The gorgeously grilled hammour was all bones within a few minutes and the chicken swimming in the perfect blend of rice, veg sauce and spices vanished without trace. Team Y embarks on a gastronomic tour of ancient Iraq
After having dined in many Turkish and Lebanese restaurants in Muscat, it was time to try the cuisine of Mesopotamia which has a long history going back to more than 6,000 years. We zeroed in on Samad Al Iraqi Restaurant in Qurum where the food reflected Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian cultures.
With a traditional decor evocative of ancient Iraq, the restaurant promises to combine the joy of imagination blended with the scent of the past and the excitement of the present. Colourful chandeliers and intricate window designs give it a grand feel.
The restaurant staff handed the menu to us and came back with a complimentary bowl of lentil soup with a flat round Iraqi bread for company. Unlike the Turkish and Lebanese breads, this one had a bit of salt. The varied menu consisted of hot and cold appetisers, different salads, chicken and meat dishes and grills.
We ordered mixed appetiser, grilled hammour, chicken maqluba and a lemon mint drink. The appetiser which consisted of hummus, mutabbal and beetroot salad among others was very different. Except for the hummus, most of them had a sour tinge.
The grilled hammour was very well done and it was one of the best we’ve had in recent times in Muscat. The perfectly grilled, juicy fish was reduced to bones within a few minutes. The fish was grilled the Maskouf way which is an Iraqi ancient method used for grilling fish which goes back to the Sumerian and Babylonian ages.
Chicken maqluba was a very unique dish indeed. Chicken cooked with rice, eggplant, potato, tomato and served with a veg sauce was a perfect blend of various spices in harmony.
Samad Al Iraqi aims to serve authentic Iraqi food in traditional surroundings. It is a simple, unpretentious place, which provides an interesting culinary experience.
A must-visit place for all foodies. For those people who like Arabian food with a difference, this is one of the best restaurants in Oman. They deliver on quality, taste, and ambience too.
The service was attentive and efficient. With a pleasant experience of the famed Iraqi food, we plan to return to the restaurant soon to explore other famed dishes on the menu.
They have outlets in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Baghdad and London too.
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