The iconic Intercontinental Muscat has been home to many of the country’s most glamorous and high-societal functions since its foundation in 1977. Today, the properties surroundings are near unrecognizable from its early days as a beacon of hospitality amidst the sandy roads of The Sultanate.
Team Oman Magazine checked in for a weekend staycation to fully experience the all-new food offerings at Takara, Tr.eat Cafe and of course, the notorious Trader Vics.
With a large portion of the hotel undertaking a renovation, we stayed in the existing rooms overlooking the pool. Although somewhat dated, the service, cleanliness and incredible F&B offering make up for the pending makeover (we are certainly excited to see the new rooms!).
Let’s get started with the first bite-to-eat (total feast) at Trader Vics. This Polynesian gem is most likely one of the top 3 restaurants in the country. Note: this is not a sponsored post. The quality of raw ingredients, the artful nature of the serving personnel and the beautiful flavors that are uncovered from Flambé Tenderloin, Lobster Thermidor, Rib-Eye Steaks to Crepe Suzette, are truly something a league-ahead of other gourmet food-spots in The Sultanate.
Service-style is also part and parcel of a trip to Trader Vics. Live music from the enigmatic Pulse & Soul trio flows through the restaurant and adjoining lounge area. A wave of Latin-American beats fill the air with excitement; both salsa aficionados and merengue lovers are found dancing the night away with a Tiki Puka Puka nearby.
After a ridiculously flavorsome meal, it was time to retire for the night; and so to bed.
Woken by the gentle chirps of a parrot on the balcony, the weekend started with a wholesome breakfast at Intercontinental’s all-day dining restaurant, Musandam Restaurant & Terrace. With a wide variety of healthy, and hearty options available, both vegans and strict carnivores can find comfort in the breakfasts on offer.
We decided to spend the morning soaking up the sun poolside, building an appetite for a taste of Japanese food-fare at Takara; the signature restaurant that has recently opened and got half-the-town talking. The interiors certainly transports you to a modern eatery in downtown Tokyo. Clean lines, impeccable service and simplicity. On Fridays, Takara offers a brunch where unlimited sushi, sashimi, ceviche, live-wok noodles and the best miso soup are ready to be appreciated by lovers of asian cuisine. Whilst the dishes were 100% to our taste, we can appreciate that those more familiar with western variations on sushi, may not be overly blown away. This is not a place for lashings of wasabi mayo, or bbq adaptations of a good California roll. This is the real, Japanese, deal.
Our fellow diners of varying Asian ethnicities noted the authenticity and quality of the items being served; an evident sign of a good restaurant in our books.
After catching up on emails and a spot of reading the dailies, we headed over to Tr.Eat for a caffeine hit and to explore Intercontinental’s new ‘concept cafe’. Our first impression? Incredibly modern, fresh and trendy. We ordered Tr.Eat’s House Blend; rich, buttery with an edge of caramel. A black Arabica that plays very well with milk. Sadly, our waistlines couldn’t handle a slab of homemade cake or drizzle loaf, and so we passed on the offer of a sweet.
We opted for a late check-out, naturally, and were graciously thanked for our stay.
In short, Intercontinental Muscat is a real foodie-destination. The 3 T’s are not to be missed; Trader Vics, Takara and Tr.Eat. Here’s how you can try them for yourself…