No oven, no cry. Mich Rimmer and Penny Fray discover the best places to eat out for Iftar
If the whirl of dinner and entertaining that is Iftar usually leaves you exhausted before you’ve even served your first luqaimat, consider hitting one of Muscat’s wealth of restaurants for a stress-free feast. After all, we’ve come a long way from the practice of drinking water and nibbling on a couple of dates after a long day of fasting. These days, Iftar celebrations are a chance for both family and friends to break fast with a fantastic array of traditional treats. But let’s be frank here, who’s got the energy to slave over a hot stove when you’re feeling faint with hunger? Show this month’s spirit of generosity and hospitality by inviting guests to one of the many Iftar buffets being held in the city’s hotels instead. We give you the lowdown on some of our favourites:
Where: Al Bustan Palace, at Ritz-Carlton Hotel
Expect: Ramadan festivities at this palatial hotel are hosted at the Al Khiran Terrace with an open-air courtyard and relaxed seating area. All your favourite dishes will be displayed in sophisticated food stations including barbecued meat and seafood, hot and cold mezzeh, stews, freshly baked bread and classic desserts.
What’s Cool: The hotel’s dedicated events team will also be on hand to organise any bespoke corporate celebrations during Ramadan.
Special Offers: The Ramadan Palatial Experience is available from July 10 to August 10 starting at RO 119 per room per night, single or double occupancy, and exclusive of service charge and tax. The package includes overnight accommodation in a deluxe room for two and Iftar at Al Khiran Terrace and Sohour in-room dining, or buffet breakfast and dinner at Al Khiran Terrace. Let the staycation commence.
OUT OF TOWN
Where: Millennium Resort Mussanah
Expect: For RO12pp, relish a fantastic family buffet in an air-conditioned tent with little ones being entertained by an age appropriate quiz. Even better, there’s a 50 per cent discount for kids between the ages of 6 and 12.
What’s Cool: A traditional oud player will be there every weekend to entertain you and your family whilst celebrating the true spirit of Ramadan.
Special Offers: The hotel offers a complimentary shisha and buffet for every ten people booked. It also has a special room offer of RO35 including Suhour. Children under six stay for free. Perfect for a Ramadan break.
BESPOKE & BLU
Where: Radisson Blu Hotel, Muscat
Expect: Celebrate Iftar with family and friends at Olivos Restaurant and Terrace with a delicious buffet and a wide range of traditional meals.
What’s Cool: Clients can host meetings and corporate Iftar events at the hotel too.
Special Offer: The Radisson will have special menus in private venues for those who like their Iftas to be a little special.
A TASTE OF THE ORIENT
Where: Park Inn Muscat
Expect: An extravagant Iftar buffet with a difference. Tuck into a feast of oriental delicacies as well as traditional favourites.
What’s Cool: The hotel accepts both family and corporate bookings for Iftar, held in a plush, private area. These bookings must be made in advance for more than 20 people though.
Special Offers: RO14 per person.
Where: Ibis Muscat
Expect: A sumptuous spread at Open Restaurant from sunset to 9pm daily.
What’s Cool: The pocket-friendly price of RO7.5.
Special Offers: Want to make a weekend of it? Every Tuesday, Ibis Styles posts a last-minute promotional offer valid for the coming weekend. You get a 50 per cent discount on a two-night stay beginning Friday or Saturday.
Where: Grand Hyatt Muscat
Expect: The usual extravagant array of Omani and Arab treats set in a magical majlis in the Sirj Tea Lounge. The traditional oud music and uber posh sweets add a certain sophistication to the evening.
What’s Cool: The healthy corner of the five-star buffet means that you can feast without piling on the pounds.
Special Offers: RO10 per person
Where: Six Senses Zighy Bay
Expect: A beach-bound Ramadan tent in which to enjoy the cultural activities being held including an Omani storyteller, each Thursday evening and a traditional oud player every Friday evening.
What’s Cool: The resort has planned a super special schedule including Eid-al-Fitr barbecues and buffets by the wadi. There will also be a programme for youngsters with activities such as goat feeding, archery and wake-boarding lessons.
Special Offers: The Ramadan Kareem Package includes daily breakfast, access to the Suhour Khaimat Ramadan as well as the tennis and volleyball courts, ice cave and fitness centre. There’s also complimentary use of non-motorised water sports. The promotion starts from RO207 and is valid for bookings made for July 7 to August 6.