Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Eating Out

There was not much need for eating out. We had breakfast in the hotel and lunch on site and after a dirty pint -  the one just back from the site, and before a shower - I'd munch my way abesent mindedly through copious bowls of pop corn and olives which were served with every drink and must have put on a couple of kilos in the last few weeks [and the rest. Ed.]. The killer combination of beer and a weak will. Still, plenty of time to diet when you're dead.

Herb and Simon came over one night and we went to the Japanese restaurant on the eighth floor of my hotel.

Does just what it says on the door
There was a shed-load of sushi,
soups, stews, rice, eggs,
, and not a little saki.
But we managed to force most of it down
Then Herb came over again and we went to the Golden Oryx. 

Everyone else thought it was brilliant, and that included Cindy Cheung (the Chinese Team Leader) and she should know what with being Chinese an' all. But then again she is Hong Kong Chinese and that is different (so I am told).

Personally I thought was the worst Chinese meal I could remember and I remember London Chinese take aways of the 1970s. Maybe we just visited at a bad time on a bad day. And it cost silly money. Personally I would have preferred less choice, plainer surroundings and better food costing less than my flight.

Apart from the Arabic, this place would not have looked out of place in Brighton:

And I just had to have lunch here one day. It is the Omani equivalent of a greasy spoon (a working person's cafe for the uninitiated).  

I was probably the only westerner they had served since arriving on the planet. The guy asked if I was from England and I said yes, then asked if he was from outer space - ho ho ho! how we laughed...

The menu was sparse, just an indeterminate meat curry, a similarly anonymous vegetable curry and some fish which looked as though they had been to the fish equivalent of the university of hard knocks - if they could speak they would probably say 'Hey! Hoo yoo lookin' at...?' - so I had some.

I am unlikely to hired as a food critic on account of my insensitive palette and lousy memory for menus and tastes. I can just about differentiate  between major food groups but I do remember that the rice was flavoursome (cardamom maybe? a little chilli and something a little bit sweet) and the fish was just plain delicious (flaky white fish with a crumbly, mildly spicy coating). The green salad with limes and chillis was an excellent foil and pomegranite juice was not too sweet which suited perfectly. Bloody marvellous, one of the best meals I had, I could hardly walk back to the hotel. And only 2.2 Rials (about £3.50)

The other best eating out experience was at the local kebab stall, the only eatery I visited twice. (Later I discover they are called schwamas)

The stall is not much to look at in daylight...

...and still pretty grim in the dark.

 But the people were nice.

and the food was... well, see blog Snippets of wisdom - A night on the Tiles for more details.

Delicious meals are one thing but...

a delicous restaurant didn't really appeal to me , or anyone else it seems as  I never saw it open.

Maybe it's not a restaurant at all...


  1. Did you try the banana or apple fritters at Golden Oryx? They were great! The chef at the Golden Oryx is from Beijing (yes he is from China and not just pretending to be a Chinese)

  2. Missed out on the fitters, Cindy. I was very sorry not to have liked the Golden Oryx more. And it was probably just bad luck with the food. The boss was charming and very accommodating. He has a sister in the UK if I remember correctly. I hope to have the opportunity to try it again one day. Bon appetite. PJ

  3. I saw the photo of what you ate at the Golden Oryx - looks like something they serve in prison. Definitely not what we ate there!!

  4. I defer to your experience of prison food, Shogun, but suspect you are right. It was a 'mixed starter' for indecisive types who can't make up their minds. It included rather poor cuts of duck and lamb, eggs, mushrooms, prawns, and something else on the brown-beige scale. Without being disrespectful to our hosts, I think it may have been left over from a previous service. I hope they did not try to send it round a third time. PJ