Wandering the city streets and stumbling upon a new shop or gallery or cafe is one thing I miss about living in London. Independent, cool little places to discover here in Muscat are a rarity, but of course that just adds to the surprise and delight when you do find one of these hidden jewels.
Mani's Cafe is tucked away on the top floor of Jawharat Shatti Mall. The clues are there as soon as you approach the cafe and see the gourmet goodies stacked at the counter and the chalkboard specials (is there any better universal visual indicator of a funky little eatery?) The menu gets your hopes up with words like homemade. Wholewheat. Organic. And the food really delivers. The soups are tasty and fresh; the pink lemonade for two is delicious and comes in a vintage-style jug. Interesting sandwiches and salads featuring pomegranate seeds and wasabi mayo are such a refeshment to see after the bland offerings in franchise coffee houses here. Mani's cookies are my favourites, perfect warmed up at home or dipped in coffee at the cafe.