Tariq Al Bahlani’s journey has become an inspiring story for many young locals, who are yet to dive into the Food and Beverages industry, as he started his passion on the streets of Muscat and worked his way up to opening his very own restaurant that became one of the most talked about diners in Muscat.
Tariq is the owner of Big T Grills, which was first established as a one-man business on the streets of Seeb before becoming an empire of a brand.
The chef has always been one to dish up delicious creations in the kitchen for his family and friends; he was known for being a person with an impeccable taste for comfort food. His ultimate dream was to develop himself and become the best chef he can be and serve his passion on a platter.
His journey started when he realised that he has raw talent in cooking, his passion for making dishes that entertain eaters kept his family and friends happy for years, and to him it was the best feeling one could have. “Feeding the family was my joy. When I was younger, I would always get excited when there would be a gathering at home and when I was asked to cook,” said Tariq, adding that it was all that he wanted to do.
To reach his goal, he went to Malaysia to get a relevant diploma. After that he began experimenting with a variety of dishes but his favourite was charcoal-grilled treats that fill the air with a smoky flavour.
After graduating, Tariq decided to take his passion to the streets. He took his grilling tools and picked a station to sell gourmet burgers. It didn’t take a while for people to start recognising his talent of making delicious food. He built a loyal following on social media and in the real world, too. His patties were known for being thick, juicy, and full of flavours, which kept his customers hungry for more. Shortly after, he began experimenting with other types of grills including lobsters, prawns, fish, and ribs among other things, as well as French-poutine inspired fries. Similar to mishkak stations, his was always packed with cars waiting for a bite of Big T’s signature burger.
After working for fine dining restaurants, Tariq learned all the necessary requirements to start a business, and with massive following of people who love his street food, he knew that he had a shot at becoming a household name on Oman’s restaurant scene.
With help from business partner Basil Al Kaiumi and his cousin Munther Al Bahlani, who is a professional hospitality consultant, Tariq decided to move his street-grilling sessions to an actual restaurant. Today, his place in North Al Hail has become a popular one-stop-shop for grills, made by himself.
With plans to expand his brand, the future looks bright for the Omani chef, who started from the bottom and now he is here to stay and fill your stomach with bites to die for.