Palayok – The Taste of Filipino Cuisine in Muscat - Blaber Blogger

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Palayok – The Taste of Filipino Cuisine in Muscat

Having living with Muscat, which has a large number of Filipino population, I totally did make a lot of friends from the Philippines here in Oman and this made me learn and get acquainted a lot with the Filipino language, culture and of course food. So, with a huge curiosity of trying to have a taste of food from the Philippines here in Muscat, a Pinoy friend recommended and took me out to a Filipino restaurant in Muscat.

       Palayok is a Filipino restaurant in Muscat which is located in two prime location: Al Khuwair and Ruwi. Though Al Khuwair is very close to where I live, my friend insisted me to visit the Palayok Restaurant located in Ruwi suggesting me that they have better food quality than the ones in Al Khuwair though also made me aware that the one in Al Khuwair had a better ambience. Well, I prioritized more on food quality so drove to Ruwi for a taste of Filipino food.

      It is easy to reach Ruwi and for me, I just caught a taxi from my place in Al Khuwair to Ruwi and the taxi driver would charge you not for than 3 Omani Rials. As we enter Ruwi, there is the main Ruwi junction that is packed with taxis and mini vans, Palayok is located just next to the place so locating the restaurant in Muscat isn’t much of a problem. So we got off the taxi and Palayok restaurant in Ruwi was just nearby. As we entered Palayok, I could heard a lot of noise from the crowd inside, with Filipino women, children and men all over and I actually felt I was in the Philippines for a moment but it was actually near good to see all Asian faces all around. We just asked in the counter if there is any table free and the restaurant was actually full and the woman in the counter insisted us that it would take some time to get a table so she took my number and told me that she would call me when a table is free.

      So, for the mean while we thought that taking a stroll around Ruwi would be a better idea that just waiting outside the restaurant so we walked around, the local markets, most of which were closed as it was day time. Taking walks and looking here and there it was more than half an hour and the call from the restaurant never came so we went back to Palayok and asked again if we could have a table. There is basically two floors in the restaurant, the ground floor which has few tables to dine and the upper floor which my friend insisted eating at, so after waiting there for a while we got a table. We climbed upstairs and sat down at our table. Most of them eating there had Asian faces, who were Filipinos of course, but I also saw some Arabs, White and Black people in a table and actually felt good that I live in Muscat, which is such a cosmopolitan city with lots of people from varied cultures.

       The place was actually really noisy because of the karaoke machine there. Asians are actually known to enjoy Karaoke and actually thought it was only limited to the Koreans but the Filipinos too did enjoy it and karaoke in Palayok, Muscat seems to prove that. As I sat down and looked at the menu, I was just literally staring the menu no idea what to order due to my limited knowledge about Filipino food and cuisine. Palayok wasn’t a fine dining outlet nor was it a high budget restaurant so I didn’t expect to have a highly trained hospitable waiter helping me out with the menu so I didn’t even get that but never the less, my Filipino friend who had come there with me totally did help me with selecting food and recommending me some really good dishes so after a lot of choosing about, we gave our order. As we waited for our food to arrive, I was just watching the karaoke singers which seemed to be the major attraction there. The singers were basically the diners in the restaurant as well, with not a very soothing voice to the ear and I could just hear uncles and aunties come up and singing songs in the karaoke music and enjoying themselves singing songs in a language which was basically Greek to me. Though the singers were good, neither their voices nor the language Tagalog was known to me in which they were singing, it seemed that the people out there were really enjoying themselves and looking at their spirit, I was also quite enjoying myself looking at them sing, laughing and having a chit-chat with my friends in the table.

       So, we had our appetizers out, and I was really fond of sea-foods and Filipinos have great sea-food so the friend had recommended me to try Squids which I had never tried so there came our first dish. Our ‘Pusit’ squids were on the table and I was initially hesitant to try that as I kind of found it a bit creepy but everything has a first time and I was all set on experimenting. As I had the taste of the posit (Squid), it was really nice, quite different from other sea food like fishes, lobsters and shrimps and it was much better than what I expected. Though when chewing the Pusit, the sticky bubblegum feel in the teeth was a bit weird but never the less it was okay.

    Another dish was the Chicken Sisig which actually did make a ‘fabulous’ entry on the table. Chicken Sisig is actually chicken sizzler in a Filipino style and as sizzlers, the steamy smoky look and presentation looks quite mouthwatering and the chicken Sisig was as good as what it looks. What I actually liked about this chicken Sisig was that this sizzler was presented in a long wooden plate and had certain herbs and spices which didn’t make it very spicy but gave the mouth a taste of a really good flavor. We had also ordered Adobe Chicken, which I had heard so much about and as a huge chicken lover, I had to try it. Well, adobe chicken was as good as what I had heard about from my Pinoy friends. It did look like a typical Indian chicken curry but was totally different. The flavor, the juiciness in the chicken and the sauce was one of a kind and it was so much soothing to the palate. One main thing I really loved about Adobe chicken in Palayok was the light flavor of black pepper in the chicken, which had a strong effect in the taste yet didn’t dominate the flavor which gave such a soothing effect to my taste buds. We also had ordered the Beef Kare-Kare which is basically a beef dish for which Filipinos are also well known but I, being a non-beef eater, did not eat it. Well, as I heard from my friends who actually ate it, the feedback was positive, about its unique flavor with a curry made of peanuts which was quite different but good to taste as what I heard. An Asian meal is never complete without rice, and myself being from a region of the rice eaters, rice had to be a part of the dining experience so with a little rice with these curries, a good Filipino meal at Palayok, Ruwi was made.

      Palayok isn’t a fine dining outlet so I wouldn’t expect it to serve drinks especially alcoholic beverages, especially in a place like Muscat but if suppose one day, a really good fine dining Filipino restaurant would open, a glass a wine would be more than perfect for this lunch. So, for drinks, we stuck to fruit juices and I ordered coke, which may sound a little weird having coke with a heavy meal but I just did it. The restaurant was also not expensive and three people dining there, we paid about 17 Omani Rials for the food which was quite okay for us. Actually it was really cheaper as compared to the food we got. So for me, I would rate Palayok at Ruwi, Muscat as really good, excellent food, cheap on the budget and maybe a little to work on the service though with that price it’s okay and a little better to make the ambience better.

Oman a Country Study Oman a Country Study
Since the development of the country's infrastructure in the 1970s, national development plans have given priority to reducing dependency on oil exports and encouraging income-generating projects in non-oil sectors (diversification), promoting privatesector investment, and effecting a wider geographical distribution of investments to correct regional imbalances. Such a wider distribution is intended to narrow the gap in the standard of living in different regions, develop existing areas of population, and discourage migration to densely populated urban centers, such as Muscat (also seen as Masqat), the capital. Equally important are the national goals to develop local human resources, to increase indigenous participation in the private sector, and to improve government management and organization.

Lonely Planet Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula Lonely Planet Oman, UAE & Arabian Peninsula
Discover Oman, UAE, and the Arabian Peninsula Sneak (legally) into the dunes of Saudi Arabia's Empty Quarter and experience all that's romantic about the desert. Look beyond Dubai to the rest of the UAE - count the camels on the sublime desert drive from Sharjah to Kalba. Hike where fragrant rosewater is produced from the pink roses of Oman's Jebel Akhdar. Discover the secret to eternal life - and what make Suqutra the Galapagos Islands of the Middle East. In This Guide: More off-the-beaten-track UAE info than any other guide Special Haj feature tells the ultimate traveler's tale Dedicated Expats chapter packed with tips on living in another culture The only guide with independent reviews of everything you need to know about Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you really put effort in sharing these delightful articles. Keep writing my friend. It opens up a wide understanding of each and every culture. :)


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