The posh interior fired up the senses, the rich history built on the charm and the hot chocolate revved up the mood. Alvin Thomas chomps on a truly exceptional gastronomic escapade.
I tend to classify restaurants into three genera: Good ones, great ones and truly exceptional ones. And I never thought I’d say this in the opening paragraph of my review – the Angelina Paris in Oman is the most extraordinary restaurant I have ever dined at.
Angelina Paris considers itself a tea library but, surprisingly, offers a wide variety of food options to pick from. During my escapade, I was joined by my brothers Allen and Ninad – both of whom are (self-proclaimed) food experts.
Walking into the restaurant in the Al Marsa 2 area of the Al Mouj for brunch, we were captivated by the sheer poshness of the interior décor. The cabinets, the chandeliers and several other elements were all gold-wrapped and truly striking.
We were quickly greeted by a waitress who showed us to our seats, and then the menu.
The menu isn’t shy about revealing that the restaurant came into existence in 1909 (!) and that it was founded by an Austrian confectioner in memory of his daughter-in-law.
In any case, a quick history lesson later, we placed our orders. Allen opted for a beef fillet with mashed potatoes and morel cream; and Ninad the royal fillet of salmon with mashed potatoes, herbs and chive cream. I decided to go for the elaborate brunch option, which consisted of an Angelina hot chocolate, healthy cocktail, mini viennoiseries (croissant, pain au chocolat, pain au raisins), eggs benedict, hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon, and a pain-perdu style brioche.
The hot chocolate was the first to arrive, and it was splendid. The presentation was stupendous and the thickness of the drink was appealing. The drink is made of dark chocolate though, which can be for those with an acquired taste. Nevertheless, the accompanying fresh cream toned down the chocolate.
Next to arrive was a fresh selection of breads. It was accompanied by a packet of French butter. The bread was freshly baked and incredibly soft, and we enjoyed every bite of it.
The mini viennoiseries, with the accompanying croissant, again, was freshly prepared and soft, yet crispy on the skin. I quickly deduced it the best croissant I had ever eaten. Sadly, Ninad and Allen stole my chocolate croissant and pain au raisins.
Our main course arrived in the next five minutes. All of the dishes were presented in a very professional manner – and similar to what I was served in Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar in Dubai.
The standout of the day was definitely the beef fillet. The beef was well done; soft on the inside and crisp on the outside. The meat also held the flavoured juices within and was doused in mushroom sauce, which added to the palate of the dish.
Meanwhile, Ninad’s salmon was delectable, too. The salmon was fresh and soft, and its skin crispy and well seasoned. The accompanying mashed potatoes were smooth and consistent.
My eggs benedict, hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon was presented on a brioche. It was a treat to watch – and eat. The brioche was soft, and the eggs and salmon were placed ever so carefully on top of the bread. Needless to say: It didn’t last too long on my plate. The freshly smoked salmon was the star of my dish.
Allen and I washed the food down with healthy cocktail – a mix of carrot juice, orange juice and ginger. The juices were refreshing while the ginger gave it a strong base. Ninad ordered tea, which he claimed was “revitalising and strong”.
Angelina Paris has to be one of the standout restaurants that has recently established itself in Oman. It’s the perfect location to head for with your family for a brunch or to simply hang out with your friends on a weekend. And with an ambience, service and a menu that cannot be rivalled by competitors, this is definitely the place to visit. Trust me: you won’t be disappointed.
A high-end eatery that serves top-class food.
Al Mouj and Sabco Centre, Muscat, Oman
Opening Hours: 8am to 11pm
Contact: 2428 8317
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