Oman has a large international population, succulent seafood and a booming (and air-conditioned) restaurant scene in which to escape the heat. We explore 5 of the best restaurants in Muscat, the capital of Oman.
1: Slider Station
While hamburgers may not be the most typically Omani dish, the innovative nature of each one on the menu being ‘miniature’ is enough to make this burger joint a cut above. The idea of a sushi conveyor belt is used for this American specialty, and Slider Station’s hungry clientele can choose from a fantastic array of ‘sliders’. This Kuwaiti franchise also offers highly addictive gooey chocolate desserts.
Everything about Ubhar is designed to enchant and plunge the diner into Oman’s mysterious and regal past. It shares its name with the ancient city supposedly now buried under the southern quarters of the city. Both the décor and the food are a medley of modern and historical Omani cuisine and design, though visitors are spared the traditional floor-level seating. Desserts are a highlight, especially the halva-based offerings: another of the impossibly sweet incarnations of the popular Middle Eastern treat. Daring diners can try the camel biryani, although the menu also offers an ample choice of more traditional meats.
3: The Beach
The Beach is the closest one can get to a true al fresco beach picnic in Oman, while still having the luxury of being served high-quality dishes with breathtaking panoramas of the Gulf of Oman. The dishes complement the view, with a seafood menu inspired by international cuisine: Mussels with kaffir lime and coconut, lobster tail carpaccio and whole grilled fish. The restaurant is open from September to May for dinner only, perfect for sampling an Arabic sunset and the day’s catch.
4: Bin Ateeq
Bin Ateeq is a fine compromise between authentic cuisine, Omani hospitality and accessible dishes for visitors from all over the world. The most notable authentic feature is the floor-level seating, with exquisitely colored and patterned Majliscushions, from which guests can try mutton magbous, halva and harees (cracked wheat with meat).
For traditional Indian Mughlai cuisine, visitors to Muscat are recommended to visit Begum’s, which offers a wide selection of curries crafted using the finest ingredients and spices. The ethos at Begum’s is to create a ‘cozy diner that is making an honest attempt at dishing out close to home cooked recipes of traditional Mughlai delicacies’. And considering the crowds that fill Begum’s on a regular basis, it seems that the restaurant is fulfilling its role. The delicately spiced mutton kandhari comes highly recommended by the skilled chefs, who also cook up a selection of tasty kebabs.