Daily Archives: May 3, 2009

VUE (Restaurant) by Shannon Bennett at the Al Bustan Palace

Vue interior  This new French restaurant at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel was started by the globally renowned Australian chef, Shannon Bennett.  We took advantage of a special “pre-concert dinner option” when attending a Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra concert. Vue interior 2  This is Bennett’s 1st restaurant opened outside of Australia.  He runs a famous restaurant, Vue de Monde (“View of the World“), in Melbourne.  I would agree that it is “a unique dining concept unlike anything currently available in Oman”… che at vue restaurant  My gorgeous wife at Vue.  Am I ever blessed!Andy at Vue Restaurant  Yours truly, Andy Brown, living it up at the Vue!Vue pre-concert menu  “The focus of the restaurant is largely on degustation style dining. Guests may either choose from a selection of dishes to create their own menu of three, five or seven courses or may leave it in the hands of their waiter to suggest the most suitable dishes for their tastes.” (from asiatraveltips.com)petits calamars  The appetizer we chose: Petits Calamars.  Some people may not like the idea of eating anything with tentacles, but let me tell you, this was delicious!mystery drink  This mystery drink, containing mint, I believe, is given between the appetizer and main dish.  The purpose, our waitress told us, is to revitalize the guest before the main dish.  Yes, those are test-tubes…tasty though!sirloin  The main dish we went with was “Boeuf Wafyu“.  These portions are tiny, yes, but the idea is to savour each bite.  So…don’t come to this restaurant hungry or 1) you will have to fill up with a Big Mac on the way home, like my friend, Chilin or 2) keep bothering the “bread guy” for more buns as he comes around your table.  😉watermelon lollipop  Frozen kiwi sticks after the main dishAndys dessert  The dessert I enjoyed Ches dessert  Che’s dessert which I was only too happy to help her finish!coffee and extras  Coffee and little treats (including dates and chocolates) that comes with it.

I don’t know if I would recommend this place to any friends as it is quite pricey.  I WOULD, however, recommend taking advantage of their pre-concert dinners (at much lower costs) when attending any Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra concert at the Al Bustan Palace.  If you are interested in knowing more about the restaurants available at Al Bustan, check this website out: http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/en/gb/locations/hotel-features/dining/restaurants/muscat-albustanpalace  Che and I did enjoy our evening here-a uniquely romantic dining experience that was a special memory for us. Tel:(968)24764133  Here’s one last thought to leave you with.  A quote from Shannon Bennett about the uniqueness of Muscat, when asked why he chose Muscat as his 1st restaurant outside of Australia: “Muscat takes my breath away with its natural beauty and culture, and the fact that it has been protected by too much development. I describe Muscat as the desert meeting the sea, with spectacular consequences.”  Oui! Oui! Bien dit, mon ami!

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Boatride from the Beach of Bandar Al Jissah to the Sea Arch

our boat guide on the beach  Abdullah, an Omani local, waiting to take those interested out for a boat rideAbdullah on boat  Abdullah was suddenly all smiles once we agreed to go out on his boat.  The normal price is 3 RO to the sea arch and back.  Abdullah asked 5RO and because we didn’t feel like haggling with an elder gentlemen and we still thought it was so cheap, we agreed.che on Bandar boatboat anchor seaarchAbdullah steering boatapproaching sea archSea Arch and boatsunset at BandarBandar Sea-Arch  We were very glad that we decided to take the boat ride out to the sea-arch.  A 3-5 RO price for such a beautiful view of the Muscat coast is well worth it!  If you ever come out to Qantab/Bandar Al Jissah and some locals hit you up for a boat-ride, don’t let the opportunity pass you by.  Say, “Yes”!