The newest addition to Oman's diverse culinary landscape, is the modern Indian restaurant Aangan by Rohit Ghai at Shangri-La Al Husn, Muscat. Critically acclaimed Chef Ghai has created an original menu for this upscale dining establishment with a modern perspective on Indian food that is inspired by his personal and professional culinary travels across the world.
The first Indian chef to receive such recognition in the UK, Chef Ghai is famed for obtaining a Michelin Star for the upscale London restaurant Jamavar in less than a year. After a tremendously successful decade on the London restaurant scene, Ghai has established himself as one of the most sought-after chefs in the culinary world.
Aangan, which translates to "courtyard" in English, is a cosy dining area where food is shared and enjoyed with loved ones. Aangan magnificently looks out over the blue seas of the Gulf of Oman and has an outdoor deck. A spectacular sense of location is created by soaring ceilings and exquisite archways that draw influence from Oman's history and India's native region. The big double doors flanked by striking blue draperies, which welcome diners to enter another world and take advantage of the genuine hospitality Shangri-La is known for, lead guests into the dining area.
Diners can mix and match items from the large menu that is meant to be shared in order to tease and tempt their palates. Traditional Indian food has been reimagined by Chef Ghai into dishes that are bursting with flavour. One of the most popular meals on the menu is Aloo Tikki, one of India's most popular street foods. To create the ideal balance of sweet and sour flavours, the crispy potato cake is combined with sweet and acidic tamarind, lentils, and fresh mint. The Kashmiri chile gives Ghai's famous batter-fried crispy Masala Prawns their spiciness. The perfectly cooked prawns are finished with a small sprinkle of desiccated coconut after being sauteed with sesame, peanut, and tamarind.
The Rogan Josh Lamb Shank entree, served with a modernised version of a classic chokha, should not be missed. The robust dish is served with a sauteed onion base, green and Kashmiri chilli, cumin, coriander, and a hint of ginger. It is slow simmered for eight hours to make the meat tender. The rich and delicate lamb is the ideal partner for a silky, velvety sauce.
The vegetarian Dhokla, meanwhile, has a crispy exterior and a tender, cake-like middle that is flecked with fresh apples and tempered young heritage beetroot. A green pistachio topping and a dash of pink peppercorns are added at the end of a sweet, fresh mango cheesecake to properly balance the sweet and savoury flavours.
An wide beverage menu featuring wines from both old and new world vineyards has been meticulously crafted to go along with the cuisine. The distinctive Gin & Tonic Pushpanjali, which translates to "a handful of flowers" in English, is one of the expertly made cocktails. The powerful Somras cocktail, which has whiskey as its foundation, is a hybrid of an old fashioned and a Manhattan. Sanskrit culture served as the inspiration for the beverage, which was thought to have been drank as a potion by Hindu gods to maintain their immortality and invincibility.
Chef Rohit Ghai said, "I wanted to bring the spirit of 'aangan' to Oman and inspire diners to celebrate special moments together while enjoying the diverse flavours of Indian cuisine. Indian food is complex and steeped in tradition, but through Aangan, I'm able to showcase Indian food in a new light. Using locally grown fresh produce, authentic Indian spices and innovative cooking techniques, I've evolved and tweaked the very best of the cuisine to create a contemporary menu that is truly unique. I look forward to welcoming guests to Aangan from all over the world."
Rene Egle, Area General Manager, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa and Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa said, "When the opportunity arose to work with Chef Rohit Ghai, it was an easy decision. Aangan is an exciting addition to our portfolio of premium restaurants at Shangri-La Al Husn and we are thrilled to bring this new dining destination to our guests and the local community of Muscat. Our talented team are hugely passionate about delivering memorable experiences and with its alluring fragrant spices and distinctly different dishes, Aangan is set to be one of a kind."