Wednesday, November 4, 2015

RESTAURANTS IN OMAN: Al Khiran Terrace Buffet at Al Bustan Palace Hotel

Okay, so to be honest, the last time I went to Al Bustan besides for a friend's wedding, was before hurricane Gonu. The lobby really looked different pre-Gonu. There was like, red velvet and zebra on the upholstery, and blue tiles on the walls... and I really wasn't impressed by it at all....maybe because at the time I was a grumpy teenager that had just been told that no, I could not ride along on a cross-desert rally that my friends were going to get to do... Anyways, this time I was going to Al Bustan, in a much better mood, for my "surprise" late wedding anniversary with my husband. It wasn't really a surprise because he saved the GPS courdinates in his phone along with a Google map. He isn't really a just-go-to-al-Bustan-kind of person either;).
Anyways, lobby is now gold and white with muted blue and sea-toned greens. Much better. Maybe one of the only things I can say 'thank you Gonu' for;).
My husband had made a reservation at Al Khiran terrace (which was up one floor from the lobby--elevators in Al Bustan are confusing).

So...to start with, I am not a buffet person, but I did find some things I liked (cheese, salads, deserts). My husband really did enjoy the gravies for the meats. For the food:

I started with a 'Hawaiian Chicken Salad' and a 'Pasta Salad' along with a plate of Feta, Goat Cheese, and Brie, and those were all decent. Then I had French onion soup which was tastey, if lacking in the required texture.The French onion soup was watery, but it is probably the closest to the taste of French onion soup I have yet encountered in Oman;). It is probably what I make at home when I screw up French onion soup but still better than most Omani examples I've tried in Oman. I am quite critical because French onion soup is something I live on and can eat at any time of the day. When I go back to Canada I order nothing but French onion soup, I swear. Sorry Al Bustan.
For drinks, we just had San Pellegrino (I had a hot chocolate that I didn't love).

For the mains, I tried a steak with peppercorn gravy. I didn't love it, texture of the steak was wrong, but maybe I just grabbed a bad cut because my husband loved his and ate three. I had a chicken breast next with lemon-butter sauce and that was nice for a summery-feeling evening. (Sorry we didn't take pictures of the food, we were here for eachother, not the meal itself really). That was good.
For desert I loved the little lemon cakes, and the icecreams. The vanilla was heavenly. The right ammount of real vanilla bean to it.
Our table was to the front in a quiet corner of the Terrace, looking out on the pool. Lovely really. I was a bit warm (probably my fault since my husband was happy---don't wear two shaylas!!!) . It was romantic a little, not too much though. I don't know exactly how to describe it---atmospheric for sure, lovely, but not quite.. romantic? Sorry Al Khiran.

The restaurant floor staff made up for it though, and were super helpful when I considered a non-buffet option, and even though we hadn't said it was a special occasion, when they inquired and found out it was our wedding anniversary they brought us the below dessert free of charge:
Anyways, at around 50 omr for two persons, + drinks at additional charge, it was a good buffet for Oman, but better if you go more hungry than I was though. The scene and location and service are all very good. I have had better food a la carte though in Muscat, for 30 omr+ drinks for 2 persons however.

Would I go again? Yes, if I was taking someone special out who I know to be a buffet person. I think my daughter would love it, or my sister, on a special occasion. My husband and I joked my father would probably like it if we told him it cost 10 omr per person;) and paid before he noticed. I think my husband (he is a buffet person) really enjoyed it. It just wasn't my thing. Worth it at least once in every five years though, for us;)

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