Oman has long been an important hub for trade and commerce. This is reflected in its cuisine, which is a delectable mix of Middle Eastern, Lebanese and Yemeni flavours, with a few distinctly local creations thrown in – think shuwa, a dish of slow-cooked lamb or goat, and majboos, a spiced rice dish typically served with chicken (above).
In the same vein, Muscat’s restaurant scene is delightfully vibrant and varied. Sample Omani food at the luxurious Al Angham, situated in the Royal Opera House Muscat, or at the more down-to-earth Bin Ateeq in Old Muscat, a 24/7 joint where you can tuck into fried camel meat while seated on the floor. You can also enjoy local delights at Candle Cafe on Shati Al Qurum Beach, where you can enjoy a falafel sandwich while gazing out across the sea.
Oman is home to a sizable Indian expatriate community (making up around 20% of the country’s total population), giving rise to some great restaurants. Book a table at Mumtaz-Mahal, a fine-dining venue that serves top-notch Indian cuisine with a side of panoramic city views. Alternatively, for traditional Turkish food in a beach setting, try Twins Turkish Cuisine – be sure to order the manti (meat dumplings) and grilled fish.