September 26, 2021
Iranian food has a history as rich as its taste. Mastered over three millennia, its cuisine forms a very integral part of its identity. But if you haven’t explored the country yet, luckily there’s a restaurant in the heart of Muscat that brings to you the entire culinary experience from Iran.
Shiraz, located in the highly revered Crowne Plaza Muscat in Qurum, prides itself in being a fine-dine restaurant that not only specializes in Iranian food but has also recently started serving a selection of Omani dishes. The binding factor that runs through both Iranian and Omani culture is the true sense of humbling hospitality and the immense joy they beam in serving a plate full of delectable dishes.
A meal at Shiraz usually begins with a recommendation of a cold starter. To tease those taste buds is a vibrant plate of greens, reds, and whites that make up the famed Iranian salad anar kheyar consisting of a bed of chopped cucumbers, dry mint, feta cheese, and pomegranate. One can also opt for the Omani seafood and mango salad for a burst of flavors to ready the palette for more.
Iranian food is known for its variety of cuts and styles of meat skewers, but for vegetarians, an absolute must-try is the Kashk-e-bademjan – a well-textured puree of fried eggplant that receives the bittersweet taste of crisp fried onions and is stippled with whipped kash and almonds. However, Omani cuisines share the same passion for kebabs and if you’re leaning more towards meat, then the traditional Omani spiced char-grilled meat skewers with a tangy tamarind dipping, simply called the beef meshkak, is a great choice.
With the keen focus on kebabs continuing to the main course, the Chelo kebab shandez is one of the most popular Iranian dishes that is a paradisiacal delight for meat lovers. A succulent combination of grilled chicken, lamb chops, and minced lamb kebab is served with three varieties of colorful, flavored fluffy rice, making for quite a wholesome meal. Fish lovers can opt for an equally fulfilling meal of locally sourced Kingfish and machbous which is a traditional fragrant Omani rice dish that is simmered with tomatoes, dried lemon peel, and special spices ensuring the flavors are well-acquainted to the fish.
To finish, one can sink into one of the world’s oldest frozen desserts, Faludeh, made in authentic Iranian style with Persian rice noodles, sorbet, and fresh lime juice. Keeping with the traditional theme, the Omani sweet dish, Luqaimat or crispy fried sweet fermented dumpling, which is served with organic Omani honey and vanilla ice cream, has also been an evergreen favorite amongst diners.
With satiated stomachs, when it comes to pleasing the eye, the décor at Shiraz echoes inspiration from Iranian roots. The neutral tones, wooden furniture, and ornate lamps give this restaurant an upscale vibe while still maintaining a certain degree of minimalistic sophistication. Delicate lines of mirrored glass in geometric shapes border its ceiling with traces of Iranian art adorning the walls. Tucked in a corner, one can also spot the large tandoor pot where the chef can be seen flipping fresh tandoors. Cooler evenings are an invite to enjoy sitting in the adjoining terrace which offers stunning views of the sparkling infinity pool, the immaculately manicured lawns, and the expansive sea.
With a fine selection of Iranian and Omani cuisine, hospitality at its finest, and an ambiance to mirror its focus on premium dining, Shiraz has long since been a favorite in Oman.