by SALIM AL AFIFI
You don’t need a flight ticket to enjoy dining experiences from around the world; as dining options are expanding in town. You can get an authentic taste that truly transports you to a different culture that serves culinary authenticity on its plate. This week we are taking your taste buds on the trip of a lifetime with these eight Oman Magazine-approved international eats. Let’s dig in.
Cuisine: Indian at Kurkum
Nothing beats a curry by the corniche. Kurkum is our absolute favourite Indian restaurant in town (and probably one of the very best hidden gems), situated in the historic stretch of Muttrah, and serves authentic Indian cuisine. Their all-white interior and top-notch service give this boutique restaurant a vibe of its own. What to try? Rogan Josh curry. A flavourful, thick, brown onion gravy cooked with big pieces of fresh boneless lamb; perfectly paired with coconut-infused white basmati rice. Their rosewater with lime welcome drink is a to die for. Refill, please.
Location: Muttrah Corniche, Muscat
Contact: +968 2471 1143
Cuisine: Chinese at China Mood
China Mood is by far the best Chinese kitchen in Oman. Nestled within the Al Bustan Palace – A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the place doesn’t only serve you authentic food prepared by arbiters of culinary art, it transports all your senses to the provinces of China with traditional hospitality and an ambience to match. Fresh aromas and exotic flavours are all on offer. Make sure to sample their impeccable roast duck.
Location: Al Bustan Palace – A Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Al Bustan Street
Contact: +968 2479 9666
Timings: 07.00pm to 11.00pm – Daily
Cuisine: Thai at Charm Thai Lounge & Restaurant
Transport your taste buds to Thailand, and savour some of the best dishes from the land of smiles such as Mango-infused treats and rich, spicy curries. The restaurant delivers a perfect temple-like ambience and an unparalleled dining experience full of Thai classics.
Location: Crowne Plaza Oman Convention & Exhibition Center, Muscat
Contact: +968 9065 4364
Timings: 06.00pm to 02.00am – closed on Sundays
Cuisine: French at Fauchon
People come to Fauchon to taste Paris on their lips and indulge in delightful dishes and Parisian pastries. The place is a delicatessen cafe and restaurant that serves contemporary cuisine from France, with signature patisseries such as macaroons and eclairs. Till this day, I keep going back for their Golden Eclair that tastes heavenly good.
Location: Opera Galleria, Shatti Al Qurum
Contact: +968 2495 3899
Timings: 09.0am to 11.00pm
Cuisine: Korean at Amazing Chicken – Taste of Korea
Korea offers more than fermented Kimchi, and this hole-in-the-wall diner is living proof. If you have a curious sense of discovery, come here and explore unfamiliar plates full of authentic Korean staples. It’s a dining galore for lovers of South East Asians cuisine. The place is tucked behind Gulf Hotel Apartments in Al Ghubra.
Location: Behind Gulf Hotel Apartments, Ghubra North, Bousher
Contact: +968 2207 5558
Timings: 10.30am to 03.00pm; 04.30pm to 11.30pm – 02.00pm to 11.30pm on Fridays
Cuisine: East African (Swahili) at Coconut House
Homemade Swahili food from East Africa is a taste you would enjoy experiencing. Their dishes are bathed in rich ingredients such as coconut, peanut butter, and chilli, serving true homemade dishes with hints from the Omani kitchen. The place is more of a cafeteria-style restaurant (with seating area), but its best to a buy a carry-out. Sample their maharagi, red beans cooked in coconut, as well as the classic sombe, cassava leaves mashed and cooked in coconut or peanut butter, best savoured with chapati flatbread or white rice.
Location: Al Hail North, Seeb
Contact: +968 9818 8220
Timings: 12.00pm to 11.00pm
Cuisine: Italian at Gustoso
I fell in love with this place the minute I tasted their crisp, thin-crust pizzas, topped with tangy tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese. I decided to come back and dive into their menu, and boy was I surprised. Gustoso is a casual diner that serves authentic, homemade Italian classics. At its core, it’s a pasta bar that offers handmade pasta cooked by the connoisseur of Italian cooking, it also offers a variety of dishes that will truly entertain your taste buds. The Italian couple who own this restaurant is such a joy; making sure you get the most out of your dining experience.
Location: Al Qurum Gardens Complex, Qurum, Muscat
Contact: +968 9739 7871
Timings: 12.00pm to 03.30pm, 06.30pm to 10.30pm – Monday to Saturday
Cuisine: Latin at Rumba Lattina
This restaurant/lounge is my go-to place whenever I feel like having South American. Located on the lower ground of The Cave in Darsait, Rumba Lattina offers latino dishes that hail from Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the Caribbean, and combines regional specialities with a local touch. Their food is prepared by master chefs from South America who truly serve the best of Latin flavorous that promises a rich and cultural dining experience in a modern interior. Make sure to try their chimichanga, a treat made of tortilla and filled with chicken, vegetables, rice, beans, guacamole, and cheese, rolled and laid out on a rich Mexican sauce. A dish you wouldn’t want to miss.
Location: The Cave, Darsait
Contact: +968 2465 1051
Timings: 12.00pm to 03.00pm, 06.00pm to 10.00pm