Things You Should Know About Eating in Oman

The Chedi, Muscat, Oman

Omani food shows a mix of influences from Asia and the Middle East with dishes built around chicken, fish, lamb and rice. Like other Gulf tourist hotspots, Oman has got its fair share of exquisite and expensive hotels and restaurants, though you’ll also find plenty of foodie treats for those on a more modest budget. There’s a real cosmopolitan mix of cuisine on offer, particularly in Muscat, so if you’re headed here on a trip for business on pleasure it’s worth checking out the menus, planning your agenda, making some reservations and checking you have enough currency to last the distance. Travelex offer up to date information on exchange rates on their site.

It’s worth noting that the locals usually eat their main meal in the middle of the day but restaurants and hotels cater for visitors exceptionally well, particularly in lavish hotels such as the Chedi where alcohol is available for hotel guests and restaurant visitors providing it Is not Ramadan, when you will find that only guests are able to order it. The hotel is a Conde Naste Traveller award winner and there truly is something for all here in terms of facilities and eateries. Alongside the main restaurant you have the opportunity to eat in an Arabian Courtyard and at the beach restaurant and Western, Asian, Middle Eastern and Indian Fare are all on offer. You shouldn’t feel nervous by the food diversity, as there’s a kitchen (which you can see through glass) for each type of cuisine, though you do pay for the opulence on offer here. Expect to pay upwards of 15-30 Omani Rial (about £30-£50 according to Travelex) just for a main course. Be aware, the wine can be costly too – though choices from the beach restaurant are cheaper.

Al Tajin Grill, Raddison Blu Hotel, Oman

Another hotel with a consistently top rated restaurant is the Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat, whose Al Tajin Grill is renowned for its excellent steaks, waygu beef and lobster and is also well known for its Friday brunch offering. Friday is the last day of the weekend in Oman, and many of the hotel restaurants offer fantastic brunch deals with elaborate buffets, unlimited wine and dessert offerings, though you may need to book a table in advance and you should be mindful that drinking is not permitted outside of hotels.

Mumtaz Mahal Restaurant

Wherever you choose to dine you may want to look out for traditional Omani cuisine on the menu and alongside vegetable, chicken and beef kebabs you’ll want to snap up Mashuai – a spit-roasted kingfish served with lemon rice and special occasion dish Shuwa – which is a whole cow or goat flavoured with spices and cooked in a special oven. Cardoman, saffron, cinnamon and ginger are all flavours that commonly find their way into Omani stews, soups and desserts. I found out about Shuwa and other Omani food here. I think it’s always worth researching the local cuisine before you go. That way you can be sure that you don’t miss out on haggis when you’re in Scotland, a hamburger when you’re in New York and Shuwa when you’re in Oman. Happy travels!

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