My parents came to stay for a week. Not with me. I, and my humble home, can't compete with the hospitality offered at the Shangri-La. They don't let cats in the bedroom there, for a start. I'm not insulted by their preference, but it's left unsaid that in exchange for this daughterly serenity there will be a fabulous meal or two.
This was our first visit to Sultanah for dinner and on Thursdays, there's a jazz band and a seafood buffet. Our expectations were high, based on the Full Moon Beach Barbeque we went to at the Shangri-La earlier this year - that was a fantastic night. This was even better. In fact, am I going to say...yes, I'm going to say this was the best buffet I've had in Muscat.
A buffet has to be really good for me to like getting up out of my chair to serve myself. And it's rare to find anything exciting at a buffet. The jazz night at Sultanah, though, had each of us pulling at each other's sleeves - come and see the array of sushi! Taste this, it's like a contemporary prawn cocktail! See how many types of smoked fish? Bresaoli done up in little bundles! Unshucked oysters! The cheese board was a thing of beauty. The mushroom soup was unbelievably tasty. I forget what the raspberryish drink was that we were served on seating but it also rocked. The lobsters were superb. I liked the chocolate fountain display with its clever use of pegboard. I like pegboard. This is a delicious spread but just as much it's the beautiful presentation that sets it apart, that and the stunning surroundings and the brilliant band, plus the friendly service and the freshly-perfect weather we had the best night - the atmosphere was just lovely. Couples even got up to dance between the tables (not us, we were too full).