I'm very interested in value, and what people pay for what, and in my real job (in a clothing boutique), showing customers that what they are buying is an investment is something I do each day. With food experience, sometimes we can get a little bit carried away and fail to notice the price, for better or worse, because you're buying something ephemeral - atmosphere; a night out; romance - as well as the food on your plate. It's easy to assume that a cheap-seeming outlet will cost you less than an opulent one, but I don't think it's always true, not here anyway. And I'm a bill-dissector.
I'm musing this value issue after having the below selection of sweets at The Chedi Muscat. For your vicarious pleasure, that little glossy globe is a deep, rich cherry confection. The dusted log is Szechuan pepper and dark chocolate, perfectly sharp. The humble-looking cube is filled with a salted caramel and the sprinkle on top of it is black volcanic salt - lord have mercy. So good. That macaroon is a unique creation by the Chedi's pastry kitchen: green apple and thyme. Apparently the team is constantly playing around with new and interesting flavour combinations, and the best ones make it onto the menu. I love that!
And when the bill came and I saw that each of these little deliciousnesses was a rial or less, I was stunned anew. 750 baisas for a hand-crafted, uniquely-flavoured macaroon. Seriously, that's what I pay for a Diet Pepsi in a paper cup in some fast food joints. Value! See? These were gorgeous and I got to linger over them in the soul-cleansing beauty of the Chedi (although having got some takeaway ones too, and can confirm that they also transcend location and are just as glamorous when eaten at home in front of Game Of Thrones).