This is the story from the first day in the Sultanate of Oman and my first tryst with Omani culture. To be precise it was my first luncheon experience too in the Arabian pearl. Kargeen Caffe in Muscat gave me a beautiful peep into the vintage Omani culture. It not just tantalized my taste buds but introduced me to the local Arabian heritage beautifully. I must say that the decor, music and cuisine together come in sync to take you for a lovely food experience here.Does it remind you of Arabian nights?
We (three bloggers) landed in Muscat around 11:30 a.m., reached our hotel (Radisson Blu) in about half an hour, freshened up and were driven straight to Kargeen Caffe for the first lunch as per the itinerary. The car stopped in the parking areas of the Medinat Qaboos complex and the driver directed us towards some narrow lanes. I thought nothing existed there but behind the trees, there was a restaurant. We walked to a door that read Kargeen Caffe not on the outside but inside.
For an authentic Lebanese experience… just walk in!Kargeen Caffe Entrance
Unlike other eating places, it did have a different look to it. The first impression was good on me. The door led us into an open terrace that housed a beautiful garden. During the lunch time, people preferred the indoor seating but I am sure in the late evenings, under the twinkling stars these garden seats definitely make a great dining ambiance. I noticed that Green and Red made a beautiful combination. (I thought I would do something easy and simple like this in my garden some day)
Kargeen Caffe Garden
The majlis (means seating in Arabic) setting in a beautiful garden that is decked with beautiful lamps
The Red lamp hangs perfectly amidst the green background
What does Kargeen mean?
It means a small wooden cottage in Omani language.Beautiful hanging lights
We sat on the table right opposite to this impressive huge hanging lamp. The dining area inside was spacious. At one side there was enough space to sit and on the other side there was lavish buffet spread and live tandoor, pasta kitchen waiting to be explored.
I know many people prefer to read reviews and take recommendations before going to a place but most of the times, I go without them. I didn’t know anything about Kargeen before walking inside. Later when I read on the internet, this place makes a great hit. Totally unaware what the menu had in store for us, three of us walked towards the wafting aromas. I remember I was pleased at the salad selection table itself because I love Lebanese cuisine and they was lots to eat. The varieties of Hummus and the breads with cheese and salads made my day. And, I say this when I was yet to explore the buffet line-up.
Large Menu of Local Food
This made me seriously hungry. The chicken and lamp dishes and biryani got me growling with hunger. While I was blogging this post, I realized I should have clicked more food pictures but once I started with the salads and some chicken and my mint drink, I did not bother about other things. Yes, the food took my attention absolutely and I forgot I was a blogger.
When I was done with the salads, I tried some soup from the terracotta pot, mushroom pasta along with the Omani food. There were good amount of vegetarian option too but I did not try much. Honestly, I am a fan of buffet dining because this gives a lot of options and I being a foodie love to dig in small bites of everything. It makes me feel happy and satiated. Anything that really impresses my taste buds comes back on my platter again.
So where is my platter?The mint drink was one of the best I have ever had… Food was exotic and yummy
I filled my plate almost three times but sadly missed the pictures. I told you I was busy in eating. This place actually makes you fall in love with Arabian food. If you are fond of Sheesha, this is the place to go for sure. The Pizza, falafel wraps and hummus are way too tasty. They can be ordered apart from the buffet menu. We also noticed that since the food and ambiance was really good, the place was buzzing with locals, expatriates and the tourists.
It made a great place conducive for good conversation as well. This was the place where we three bloggers (Aseem, Mithun and I )from different states had our first long chat over food and traveling and blogging. Together we were looking forward to the next 4 days in Oman. Our local guide too met us here and since he hailed from Lucknow, Aseem and I had more to talk with him since we both have Lucknow connections.
Kargeen Caffe was a great start to the trip. Food definitely has lots to do when it comes to fun and enjoyment on a trip. We were happy that our Arabian adventure had taken off well.Explored some more of the open space after the luncheon The reception looks like this which I had missed while entering. They have a room full of Sheesha
If you have been here, do share your food experience and if not take my advice. Whenever you are in Muscat, you must not miss this one.
Picture From their website.