Category Archives: restaurants

Win a 1-Night Weekend Stay for 2 at Grand Hyatt Muscat!!!

ImageGrand Hyatt Muscat is putting on a Thai Food Festival from April 8-12th.  This time around to celebrate the Truly Thai food festival, they’re going to spice things up a little and and want to make sure that some of the local bloggers are also getting involved in something fun. They are organising a social media competition.truly thai social media competitionIf any of you are interested in winning a one-night stay for two on a weekend (breakfast included!), just comment on this post and give your answer and an email address where you can be reached!  Here is the question you must answer:

How many days will the Truly Thai food festival run for at Marjan restaurant?

a. 4 days 

b. 5 days

c. 6 days

You should be able to answer that one with ease! ;-)  Just leave a comment and contact info and YOU could be the lucky winner! By the way, they are giving away this prize to THREE LUCKY WINNERS!!! To increase your chance of winning why not head over to other local blogs and answer their specific blog questions:

Full Moon Beach Buffet at the Shangri-La

ImageIt was real honor to be invited by Rasha Al Mandari and the gang at Shangri-La’s Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa for their very 1st “Full Moon Beach Buffet” which was a smashing success! Image moon and sign let the eating begin appetizersThe appetizers were so good! I wasn’t able to get all the food choices in these pics as otherwise it would have been a 40 pic blogpost!   shangrila chefsThe chefs are ready to cook you up whatever you desire. whatever you like ingrid and chef shresthaIngrid Hotanijaya (Communications Executive) and Chef Lila Shrestha king fishKing Fish. I couldn’t believe the size of these fish! eihab and rasha2 more of our favorite folks at the Shangri-La: Eihab Attia (Communications Manager) and Rasha al Madani (Restaurants Marketing Manager). shangrila bandThe live band was fantastic! Here is a clip of them playing, “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?“:lots of drinks availableAlmost every guest who attended the full moon buffet opted for the full course deal which included unlimited beverages including: house red&white wines, Mojito cocktails (awesome!) and a couple of choices of beer as well. one of my platesJust a quick pic of one of my plates! The food was phenomenal!dessertsAlways leave space for dessert! :-)great social eventIngrid and Eihab pictured with Khalid Orabi, the editor of Al Isbou’a, Oman’s free Arabic weekly.  It’s the Arabic version of the popular “The week” English publication. It was an amazing evening socializing with such fascinating people!Whatshappening blogger and husbandWe had a table right next to Dahlia Al Riyami and her husband, Mohammed.  Dahlia runs the wonderful blog “Aish Elaqtta” (one of my favorites!) which is Arabic for “What’s Happening?“.  Here’s another clip of the live band. In this clip, you can hear them performing, “Red Red Wine“, “I Saw Her Standing There“, “I Feel Good“, a Spanish tune called “Besame Mucho” and “Moondance” (so appropriate for “Full Moon buffet”!). I was not surprised to learn that the talented singer is in fact a Filipina! ;-)susan and maurizioIt’s always nice to meet up with this super social couple! Susan is the owner of Totem clothing. I just blogged about their new shop opening at MGM.  She has also started a new food blog, called “HeyFatsu“.  Her husband, Maurizio, runs the ever popular Muscat-Collective-Intelligence blog and is a social media expert and organizer.     down by the shoreThese guys had the right idea; they selected the Arabic style seating on cushions near the beach! Scott Armstrong is on the far left. He is the new Chief Executive Editor of the Times of Oman and we wish him all the best with his new post.      European touristsGot a pic of this friendly European couple enjoying a romantic evening on the beach. They were staying at the Bander Hotel. (Just in case you get the wrong idea that it was only bloggers and members of the media at this buffet! :-) ) There were plenty of guests who enjoyed the full buffet + all you can drink.  If you plan on attending the next Full Moon Beach Buffet, I would highly recommend making a reservation at (+968)2477-6666.lantern at shore bandar beach and moon I think Shangri-La plans on having another Full Moon Beach Buffet in April.  I’m guessing that the evenings will be too hot and humid from May to September.  Details: 35OR++ including wine,beers, soft drinks, signature cocktails and non alcoholic beverage. Food only: 20++, Beverage 15++

The Full Moon Beach Dinner – Sunday, March 16 – 7:30pm-10pm

Image                                                                                                            This sounds like it’ll be a LOT of fun! Details: 35++ including wine,beers, soft drinks, signature cocktails and non alcoholic beverage. Food only: 20++, Beverage 15++    Anyone else plan on attending?!Image

Istanboly Turkish Restaurant, Al-Khuwair & Al-Khoud

ImageIstanboly is another fine choice for cheap but good Turkish food in Muscat!  If you enjoy the Turkish House, you’ll definitely enjoy Istanboly as well.  The pics from this most recent visit are from the Istanboly in Al-Khuwair next door to Rawasco Supermarket. It’s a fantastic place to hang out with friends seated outside in front in the cooler season (Oct-March) and of course there is also plenty of seating inside as well.  The other location in Al-Khoud is more of a take-away place as there are mostly male students hanging around there from the nearby (SQU) university.ImageIt’s called “Istanboly Coffee Shop” but I didn’t put that in the title as it may confuse North Americans who mostly think of places like Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Second Cup when they think of “coffee shops”.ImageYou can never go wrong with the Istanboly Mixed Grill!! (4.3 OR) 9 times out of 10 this is what I order when we go to Istanboly.ImageMy wife almost always gets the Lamb Chops (4.2 OR). This is also a fantastic meal. Chances are if I didn’t order the Mixed Grill it’s probably because I went with the Lamb Chops! :-)ImageThe humus is always good at Istanboly as well as the hot pita that comes with it. There is also this other bread that is great as well that they will most likely bring to your table:ImageHere’s the full menu:ImageThe bill usually works out to 4 or 5 rials per person.ImageHere are the locations and phone numbers of the 3 locations of Istanboly: 1 in Al-Khoudh and 2 in Al-Khuwair including the main shop featured here which is by far the most enjoyable.Image Have any other Muscateers tried Istanboly? If so, how was your experience? Would you recommend Istanboly to your friends?

“A Taste of Thailand” at Asia Restaurant, Shangri-La Until March 9th

ImageAs I posted before, Shangri-La is a having a Taste of Thailand promotion until March 9th.  As a local blogger, the wife and I were invited to the first night’s media invitation along with several other bloggers and newspaper/magazine outlets to sample the food for ourselves! Bend my rubber arm! As if we need an excuse to visit Asia! ;-)ImageThe evening started with social drinks and entertainment in the form of dancing in the courtyard of the Omani Heritage Village before dinner started. Fabulous way to start off the evening!ImageHere’s a much better pic from the Shangri-La Barr al Jisseh facebook album of this event.ImageIf you’re interested, you can click here to see my original restaurant review of Asia. Or here for their Indonesian promotion they had in November.media set menuWould you believe they served us an 8-course meal?! Wow!  Here are the dishes we were served one by one:IMG_0476 This appetizer is called Miang Kham: fragrant betel leaves filled with thai herbs, chili, lime and dried shrimps.  Make sure you have plenty of water nearby if you try this as it’s spicey!Tom Yam GungThis soup was SO good! Tom Yam Gung – hot and sour soup with prawns flavoured with lemongrass and thai herbs. If you get to Asia during this promotion, be sure to try this soup!cooking awayOne of the guest chefs hard at work in the kitchenYam ma muang pla fooThe salad was quite good.  Yam Ma Muang Pla Foo – Crispy shredded catfish with green mangoes and cashewnut salad.Kaeng Massaman NueaThis was one of my favorite dishes of the evening.  Kaeng Massaman Nuea – Slow-braised beef short rib in rich peanut curry.  It went so well with the steamed Jasmine rice (Khao Suai).Chu Chi Kung MangkornThe other dish that was one of my favorites was whole lobster in dry red curry (Chu Chi Kung Mangkorn).  By this time, I was getting pretty stuffed!  Not enough to stop, mind you! ;-)guest chefsThe guest chefs pictured here who flew in from Shangri-La Hotel in Chiang whipped up this dish specifically for this photo. Here’s a closer look at the dish:special dishIngrid and CheIt’s always a treat to meet up with Ingrid Hotanijaya, the Communications Executive.  Nobody does hospitality like Shangri-La! :-)Pla Nueng Ma NaoBack to the set menu…Steamed seabass with lime and chili sauce (Pla Nueng Ma Nao).  This was quite a delicious dish.  Only one more dish to go…dessert!Khao SuaiKhao Niew Ma Muang did not fail to please! Sweet sticky rice with ripe mangoes, sesame seeds and honey.  Great way to end a fantastic evening at Asia! We showed up at about 7pm and didn’t leave until around 10:30pm with all the socializing and fine eating. Wow!me and my honey I’m glad that Rasha al Mandani insisted on getting a pic of me and the wife under the Asia sign just inside the main entrance. Here we are together with Rasha who always makes everyone feel right at home when visiting Shangri-La:Rasha and the BrownsThanks Rasha, Ingrid and the entire crew at Asia for another unforgettable evening!thumbs up from chefsThe chefs take the time for a thumbs up (from Shangri-La’s facebook page), but it’s really them and their cooking that deserve a big thumbs up! Try to get down to Asia before March 9th to try all these great dishes for yourself.  There are also specialty drinks specifically for the Taste of Thailand menu that are definitely worth trying out!