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Slider Station Diner, Muscat, Oman
It looks like a garage, the history of a gas station, a car on the wall, metal, lots of it, lights hanging from above and black leather; the place looks nice and they say it has excellent burgers and sliders.
In here you are deceived twice:
- One, when you see an empty conveyor.
- Two, when you try the food.
It's called Slider Station, a famous place in Muscat serving sliders, appetizers and burgers. A large space with a high ceiling, a white brick wall half covered with wooden cubes and a blackboard where a story is written, with an engine decorating it. On the left side is the open kitchen protected from the restaurant win a metallic wall. A slider bar goes out of the kitchen, tours around the bar and back. I thought it's a pick and eat concept, but it doesn't look like it.
On the right side is the main dining space set around an oven, a wood-fired oven proposing flatbread and cooked cauliflower. Rugged metal, black leather, and dozens of lights, designer yellow bulbs hanging from the ceiling in a designed way.
We sat at the bar. A white bar with a conveyor belt set around a selection of sauces displayed on three metallic barrels.
The menu is written on recycled paper, American tapas, sliders and burgers. 28 tapas, 19 sliders and 9 burgers.
We ordered some starters;
- Truffle oil string fries: Fries with truffle oil. They look nice, thin and crispy but not worth the hype.
- Coca-Cola braised short ribs: Oh my God, that's something exceptional. An extremely tender meat that unfolds like magic, juicy and extremely flavorful, topped with crunchy root vegetables while the Coca-Cola sauce adds sweetness and finesse. That's a genius piece of innovation. Magical awesomeness.
- Maple sticky buffalo shrimp: Seven shrimp embraced with a sticky breaded buffalo sauce and a heart of tender meat. A complicated flavor that's strong, spicy, and a bit sticky with very strong peppery notes. The breading is not homogeneous with the shrimp itself. Not something I'd order again.
And now for the main deal:
- Texan: Cheddar, onion rings and barbecue ranch. Tastes like a burger, same chewy dough, crunchy onion ring and melting cheddar.
- Dynamite: Simply spicy, very spicy.
- Dangerous: When you read the ingredients, you expect something amazing, but instead it's just a crunch and spiciness. They do have a problem in balancing flavors.
- Wagu portobello: Zero flavor, you only feel the bun. Expected much more from a wagu. Tender and melting, by deceiving. Didn't feel the provolone or the rosemary cream. The brioche dough is too overpowering.
- Maple sticky buffalo shrimp: A red dough, lightly chewy, breaded shrimp inside and sweetness with an after note of spices and heat.
- Peiking duck: A tender bun, juicy duck with some texture, light hoisin sweetness.
I was waiting for a "wow" moment that never came. The problem is that the sliders have an issue in texture and flavor. Some flavors are too over powering, spiciness covers the rest and the brioche bun takes over the ingredients, there's no balance at all. As for the food, it's too heavy.
- Relax the menu, add spaces and maybe photos.
- Remove the conveyor, or at least use it.
- Find a way to balance flavors.
I loved the concept and decor, the food is fine but I was expecting way better from a place everyone knows and talks about in Oman.