Monthly Archives: March 2010

Kargeen Caffé : Where Time Stands Still

  Located in MQ (Madinat Qaboos), as well as in Al Wattayah, Kargeen is quite popular in Muscat! Many people have recommended this place to me over the past year, so we were more than happy to eat there this week with a good friend’s birthday as a wonderful excuse for going there ourselves! 🙂  There are many spots for eating outside and with different water-pipes being used each evening, there is usually a great smell on the premises as apple, strawberry and other flavors of the water-pipe tobacco fill the evening air.  Many Filipina waitresses (and Indians!) work at Kargeen.  This costume, which I was told is Omani, seems to be the uniform for all waitresses at Kargeen.  The oh so popular shisha pipes at Kargeen. (Also known as “hookah” or “nargeela”.)  The menu at Kargeen.  They do take-away.  Check out their menu here.  I love menus like this which give you some history of the place you’re eating at!  For example, that’s interesting to learn that “Kargeen is an old Omani word for a little wooden cottage“!  I love the ancient look which is highlighted with cleverly positioned lights and antiques around the restaurant.  It makes sense that they say “where time stands still” of this place as you take in the surroundings. (Although we were starting to think they wrote that on the menu to warn us about the rather slow service!  🙂 )  Kargeen’s Salad (#43 on the menu): Our very own house salad made with lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers, mushrooms, red cabbage, celery, pomegranate and served with a very special dressing.  Plain Bread (which is FAR from plain!) #15 on menu.  Indian Na’an bread, actually.  Hommous Bil Tahina (#11 on the menu)  I’ve heard of “Shuwa” before but this was first time trying it!  In case you’ve never heard what “Shuwa” is, I’ll let the menu speak for itself: “Shuwa is a typical Omani delicacy prepared only on very special occasions.  Whole villages participate in the cooking of the dish which consists of a whole cow or goat roasted for up to two days in a special oven prepared in a pit dug in the ground.  The method of preparing shuwa is elaborate.  The meat is marinated with red pepper, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cardamom, garlic and vinegar and then wrapped in sacks made of dry banana or palm leaves.  These sacks are then thrown into the smoldering oven, which is covered with a lid and sealed so that no smoke escapes.  In some villages, the meat is cooked for 24 hours while in others, it is believed that meat tastes better after 48 hours.” Interesting and delicious! You HAVE to try this out if you’ve never had it!  My favorite no matter where I eat in Oman-Mixed Grill!  (#37 on the menu)  I’ve never seen it served quite like this before! Wow! I love the serving dishes at Kargeen.  Presentation makes a difference!  Penna Napolitna (#78 on the menu): Penna served in a rich tomato sauce  Lamb chops-(#36 on the menu)-a favorite of my honey’s!  One of the non-smoking rooms at Kargeen.  If you’ve never been to Kargeen Caffé, I highly recommend it.  The atmosphere alone is worth the visit.  The food (that I had) was fantastic and there is SO much on the menu that you could go dozens of times without ordering the same thing twice!  Ah, Kargeen!!!  Why have I neglected you for so long!  😦    MQ Restaurant: 24692269 Reservation: 99253351 Toll Free: 80075757 Outside Catering: 92877106 Fax: 24699522   Email:  Open Daily from 1am to 1am (Fridays 11am to 1am)  Lunch buffet everyday RO4.5(+tax), breakfast buffet everyday (except Friday) RO3.5(+tax)  Try it for yourself and find out why Kargeen was awarded the Oman Today Restaurant Award in the Middle Eastern food category!


“Your Health is Your Smile!”

  Cute drawing of what is supposed to be a “typical Omani family”.  “Your health is your smile” is how this Arabic title translates into English for a series of lectures advertised on this poster I saw on the main entrance of Markaz al Bajha shopping mall.  Yes, I would have to say that your smile (or lack thereof) could be a small indicator of your health; physical as well as, perhaps, spiritual.  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)  This verse from Scripture reveals that a cheerful mind is revitalizing to the entire person.  “When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.” (Job 29:24)  “A man’s wisdom maketh his face to shine, and the boldness of his face shall be changed.” (Ecclesiastes 8:1)  “A wicked man hardeneth his face: but as for the upright, he directeth his way.” (Proverbs 21:29)  “And all that sat in the council looked steadfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15)

Oman’s 2010 Autumn Trade Fair (in Spring?!?!)

  There seem to be quite a few “exhibitions” in Muscat throughout the year.  Unfortunately, my wife and I have never found/made the time to attend one.  Because the ATF is said to be the biggest such shopping fair during the year, I decided to go see what it’s all about last night (March 29th).  The Oman International Exhibition Centre is right next to the Golden Tulip Hotel which is basically across the street from the Muscat International Airport.  (Oman International Exhibition Centre, P.O. Box 117, Seeb Airport, 113 Muscat, Oman Tel.: +968 24564303 Fax: +968 24565165  All kinds of products are on sale including: arts, beverage, clothing, communications, construction, consumer electronics, crafts, food, furniture needs, garden supplies, interior, office equipment, office supplies, personal hygiene needs, sanitary supplies and more!  SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises) that came for this trade fair set up 460 different stalls and were from various countries including the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, China, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore!  See what the newspaper, The Oman Observer, had to say about the trade fair by clicking here.  Jabel is a honey merchant from Yemen.  I asked him for a pic because his Yemeni clothing is slightly different from the typical Omani look.  He insisted that I try his honey out and it was really something!  These two gentlemen are from Karachi, Pakistan and when I asked for their photo,Waheed (on the right) asked that I take a photo of their business details (below) and make sure to let people know!  Mr. Yang, a Chinese business man, sells these cool remote controlled helicopters in addition to all the clothes at his stall.  I’ve been looking for one of these for some time now.  That’s the kid in me!  These neat little indoor helicopters sell for only 5 rials!!!  Can you see my little chopper soaring above shoppers heads? 🙂  This frankincense merchant is from Salalah (wouldn’t you guess!) and gave me a great deal on an incense burner, 1/2 kilo of incense and charcoal pieces.  The incense burners you see on the backshelf there range from 3 rials to 10 rials.  Had to get some baby clothes of course!  This friendly lady is from Egypt and her co-workers are from Syria.  It was a great chance to meet people from so many interesting parts of the world!  If you haven’t been to the Trade Fair, you need to get down there within the next few days before it closes!!! My wife and I are hoping to return at least once more before the last day on April 2nd.  That’s one day after April Fool’s Day and you’d be a fool not to go check it out if you live in the Muscat area!  🙂

The 4 s’s of Muscat!

  Cute and clever use of alliteration in this Jawharat Al Shati poster in the small mall next to the beach.  That is definitely what comes to mind when I think about Muscat: Sun, Sea, Sand and Shopping!


  This is now my 3rd Palm Sunday in Oman.  It was great fellowshipping with fellow believers tonight and hearing the Word of God as we celebrated the beginning of “Passion Week”.  If you don’t know what “Palm Sunday” is, educate yourself by checking out this link.  God bless!!!  “Palm Sunday is a prelude to the cross.” (Reverend Michael Peppin, March 28th, 2010)  A beautiful “Hosanna banner” from the PCO banner team! (“Hosanna” is Hebrew for “save now” –  הושיעה נא ) “On the next day a great multitude that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet Him, and cried, “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the LORD.” (quoting from Psalm 118:25-26) And Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat thereon; as it is written, “Fear not, Daughter of Zion: Behold, Thy King cometh, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9)  These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered thy that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto Him.” (John 12:12-16)  Children of the Protestant Church in Oman singing “Hosanna” and waving palm branches as part of a special presentation.  “But everyone who lined the streets had a different reason for waving those palms. Some were political activists; they’d heard Jesus had supernatural power, and they wanted him to use it to free Israel from Roman rule. Others had loved ones who were sick or dying. They waved branches, hoping for physical healing. Some were onlookers merely looking for something to do, while others were genuine followers who wished Jesus would establish himself as an earthly king. Jesus was the only one in the parade who knew why he was going to Jerusalem – to die. He had a mission, while everyone else had an agenda.” (Billy Hybels)  Pastor Jack spoke a sermon comparing David being in the eye of the storm in 1 Samuel 17:40-50 and Jesus in Luke 19:36-42 on the way to the cross.  Part of the sermon that stuck with me was his comparison of Martin Luther King’s last public words known as “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop Speech” and Jesus’ last words on the cross.  Martin Luther, the night before he was assassinated said these words, “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.” (See the video here.)  Jesus’ last words on the cross were, “It is finished” (atonement for sin).  Like Pastor Jack said, “For us, it is only the beginning”!  Pastors Michael Peppin and Jack Buteyn on Palm Sunday, 2010!  There are many things going on this week at the Protestant Church in Oman!  If you’re an expat in Muscat who hasn’t been to church in a while (or at all!), why not join us?!