RESTAURANTS IN OMAN: Zeitoon Restaurant in Mawaleh for Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Omani food
Ever since I first saw those gigantic arched Moroccan doors I told my Omani husband we were going to have to try this restaurant in Al Mawaleh (the turn before the car dealerships before City Center Seeb Mall-same mall complex as Cake Gallery). I love Moroccan food. I was so sad when Meknes (in Kuwair) became a Shisha joint (it was once a decent Moroccan restaurant). This new restaurant, not willing to make the same mistakes as Meknes, cleverly forgoes any affinity to Morocco in title. It's name is Zeitoon, and it promises 'mediterranean and omani' cuisine. Omani women (hopefully not all) seem adverse to Moroccan women (harshly prejudiced sadly) so there are no female Moroccan waitresses, unlike at Meknes. A smiling Philipino hostess greeted us, and ushered us to our table. 90% of the waiters are, however, Moroccan;). This seemed to be a good business decision, because I saw Omani families downstairs, and Omani couples upstairs. They were enjoying Moroccan food and decor and weren't scared away by what they didn't know offhand. But I came for Moroccan.
The restaurant itself is quite large. There is a downstairs seating area best suited to families with kids to the right, upon entering. To the left, there is a tea lounge, and tea tables. Upstairs, there is indoor and outdoor seating, and the outdoor tables are primarily occupied by couples. It was a date night for me, so upstairs it was, to watch the sunset over the mountains, and linger with long conversations over mint Moroccan tea while purusing the menu (which are touch tablets rather than paper so you can see pictures of the food). I am a tad traditional. I hate technology in restaurants but my Omani husband liked it. Going through the central indoor seating one passes fountains, and an Italian pizza oven. My daughter will appreciate both. To me that's promising.
We chose the table farthest to the back, where the center opens up. Good sunset veiw. Helpful waiter.
When it came to the food, we started with Moroccan tea (enough for two) for 2 omr.
My husband had the 'mediterranean salad' I believe. He really liked it.
I had 'Moroccan harira' soup , which I believe was 3.4 omr (don't quote me). I'd classify it as a delicate rather than a hearty 'harira', but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
My husband and I both had the same main, the "Moroccan Lamb and Plum Tagine". The plums were delicious, the meat melted off the bone, and I sopped my sauce up quite easily. My husband also enjoyed his, although he did ask for some "harissa" sauce for spice. It was a very mild harissa, but I liked it with my rice. Our mains were 12 omr each.
For dessert we had a fruit plate. It was 4 omr. Strawberries, apples, canteloupe, kiwi, and some other fruit. My husband was a bit disapointed it didn't comprise "dragon fruit" as shown in the menu illustration of the dish, but it was fine to me. Do we EVER buy dragon fruit? No.
The food was good but higher priced, but then, the decor and atmosphere, are all very fine, and the hand-painted tiles, mosaics, and fountains are a feast for the eyes, so I could swallow the cost, cheapo that I am;). We'll be back again. It was a nice night. Thank-you husband;). P.S. The restaurant here reviewed did not know I am a blogger, and all food was paid for by my husband, so no bias on my part at all.