Daily Archives: January 28, 2013

“The Treasure”, Muttrah Souq

entrance to muttrah souq

Another trip to Muttrah Souq! When my sister-in-law, Janice, flew all the way from Singapore to visit us here in Oman for 9 days, there were certain places that we just had to take her to during her short stay.  Muttrah Souq was a definite must-see!muttrah souq entrance

I wonder what’s the story behind the broken stained glass window at the entrance of Muttrah Souq?! Punks no doubt. I wonder how long it will take them to repair it or if anyone will even bother to…shop front

We bought most of her souvenirs in this shop, Treasure Mandos, which is located just a few shops short of the centre of Muttrah Souq.  Anyone who has been to Muttrah at “the wrong time of day” might know this shop as it’s one of the few that remain open throughout the entire day. The majority of the shops in Muttrah are open from 9am to 1pm or 1:15pm and then open up late from 4 to 9pm.centre of Muttrah Souq

“The Centre of Muttrah Souq” – Notice shops closing down as it’s just before 1pm.beautiful lamps

These beautiful lamps are great for the home and cost about 20 rials per lamp.khanjars for sale

Plenty of Omani khanjars and Syrian daggers for sale.camels 1

These cute camel souvenirs some in all sizes and range from 1 rial up to 7.5 rials. Most of them open up (like the ones pictured above and below with a opening on their saddle) and can hold very tiny objects inside.camels 2

silver items for sale

Of course there are all kinds of silver objects for sale in the Muttrah Souq like these ancient Omani scroll holders.shopping in muttrah

There’s something for everyone at Muttrah Souq!elephant design

old items for sale

The shop we visited reads “Treasure Mandos” on their sign, but the business card they gave me calls the shop “The Treasure“-“Sale of Handicrafts, Omani Khanjar, Omani Jewellery, Silver Articles, Gem Stones & Pshimina (Kashmiri Shawls). Tel:+968-2471-2917, GSM: +968-9229-7091, email: silverworld_2006@yahoo.com

Bait al Bahr (“The Beachhouse”) at the Shangri-La

bait al bahr sign

During our latest stay at Shangri-La’s Barr al Jissah Resort & Spa just outside of Muscat, we decided to check out their seaside seafood restaurant, Bait al Bahr. “Bait” is Arabic for “house” (or “home”) and “Bahr” is “sea” so I guess this place would translate into English as “House by the Sea” or “Beachhouse“. (This time we were treating my sister-in-law who was visiting out of town so we ordered a lot more than we normally would.)our table

We chose this corner table right at the entrance of Bait al Bahr just next to the Lazy River. Great spot!lazy river at night

tables outdoors

Plenty of seats outdoors. (I find it funny that people dining in Muscat often choose to sit close to other tables even when there are plenty of tables available!)inside restaurant

Plenty of tables indoors as well which is a necessity for the warmer months of March to September. (Smoking not permitted indoors but it is on the terrace)fresh seafood

Gulf Splash mocktail

 Mai Thai (3.8 OR)Lychee Margarita

Gulf Splash Mocktail (Mango juice, fresh lychees, lime juice, blue curacao, and lemonade (All mocktails are 2.7 OR) “Yum yum“, says my hon.here come the drinks

Here come the drinks! Notice my Mai Tai (the red drink) which is always a great option. You can also see my sister-in-law’s Lychee Margarita (Tequila, Triple Sec, lychees and lemon juice) – 3.8 OR.  A little strong for my sister-in-law but she managed to finish it off.  (Other drinks included a bottle of Corona (2.5 OR) and 750 ml. of Evian Still water (3.5 OR))compliments of the chef

We thought this tiny dish was one of our appetizers but learned that it is “Amuse-bouche“, compliments of the chef, while we waited for our appetizers/soup.teriyaki salmon

Teriyaki Salmon (grilled asparagus and enoki mushrooms with wasabi coconut juice) (6.5 OR) This was alright but mighty small for the offered price)shell fish soup

Tomato Shell Fish Soup (with garlic labneh) – 5.5 OR Delicious!lobster carrot soup

Lemongrass Infused Carrot Soup (& lobster ginger salad) – 6 OR  (Chef’s Recommendation) We tried 2 of the 3 soups on the menu which were quite good. The third soup (we didn’t try) is Saffron Fennel Fish Soup (with thyme scones) for 5 rials. The ladies thought this was an excellent soup.Atlantic Cod

Smoked and Baked Atlantic Cod (13.5 OR) 1 of the 2 Signature Dishes on the Seafood Menu. (saffron cauliflower crush, green asparagus, with foie gras foam) This was my sister-in-law’s choice and she said it was good.Mixed Seafood Grill

Mixed Seafood Grill (20.5 OR), the 2nd Bait al Bahr Signature Dish from the “Main Courses from the Sea and the Shore” page of the menu. (Grilled lobster tail, sherry fillet, koffer fillet, king fish, king prawns, mussels and green salad) (A great dish to share with 1 or 2 others. Good luck eating it on your own!)Passion Fruit Parfait

Passion Fruit Parfait (with its own coults and fresh berries) (4.5 OR) I wasn’t very impressed with this dish at all when it first arrived.  I thought, “Is that it?!” It looked so small…but in fact, it’s a delicious dessert that packs in a whole lot of taste. The parfait was fantastic!white choco mouse

White Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries (4 OR) No complaints on all with this one! 🙂

Here are the 2 other dessert options on the menu:2 other desserts

A” on the menu indicates that alcohol is in the dishBait al Bahr during the day

Overall, we enjoyed our evening at Bait al Bahr.  Service was a bit slow but that was to be expected as we chose an isolated table in the corner! The waiters and waitresses were very helpful and friendly, especially one waitress named “Wine” (Great name!) from Burma. We were also surprised to be served by the Assistant Restaurant Manager, Naeem Al Balushi, at one point when he noticed us waiting to order.  We even saw him mixing drinks behind the bar as well and thought it’s nice to see such a humble, hands-on, teamwork mentality from a restaurant manager.  The prices are quite high (and don’t forget to add 17% for tax/service charge!) but you get what you pay for.  This is not a “hey-lets-grab-a-quick-bite-type-of-place“. This is another fine restaurant option to enjoy the company of someone special over a few drinks as you enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing in on the beach.front of restaurant  Have any of you been to Bait al Bahr?  Would love to hear your experiences if you have! Tel:(+968)2477-6666 – Ext. 6559, Business Hours: 7-11:30pmbait al bahr sign and sea  I strongly suggest making a reservation if you plan to come here!  email:bautakbahrservice.slmu@shangri-la.com  Website: www.shangri-la.com/muscat  The specific webpage for Bait al Bahr is here.  You can check out the entire Bait al Bahr menu here!