Moorish

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I've lived in Muscat for ten years. One thing I love about Oman is the gentle pace of the development, but sometimes you see an opportunity going to waste, and just want to shake someone and say, "Look what you have! Use it!" That's how I've always felt about the Sheraton Qurm, on Shatti Beach. It's right outside the mall where I have my shop, so I see it every day, and it's provoked just such a feeling in me for years. The location! The view! The space! Just sitting there not really knowing what it is!

Until Moorish opened. Moorish, a locally-owned cafe and shisha house, occupies the ground floor and garden area of the Shatti hotel; it perfectly exploits this stunning location, and, for me, fills a gap in the market. As a sometime shisha-er (shishite? shishista?) I have felt the lack of cool, clean places to enjoy an atmospheric smoke-up in Muscat. Moorish ticks these boxes, and can add to its list of attractions a) a million-rial view, b) pleasant lack of Arabic pop channels played on grainy screens, and c) good food.

Moorish is owned and operated by a couple who really care what their customers think, and it shows. The menu is simple and what I order there is consistently tasty. There's no gimmick, it's just good. My long-time, go-to shisha accompaniments are cheese samosas and a lemon mint juice. You can find these all over Muscat in varying degrees of quality and price, but for my money these are the best. The lemon mint comes in a glass jar and is packed with fresh mint - not a leaf or two floating on top, a full juicy handful. And - hooray! - it's never too sweet. The cheese samosas are hot out of the kitchen every time and hit the exact right balance of gooey and crisp. Totally moreish.


 



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