Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Exit Vue, enter Marjan

The Al Bustan Hotel announced the opening of the French bistro Al Marjan on their Facebook page with this text:

Al Marjan Bistro is open today at Al Bustan Palace InterContinental Muscat. A stylish and distinctive seasonal restaurant, Al Marjan Bistro will bring the quintessentially French passion for great food to Muscat’s dining scene.

So, after they found out that Muscat's dining scene wasn't quite ready for Vue's innovative cuisine, the Al Bustan team decided to revive an old formula. There is still a slight chance that this isn't the end of Shannon Bennett's adventure in Oman, as we heard rumours that a BistroVue may open in the Royal Opera House Complex, once that is finished. Let's wait and see. In the meantime, we'll give Al Marjan a try.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Taste of Dubai – 3-5 March 2011

Taste of Dubai is coming up again. From 3 to 5 March 2011 you'll be able to taste your way through Dubai's finest restaurants in a relaxed outdoor setting. We enjoyed the last two episodes, and although the organisation was a bit of a mess last year, we still recommend a visit. Have a look at their website for specifics on events per day.

Well underway already, but still worth mentioning is Gourmet Abu Dhabi. More high-brow and serious than Taste of Dubai, but also a chance for some unforgettable experiences. How about a dinner in the company of Katharina Prüm, Joh. Jos. Prüm's winemaker? With a tasting of their fabulous Mosel wines of course. The festival only lasts for another week (until the 15th), and many of the events are already sold out. If you plan a visit, you'd better check the website soon.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Caramel French Bakery

There is a buzz going around in town. Wherever we go we hear people asking eachother if they tried 'that new bakery' yet. They mean Caramel, the French bakery that recently opened in Ghubra. We knew it was coming, so we were excited to try some of the products once the store finally opened in January.

Caramel offers breads, pastries and a selection of food products such as Valrhona chocolate. The bread we tasted was very good, but we got really excited after trying the pain au chocolat. Puff pastry is not something that any of the other bakeries in Muscat master. But Caramel is different. Made with the proper flour and butter, their puff pastry gives you an instant feel of holiday in France. We loved it. The meringue au citron and hazelnut cake were equally good.

Wonderful products, with great attention to good ingredients and detail; Caramel is a very fine address for Muscat foodies. You might struggle to find the store, as its location is a bit of the beaten track, so have a look at their website before you go.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Oman Food Festival

A festival dedicated to Omani food, wow. As part of the yearly Muscat Festival, the first Oman Food Festival is held in the Qurum Natural Park from Frebruary 5th. In co-operaration with the Oman Tourism College, the festival will be a showcase of traditional Omani Cuisine. Next to that, a number of the four and five star hotels will present dishes from their international restaurants. The website of Muscat Festival gives precious little information on this event, but you can read a bit more in these articles in the Oman Observer and The Week.

We will, of course, pay a visit to the festival and see if it is as good as it seems. More to follow.