Does it sound ridiculous to say "I was pleasantly surprised at The Chedi Muscat"? It's such a haven, that place, with an almost otherworldly zen-ness, that it kind of goes without saying that everything about it will be pleasant, from the moment you enter its scented, tented lobby. My surprise came from the insanely delicious raspberry dessert I had there; more specifically, finding out from their pastry chef that the berries are sourced locally. These were plump, juicy and sweet, and grown somewhere - somehow - way out in the Omani desert. Raspberries! That's fantastic.
Of all the gastronomic nostalgia I suffer from, the relative lack of local produce here is in the most painful. I'd love to see more Omani foodstuffs in restaurants and on shelves here in Muscat. If you want to sample these local beauties, hurry to The Restaurant at The Chedi: Chef tells me that raspberry season in Oman is soon coming to a close. (There's a sentence I never thought I would type.)