Farfina Salad: Watercress salad with white onion and cherry tomato garnish with lime dressing.
Eggplant Salad: Roasted eggplants with garlic flavor, garnished with chilies and coriander.
Awal Salad: Duo of sun-dried baby shark meat flakes and green mango accented with white onion, dressed with fresh tomato coulis.
Harees Laham Soup: Creamy whole wheat soup, slow cooked with lamb pieces seasoned with hints of cardamom and cinnamon.
Tomato Soup with Dry Limes: Omani take on classic tomato soup, slow cooked with whole sun dried Omani limes to flavor.
Alkarasea Soup: Traditional clear goat leg soup slow cooked with vegetables, lightly spiced with ginger and red chilies.
Omani Shuwa: Traditional roasted lamb marinated with special ‘shuwa’ spices and vinegar, covered with banana leaves and slow roasted overnight in an underground pit.
Arsia Laham: Mashed rice with lamb, flavored with cardamom with special sauce ‘turshe’.
Qabuli with Camel Meat: Rice cooked in ‘qabuli’ spices served with camel meat.
Maraq Ma’ajeen: Sun dried meat stewed and lightly flavored with garlic and coriander.
Maraq Mashakik: Mashakik meat cubes stewed in tangy tomato sauce.
Mahmas Laham: Sautéed lamb with roasted onions and tomatoes flavored with a little ginger.
Marqat Pablo: Light king fish stew with onions, tomatoes, green chilies, saffron and lemon juice.
Salqat Al Samak: Broth of hamour fish with onions and tomatoes with hint of zaatar (thyme).
Samak Mtafai: Pan-fried king fish served with tangy tomato and tamarind sauce.
Marqat Al Dijaj: Chicken stew, lightly flavored with garlic, accented with fresh coriander.
Marqat Al Dijaj Bil Narjeel: Chicken stew with a creamy coconut and tomato sauce lightly spiced accentuating the flavor.
Salqat Al Dijaj: Broth of corn fed chicken flavored with lime and zaatar.
Vegetarian Hot Dishes
Marqat Al Dal: Classic lentil stew with distinct Omani flavor.
Dengu Mqashad: Lentil stew prepared with onions and lightly spiced with cumin seeds.
Garlic Jareesh: Creamy broken wheat slow cooked with milk and onions, flavored with garlic.
Omani Halwa: Gelatinous Omani sweet, made from fine ingredients, flavored with saffron, cardamom and rose water.
Asida Bi Dibs: Soft crumble flavored with cardamom and saffron, served with dibs (date syrup).
Khabissa Bil Findal: Sweet potatoes prepared with sweet dough.
The Omani people are passionate about their food, and this is evident wherever you travel around the Sultanate. Thankfully, there are restaurants that create exceptional Omani food and unforgettable Omani eating experiences. Al Angham restaurant happens to be one of the finest. It does original Omani food, with a modern Omani touch. Wings of Oman’s Paul Winter went to investigate.
In the best eateries all over the world, it is very often the little details – in the service, the food, and the décor and design of the restaurant – that set them apart from the rest.
Al Angham is one of the restaurants in the Sultanate that consistently gets described as a top venue to experience traditional Omani food. And just like at some of the best eating venues around the world, the fine attention to detail here (along with the food) seems to be one of the reasons it does what it does so well.
Some of these details included the ‘Royal Omani Guard’ who welcomed me at the door, and who was impeccably dressed in the traditional Omani attire (complete with silver Khanjar dagger); the exquisite silverware, fresh roses, and embroidered napkins that adorned the dining tables; the original Omani artifacts and décor items that are placed at various points around the rooms; the interior architecture of the restaurant, and many more things.
Treating guests like royalty and making sure everyone feels special is one of the things that Al Angham’s staff (who all wear traditional Omani dress) take a lot of pride in. I got a feel for this as I was taken on a welcoming tour, like most guests are, around Al Angham’s four private dining rooms and halls – named Al Zabarjd, Al Turayia, Al Majlis, and Al Sabah. These are all separate from the main dining hall; all have their own character and design; and feature superb examples of Omani décor.
Original Omani food – With a modern touch
After the above introduction to Al Angham, I now faced the most difficult part of my time spent at the restaurant – negotiating my way through the restaurant’s menu. As a food-loving expatriate living in the Sultanate, I have become relatively familiar with what ingredients makes up traditional Oman-style uisine. So being able to identify each dish on the menu, and talk about some of the combinations of flavours being presented, is something that comes naturally. The difficult part was dealing with being overwhelmed with what was on offer.
My goal at Al Angham had originally been to sort of ‘taste my way through’ the full spectrum of the Sultanate of Oman’s cuisine. But of course, this proved impossible in just one sitting! I settled for selecting a few dishes that were recommended by various food reviewers who had previously been to Al Angham.
Many of the dishes at Al Angham are presented and laid out according to an innovative and modern aesthetic. My halwa turned out to be the perfect example of this.
Fine Omani Dining
Some food reviewers have suggested that Al Angham restaurant represents the very best in fine Omani dining, and it’s hard not to agree. Plenty of professional service, and warm, friendly hospitality – which is typical of the Omani experience – accompanied each of my dishes.
The food, of course, was spectacular, and the highlight for me was knowing I was eating classic, original Omani food, prepared and served in the traditional way (with, as mentioned, some modern Omani touches).
When I was done, the Al Angham experience ended off with the cherished Omani custom of rinsing my hands with rosewater. It was the perfect ending to what will surely be a very long love affair with Omani food and Omani food culture.
True Omani Cuisine
Having been at crossroads for world trade and travel between the Middle East, Africa and the Far East since ancient times, Oman’s cuisine has been influenced by many food cultures. But over hundreds of years, it has also naturally evolved into something original and unique. One of the main examples of this is that Omani dishes are not as hot as those of other cuisines from neighbouring regions.
Traditionally, Omani cuisine is prepared with liberal use of marinades, spices, herbs, onions, garlic and limes. These are combined and fused with the base ingredients of chicken, mutton, cooked vegetables and fish. (The abundance of fish and seafood dishes in Oman is also a reflection of the rich maritime tradition that the country has procured over hundreds of years).
Omani cuisine also includes a wide variety of soups prepared from vegetables, legumes and meats. Various types of vegetable and non-vegetable salads are also standard. Main courses very often include vegetable curries, which are combined with barbequed kebabs, and grilled or curried meat, chicken and fish dishes.