Oman dining: Eat Italian delicacies at Melanzane in Muscat
August 16, 2017 | 6:33 PM
by Shruthi Nair

One cup of chopped eggplant has only 20 calories and 11 per cent of your daily fibre needs. They are not just purple in colour but can also be white or yellow and the first variety of the vegetable that was discovered was egg shaped, hence the name...

You might be wondering why we have started educating on eggplants all of a sudden. Well, that’s because I just visited a big, cosy eggplant and dined there like there’s no tomorrow.

Melanzane, meaning eggplant, is a restaurant that opened in Shatti Al Qurum a few months back and while the food they serve is abundantly delicious, the first impression it casts is truly impressive.

As I reached the restaurant I noticed that the words on the signage were all inverted but I didn’t delve too much into it thinking that it was probably just some funky font design that was beyond my understanding. Inside, the restaurant was not like any other in the area. It was different as it exuded a rustic energy. The décor was unique with its raw, edgy look, and the very efficient staff, Kirk, explained at length about the little details. As I looked around I realised that it was not just the name but a lot of other things inside the restaurant that were kept upside down. The chairs, most of which were purple (the colour of eggplant), were inverted. The ceiling lights were actually in the shape of tables hanging upside down. However, the weirdest were the walls that looked unfinished. It didn’t look unattractive at all to me because I’ve always loved ragged patterns and textures. But it was just strange as the restaurant has been open for a few months now and it’s unusual to have an unfinished decor. This, Kirk explained, was symbolic of the restaurant’s food, like everything else.

“The food here is in a continuous process of evolution. We are just never satisfied and know that there is always room for improvement. Hence, the walls are unfinished and the restaurant looks as though it is still under construction to resonate the same feeling,” he explained. “In fact, even the waiters are given costumes like construction workers as they work hard to maintain a building,” he added.

After taking in all this information and being thoroughly impressed by the thought that has been put into conceptualising this quirky eatery, I soon went back to my point of interest, the food. The cuisine served at Melenzane is not just plain Italian. It’s Italian but with a modern twist served in different flavours and the upside-down décor and the flipped alphabets on the plate font reflects that message.

I started scrolling through the menu in the tab in front of me and knew instantly that this is going to be one of those days when I would be eating more than my stomach could take. I ordered drinks, appetisers, salads, main course, and dessert in one breath.

It was a sunny afternoon that day and what I needed most was something that could not just quench my thirst instantly but also please my palate. Colada with coconut milk, blended with vanilla ice cream did just that followed by Kiki Salad. It was a bowl filled with the tastiest and not just the healthiest greens. With avocado, shrimps, parmesan biscuits, and pomegranate, dressed with the juiciest citrus ranch, I figured how this in itself could be my lunch on rare occasions when I felt like eating light and healthy. Since it wasn’t the day, I preyed on my first appetiser – Arancino Palla or stuffed cheese risotto balls.

The beauty of this dish is in watching how the cheese oozes out of the crispy balls as you slice through it and don’t even realise how your mouth is uncontrollably watering. And then came Dolcezza, which literally means sweet bites. The sweet and spicy sauce plays the trick and I found myself eating the whole thing, not even sparing the rocco leaves that the shrimps were served on. I jumped onto Scallopini next, quite sure I wasn’t looking civil anymore. Boneless chicken fried with breadcrumbs has always been my weakness. Add to that balsamico mushroom sauce and you will see the plate as clean as new with not a single crumb or a drop of sauce left on it. After having all this I genuinely thought I was done and wished that the dessert didn’t look or taste too great. I didn’t want to go into a food coma. But unfortunately the lotus cheesecake turned out to be the best thing and I could not stop bingeing. For the love of all that’s Italian stop by Melanzane. The flavours will rule your heart. —[email protected]

Also Try

Pepperoni Fries: It will remind you of the dynamite fries. The oregano fries with pepperoni, cheese and mama mia sauce garnished with fried onions is the perfect munch to have in between conversations.

Pesto Pizza: An original Italian pizza that is not like any other fast food that you get here. Topped with a creamy white sauce with pesto, grilled chicken and pine nuts, enjoy the authentic pizza of the Sicilians.

Mane Risotto: You cannot miss having risotto when you are in an Italian restaurant. This is grilled shrimps and Italian rice cooked in a tangy pink sauce.

Short Ribs Risotto: A filling, flavoursome dish, this risotto is cooked in herbed tomato sauce with shredded slow braised short ribs in brown sauce.

Shatti Al Qurum

+968 9126 3340

12.30pm to 11.30pm

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