I love menus, but to live in Muscat is to become over-familiar with what's on each one. Just not enough restaurants, and three meals in the day, with up to three courses in each; it's inevitable, and I'm not even going to attempt the maths. So I'm always happy when a waiter slips a special menu into my hand, whether it's a seasonal promo, a set menu based on a certain ingredient, or the work of a guest chef in situ.
The Chedi Muscat doesn't usually do this, but they should make it a regular thing; they've brought in a chef from one of their other stunning properties. If you follow the Chedi's parent company @ghmhotels on Instagram you'll be familiar with them, and may even use them as I do for vicarious pleasure. I like to look at pictures of the Swiss one in winter...it's like a zen log cabin. In the summer when the sea here is like soup and the air not much better, I picture myself in their heavenly-looking Vietnamese resort. It's the chef from this hotel that The Chedi Muscat has borrowed this week, and there's a dedicated menu featuring some amazing dishes.
Being totally unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine I based my choices around ingredients I had never tasted - so, banana flower, dalat root vegetables, lotus seeds, rice paddy herbs and clams (I've eaten clams but not Vietnamese ones, and all the ingredients have been flown over specially). Lotus seeds could be the new edamame beans. Really soft and almost sweet, yielding and more-ish, as well as being packed with nutrients. If I had the money to spare, I'd be buying up tracts of land for their cultivation, which is the first financial FatSu tip.
The Chedi Muscat's Vietnamese menu is available now in The Restauran, up until the 8th November.