Indian theme buffet at Best Western Premier Muscat

The Atrium – Best Western Premier’s all-day restaurant in Al Khuwair – kicked-off the Indian theme nights on September 18, and I was among a few bloggers invited to the event.

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Every Thursday, desi delicacies will be served at The Atrium from 6.30pm till 10.30pm. The buffet menu includes salads, appetizers, chat station, vegetarian and non-vegetarian main courses, bread and desserts. The buffet is priced at RO 8.900 nett per person and includes unlimited water and Coca Cola. Kids below 5 years eat for free, and those between 6 and 11 years are charged 50 percent of the buffet cost.

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We were treated to some exotic flavours of India by an expert team of chefs who whipped up tangy pani puri, yummy vada pav, succulent chicken tikka and other delectable desserts.

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The food tasted great and some of my fellow Omani blogger friends were seen enjoying and complimenting the way authentic Indian food was cooked and served.

The Atrium has sophisticated and chic decor with bright colours for company.

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Every dish was cooked and deliciously marinated to perfection. The chicken tikka and fish Amtrisari were juicy and tasted delightfully different. The vegetarian dishes and desserts were equally impressive.

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Overall, I should confess it was a fulfilling gastronomic experience from start to finish.

The restaurant has a special offer in place. For every three diners opting for the buffet, a fourth gets a complimentary buffet meal that could be great for groups making a booking for special occasions.

The buffet offers an unforgettable gastronomic experience where the focus is as much on flavours as on quality. Good Indian food at affordable prices. For reservations, call The Atrium restaurant at 2203 3333.

Cyclone Nanauk weakens, may not reach Oman as a storm

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June 13, 2014: Here is an exclusive update for readers of my blog from Mr. Vinson, the acclaimed weather reporter in India.

Latest update shows Cyclone Nanauk has started weakening already. It may not reach Oman as a storm anymore. It may even change track northward of Masirah Island, forfeit its cyclone status, and wash ashore as a much weaker low-pressure area over northern coast of the Sultanate. But sea condition would be rough with gusts of high winds for today and tomorrow.

So we are looking at a situation where we can safely write off any major hazard from a powerful cyclone hitting Oman this weekend. Some rains are bound to occur over Oman, but not the heavier kind we normally associate with a cyclone.

Remnant of weakening cyclone may crawl back to India’s west coast and trigger rain over Mumbai-Gujarat.

Cyclone Nanauk to make landfall in Oman on June 15

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Updated at 11.30 am Oman time, June 12

Here is an exclusive update for readers of my blog from Mr. Vinson, the acclaimed weather reporter in India.

Cyclone Nanauk will rustle up to a peak intensity of 80 knots (148 km/hr) that makes it a Category-1 cyclone (first on the five-step category of storms in terms of intensity with Category-5 being the strongest).

Nanauk will weaken as it approaches the Oman coast, likely just to the south of Masirah Island on June 14, Saturday June 15, Sunday.

Approximate timing of landfall would be 8.30 am to 9 am on Saturday Sunday. Kindly bear in mind that the outer rain bands and winds associated with the storm may start lashing the coast from tomorrow itself. It could raise the spectre of flooding in parts of the Sultanate.

Cyclonic storm Nanauk to hit Oman this weekend

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A deep depression over the Arabian Sea intensified into cyclonic storm “Nanauk” that lay about 660km southwest of Mumbai early today morning and was heading for the Oman coast.

As reported in Oman today

Crossing of the tropical storm will be between Ras Al Hadd and Ras Madraka on June 15.

The direct impact of the storm is expected to be from June 14 till June 16. Heavy rains, gushing winds and high waves are expected in North and South Sharqiyah, Al Wusta and Muscat regions. Rest of the Sultanate is expected to witness indirect impact of the storm.

In preparation, water from Wadi Dayqah Dam in Quriyat was discharged today.

As reported in India today

India Met Department declared initiation of tropical cyclone ‘Nanauk’ in the east-central Arabian Sea today afternoon.

‘Nanauk’ is a name contributed by Myanmar as per the regional cyclone naming protocol.

The calibrated intensification of yesterday’s well-marked ‘low’ into a depression, deep depression and a tropical cyclone has helped the northward progression of the monsoon along the west coast.

‘Nanauk’ is currently located 670 km west-southwest of Mumbai and 590 km south-southwest of Veraval in Gujarat.

It is expected to intensify another round into a severe cyclonic storm, the Met said. According to global model predictions, the cyclone will later weaken as it nears landfall over Oman coast.

The cyclone is predicted to move very slowly towards west-northwest from its current position and the landfall is expected by the weekend only.

Restaurant review: Begum’s

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Going by good reviews by foodies in social media, Begum’s restaurant has been on our radar for a longtime. We finally made it to the place on a Friday afternoon. The restaurant is located in the lane behind Muscat Bakery Markets along Al Khuwair Service Road. The place is tastefully decorated and probably can seat 40 pax.
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We ordered chicken dum biriyani, murg malai kebab, phirni and fresh juices. Must admit that dum biriyani was one of the best I’ve ever had in Oman. I used to rate the erstwhile Sankranti restaurant’s dum biriyani as the best, but now I feel Begum’s biriyani should get the top ranking. The biriyani wasn’t greasy or heavily spiced. It was was light and the chicken was cooked to perfection. A portion is good enough to be shared between two people.
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The murg malai kebab was nicely done and delectable. For dessert, we had phirni, which came in small pots. It was good too. Overall, the food was nice and the service efficient. Probably, we will visit them again to try out other curries, starters and desserts.
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I like restaurants where owners are involved, and Begum’s is one such. There is so much positivity and feel good factor when owners interact with diners. For three dum biriyanis, one kebab, three phirnis, four drinks, and a bottle of water our bill came upto RO 16.300, including taxes. Very reasonable for the quality and quantity they serve. On a weekend, it is advisable to call and reserve a table before you head there. Contact numbers: 24482299/93070808.