Monday, 13 July 2015

Eating Out: Iftar at the Al Bustan

Last night me and my husband were treated to a lovely iftar at the Al Bustan's Al Khiran Terrace restaurant. We've chosen the lazy option of eating iftar on the couch in our pj's for most of Ramadan, so the opportunity to dress up a bit and get out of the house was a welcome one.

If you haven't been to the Al Bustan you really should: it is beautiful. It has one of the most impressive entrances to a hotel that I have ever seen. The staff are also exceptionally friendly and helpful; you miss that service in a lot of places in Muscat, and it did take me by surprise, but the effect is that you feel extremely welcome and comfortable.

The Al Khiran restaurant offers a buffet for iftar. There is a lot to choose from: salads, bread, grilled meats, and stews as well and the fried foods that you come to expect at Ramadan. I particularly liked the lentil soup and the traditional Omani shuwa (a slow cooked, spiced lamb and rice dish). There was also a dish called Shuwa Madrooba, which is unique to the menu and was created by an Omani chef. The dish is a fusion of shuwa and madrooba (which was described as being like baby food and is a combination of meat and vegetables). Admittedly, this doesn't sound that appealing, but it worked and wasn't at all as heavy it might sound.

Of course, I saved most of my appetite for the dessert table. The lemon-mint sorbet, in particular, was very good, as was the creme brulee, which freshly had the sugar melted on top so you got to experience that satisfying crackle and crunch once it cooled. There were also Arabic biscuits and other sweets, Um Ali, some very fresh Turkish delight, a chocolate fountain, and fruits too. I think I tried one of everything on offer.

If you want to catch the iftar at the Al Bustan you have until the end of Ramadan. It starts every day at 7pm until 10pm and is 18 OMR each for adults, which includes drinks (I suggest you try the Tamarind juice).

A huge thank you to Al Bustan for inviting us to experience the iftar, they did not ask me to write anything but we had such an enjoyable time it only seemed right to document it.

Let me know where you have enjoyed iftar this year, and what are your plans for the upcoming Eid holidays?

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