OMANI CUISINE & DINING OPTIONS
Omani cuisine reflects our rich ethnic and tribal mix. Our chefs blend flavours from the Arabian and Indian subcontinents in dishes such as grilled mishkak kebabs, shuwwa and harees.
TRADITIONAL OMANI CUISINE
Traditionally, Omani families entertain at home rather than in restaurants, but our hotel scene is expanding, and with it, our restaurant culture.
Many hotels serve international cuisine, but if you would like to try something more authentically Omani, look out for qabooli (a hearty dish of rice, nuts, raisins and mutton or beef), harees (meat stew, thickened with wheat) and shuwa (tender, lightly spiced, slow-roasted meat).
Our classic sweet delicacies are dates and halwa, a soft blend of sugar, semolina, ghee, saffron, almonds and fragrant rosewater. Both go perfectly with khawa. This is an aromatic black coffee, flavoured with cardamom and poured from a metal coffeepot into beakers (finjan), as a sign of hospitality. It is always polite to accept. When you have finished, just shake your cup gently, saying Bas, shukran (Enough, thank you).
PLACES TO EAT
- Al Loomie.
Built in the Al Seblat Garden of Al Bustan Palace, A Ritz-Carlton Hotel the influences of Western and Middle-Eastern culture are apparent when dining at Al Loomie. Chef Salim and his 100% Omani team have created a dining experiences that engages the senses with a menu crafted around the flavours and culinary traditions of Oman’s unique region.
- Bait al Luban.
Oman’s rich heritage and fabled past is showcased brilliantly at Al Luban by combining the fragrant spices traded by ancient Omani travellers
from East Africa and India. The infusion of these flavours and the rich cultural heritage of Oman’s fabled scent Frankincense (Al Luban) is the source of hospitality, spiritual and pride of the country. A tantaslising feast set in the traditional Omani ambience
and seating. Opened for lunch and dinner.
- Al Bustan Palace, Muscat.
One of the finest places in Oman for fresh, locally-caught fish and seafood – and you can enjoy it right beside the sea, under the stars.
Call +968 2479 9666 / www.ritzcarlton.com
- Bin Ateeq.
Reassuringly authentic, with majlis cushions on the floor, khanjar daggers on the walls and harees on the menu. Branches in Muscat, Salalah and Nizwa.
- The Chedi Muscat.
This stylish hotel’s award-winning restaurant offers Omani, Asian and international cuisine in serene surroundings which ooze modern-Arabian chic.
Call +968 2452 4400 / www.ghmhotels.com
- Kargeen Caffé.
Popular with expats and locals, this laid-back Muscat restaurant serves Omani grills and Italian dishes in a lantern-lit garden and shisha lounge. Madinat al Sultan Qaboos Plaza.
Call +968 2469 2269 / www.kargeencaffe.com
- Mumtaz Mahal, Qurum.
One of Muscat’s best Indian restaurants, with excellent cooking and sweeping views. For a theatrical finish, order a Snake Coffee, flavoured with flambéed orange peel.
Call +968 2460 4907 / www.mumtazmahal.net
- Opera Galleria, Muscat.
The complex adjoining Muscat’s beautifully designed Royal Opera House houses cafés and fine dining restaurants with an international flavour.
- Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.
This impressive resort has several restaurants – choose between Arabian, Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese, Asian or traditional Omani seafood. Barr al Jissah, Muscat.
Call +968 2477 6666 / www.shangri-la.com