Experiential travel stories from India and 31 other countries!

When I dined in a man-made ‘Cave’

Yet another post from Oman because I am doing the #Oman #Travel series. I did tell you that the OMAN ROAD SHOW that happened in DELHI last month propelled me to write about every bit of my amazing experience there.

When I won a trip to Oman through my blogpost, it was indeed a proud moment for me but when I visited Oman last year, I felt double lucky. The country’s landscape bowled me over.  I thought it was only Europe that made Indians go weak in the knees but this one too has a unique setting and a dramatic landscape. My all time favorite destination happens to be Norway among the eleven countries that I have visited and I find it hard to get impressed by man-made beauties.  But Oman made me think again.

Marvelous natural landscapes, rugged mountains, wadis, sea-green water, golden dunes etc, totally won me over and I felt arrested in Oman’s beauty.

The view of the city captured just outside the Cave Restaurant in Muscat

Along with sightseeing experiences, Oman also gave me great food experiences. After a delightful lunch at Kargeen Cafe on the first day and sumptuous dinner at Radisson BLU, Muscat, on the second day I got a chance to explore another interesting dining place in the capital. Caves is a stone complex that comprises of 7 restaurants and is made from natural rock, stalactites. Once inside, you feel like you are indulging in luxury but are thriving in the stone age.

Food is a great way to connect to a new place

Caves- Pitched at a height, its got the Flintstones looks
Get spoiled in the choices.  We were three bloggers and each one of us had different liking thus we settled in easily. How? We chose a buffet spread at Harbor (topmost in the list) which satiated us all.
List of seven restaurants inside Cave. Together they cover global cuisine

The location of the restaurant is excellent, next to Qurum heights expressway and also perched at a height it offers lovely views of the town. The cave-like exterior and the interior is a winner in itself. The seven restaurants offer Omani, Lebanse, Asian (Chinese and Japanese), South American, Italian, International and seafood, thus there is enough to choose from.

Lets walk in…

Just like a cave, it has a huge but hidden entrance, look for yourself, its fun Beautiful entrance

Follow in, there is more inside and you will definitely love it.  I almost fell in love with its interiors. It was so pleasing and made for an exotic ambiance. More than the food, I still rave about the setup of the place.  It looked great inside.

We chose to go to Harbor Al Manjar too looked interesting and had families sitting in groups The impressive interior actually made me forget that I was HUNGRY too!

I moved around with my camera and clicked lovely pictures of its interiors. Until I had enough, I did not go looking around for the food though the aroma that came from the open kitchen was a mix of interesting spices. The breads and the salads spread looked appetizing. My friends (two blogger friends Aseem and Mithun) ordered some fresh sea food too. It was one of the rare place where I actually forgot that I was there to have a lavish luncheon.

And we chose a cozy corner for ourselves, close to the rocks

Lets eye the food…

The sea food counter looked tempting. I stayed away from it because I am not much into sea fish. The smell keeps me away…

A fresh seafood section is up for you. One can choose and have it cooked just the way you like it.

I helped myself with some Salad The breads made me hungry!

I enjoy buffet meals because its fun to pick small bites of too many things. No doubt sometimes it becomes tough to handle but as always I must confess I love food.

Here is my plate… with some soup, bread, Biryani, Salad, noodles, stir fried veggies, mini rolls etc. Doesn’t it look inviting to you?

Well, the food not only looked good but tasted good too. There were few items which tasted better than others. I must mention that there was enough option for vegetarians too but yes the fun here lies in non-vegetarianism.

A plateful… small bites of too many things My friends called for some mussels and prawns
There were sinful choices in the desserts too

I do not have a sweet tooth thus I would refrain from sharing my plate but yes I did click one of my friend’s.

Its Desserts time!

Final Verdict about the food and hospitality

Well, I would suggest with such beautiful interiors, Harbor is not making the most of it. There was nothing in the whole menu that stood out for me. The Omani grandeur, Arabic flavors should be put across in more impressive way that it should be remembered for food more than its interior setting.  No doubt, its makes a luxury indulgence and a great place for a romantic dinner.

I would suggest there must be some barbecues and grills for every table. The place is beautiful but I found the hospitality staff less courteous and too average. But none of what I said in the last paragraph should keep you away from visiting ‘The Caves’. Its gonna be a delightful experience because the food is good just that its not the best. The lovely ambiance makes up for everything!

Before hitting the road we checked out other restaurants of ‘The Cave’ When the car made its way through the Exit, I got the above click. Once again I was mesmerized by the beautiful Muscat city!

Happy Traveling!

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