Muscat: As you walk into The Straits, the first impression is that of a spacious restaurant with an aesthetic business-hotel styled décor having a beautiful view of the courtyard. This all-day dining outlet at the recently opened Hormuz Grand is becoming increasingly popular with a fresh concept of ‘a la carte buffet’ in Oman which isn’t a traditional buffet spread.
Central display is an entire stretch showcasing the fresh exotic vegetables, meat, chicken and fish, with live cooking stations. You can choose from Mediterranean, Arabic, Italian, Asian or Oriental cuisine, the offering is vast and varied ranging from pizzas (base of which is rolled out only once the order is placed), pastas, grilled meats, stir fry, kebabs and freshly baked bread from the tandoor oven. There is a wide selection of vegetarian and non-vegetarian (chicken, shrimp, lamb and vegetable) pickles prepared in-house.
The stir-fry station gives you the option to pick your choice of vegetables and meat and hand it over the counter; tell the chef your preference of sauce and condiments and it will be cooked right in front of you. Whether it is stir fry or grill, you will get your dish beautifully plated within minutes. Apart from the live counter, other preparations are kept on the buffet in smaller quantities to keep the freshness of the ingredients intact.
Another aspect that has put The Straits in the limelight is the delicately prepared bite-sized sampler portions organised at the salad and dessert sections on either side of the live station. The miniature compound salads and desserts are masterpieces carefully prepared by chef. These are individually portioned, garnished and presented in ramekins (small ceramic dishes)/shot glasses, it makes the display look amazing and you have more than 15 mouth-watering, colourful varieties to choose from!
In addition, there is “ice-cream teppanyaki”. As unique as the name might sound, it is a creative mix of ice cream with fruit, caramelised nuts, brownies/ cakes, sauces and syrups that is a burst of amazing textures and flavours. All you need to do is to be creative yourself and “make your own ice-cream” with your choice of ingredients and you can be assured that it’s out of this world!
“The concept behind The Straits is to offer something innovative without compromising on quality or freshness of the food. We offer something new for each meal that allows us to showcase our culinary range for an unforgettable dining experience. The buffet incorporates such a huge variety that it would be difficult to sample all that we have to offer in one go – tempting our customers to visit us again,” said Shafaque Ahsan – The Food & Beverage Director.
However, it is not just the customers but also the staff that the hotel that stays involved by doing things differently. The Hormuz team was invited 45 days before Christmas to join-in and celebrate the traditional “Cake Mixing Ceremony”, where 20kg of dried fruit, tutti-frutti and spices such as cinnamon, ginger and all-spice were mixed together and soaked for preparing Christmas puddings and plum cakes. The participating team enjoyed this out of the ordinary activity that presented them with a light moment to spend time with colleagues over some snacks and refreshments.