AC vents are very Transformers-ish. The rear-view mirror and the rear seats headroom are somehow small to accompany the coupe style. However, the XF cabin gets a grade A for both its look and overall function. If you have seen the brochure pictures then let me tell you this: they don’t give the car justice. “Charming” is a word I would use to describe the cabin in general. Just be sure that you are getting the “Premium” XF to enjoy all those features.

Interior features movie


Here is the part where I expected the car to disappoint me. Unfortunately, it didn’t. The heavy sedan with 6 cylinders engine was not as slow as I thought. The paddle shifters on the wheels had a good response. Acceleration is not bad at all. It is, in fact, fast for a 6 cylinder luxury saloon. The engine had a really sweet tone. Just when I thought Jaguars are going to be dull again, they didn’t. The XF shares a lot with its sportier sister, the XK. Going through corners was a pleasure because of precise handling, responsive steering wheel and comfy ride. The level of communication between me and the car when cornering is exciting. Just be sure not to be getting out of a BMW 530i or an AUDI A6 right before you drive the XF because then, you would notice that the grip can still be improved.

A crappy ending to a great movie:

I got home totally satisfied with the Jaguar. I didn’t even get enough of it so I decided to go for a spin and a photo shoot after dawn. I switch on the car put it on reverse and suddenly this message appears: “Gearbox Fault” and the car shut down by itself. I tried switching it on but it wouldn’t. The gear seems to be stuck on reverse so the car won’t start till it’s on P mode. I tried couple of times on 3 different time periods but it seems like the car would not want to start. My thought is that Jaguar has too much technology for it to handle. I called the dealer and asked them to come pick the car from my house. I’m writing this review 3 weeks after that day, and I still haven’t got a call from the dealer. I won’t blame them cause I won’t be calling after such an embarrassing situation.

movie of the fault


Engine Type: 3.0L V6
Horsepower @ RPM: 238 @ 6800
Torque lb.ft @ RPM: 216 @ 4100
Drivetrain: rear Wheel Drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed auto
0-100: 8.3 seconds (est)
Average fuel consumption: 10.5/100 km
Weight: 1,690 kg

- Aston Martin rear design.

- Class A interior.

- Nice exhaust tone.

- Comfy ride.
- Still not as sporty as the A6 or the 5-series.

- Front design is nice but slightly off.

- Too much technology for a jaguar to handle.

Price: Luxury starts at 16,000, Premium starts at 19,000 (for V6 models, there is also V8 and Supercharged V8).

Verdict: Jaguar got back some of its lost reputation with this car. A great bargain but scary technology.

Sunday, 11 April 2010


I was tagged by Faith and G-chan

*BIG Deja Vu moment*

ok so here are 7 facts about me:

1- I was the super quite student till 8th grade, when I became somehow a troublemaker, and reached my peak on the 11th grade.

2- I never believed in Blackberry devices till I got one (I got it for work purposes)

3- I was very close to get a new 135i a year ago but backed off in the last minute.

4- I love stationary. Like REALLY love stationary.

5- Sometimes (well, most of the time) I become like the character "Monk" from the TV series. I like to see things very well-organized. (sometimes I see a pen opened on my friend's desk and can't stop myself from putting the cover back on).

6- I have a SERIOUS forgetting problem.

7- I switched between 3 jobs in 18 months.

now I tag (Damn everyone is tagged already):
- Amjad
- Muggle
- Lil me
- Toxic

End of blog entry ...