Who do I think I am? Here's me writing a food blog, on everything from sexy fish stew to Thai banquets, setting myself up as some kind of expert, and it occurs to me that I've never tried Michelin-starred food. I feel like I have, because I've watched so many contestants try to make it in the pressure tests of MasterChef Australia. But I haven't ever experienced it myself. I could pretend that it's because I am the Everywoman of cuisine; really though it's because we don't have any starred restaurants here in Oman - have we ever? Was Vue? - and when I'm travelling I'm usually alone and so reluctant to indulge to that extent. (When I lived in London, with its galaxy of stellar restaurants, I was a poor student and could only dream and drool.)
Anyway, you must be feeling so sorry for me by now. It's OK - this terribly sad story has a happy ending because this week I'll be going to the Shangri-La, where they are hosting Chef Alfredo Russo at three of their restaurants, showcasing his Michelin-starred Italian food. I can't wait - my entre into the starred leagues starts with my favourite of all cuisines and in one of the most beautiful locations in Muscat. And even before trying I know it has to be amazing. They say 30% of taste is visual. I reckon half of that is anticipatory teasers from the internet: check out this photo gallery of his amazing creations, and see you at the Shangri-La!