Hotels have been mushrooming across Oman in the last few months, so when the famed Rotana brand asked me to review their new hotel, Sundus Rotana, I jumped at the opportunity. The hotel is located close to the airport, and you cannot escape the sense of déjà vu while passing this place. Situated close to the old Oman Exhibition Centre, the hotel is truly a pleasant surprise.
Entering the bright and welcoming hotel lobby, I couldn’t help but look in awe around me as I was whisked away to the conveniently located Ginger restaurant, which instantly reminded me of the essential ingredient used in everyday cooking. Lovely and pleasing to the eye, the restaurant is large, and can be extended outdoors on both sides — one towards the swimming pool and the other in front of the huge open parking lot. One can thus enjoy the cool climate, which we have been experiencing for some time now.
On my arrival, I was served a refreshing smooth and creamy mango treat, which also consisted of orange, banana and yoghurt, served along with hot cashew nuts for me to munch on. Having decided to eschew the starters, I straight away attacked the main course. The restaurant serves a mix of Continental and Arabic food.
I began with the lemon and rosemary rubbed chicken which was marinated with herbs and sautéed with artichokes, olives, sundried tomatoes, and herb jus, served on a bed of pureed, mashed potatoes. The chicken had a slight crunchiness, which was the delicious result of chef personally cooking it in the restaurant oven.
Next on my adventure was the rib-eye, a superb steak cooked to your taste and marinated in oil, crushed pepper and salt, which is then grilled in the oven, and served with grilled asparagus, zucchini, yellow capsicum, portabella mushroom, and cherry tomatoes, all marinated in herbs, and a side of crunchy onion rings. It was indeed a juicy piece of meat.
But it was the Laham Maqlay that took me by surprise. This is mutton marinated in Omani spices and sautéed with onions, garlic, tomatoes and simmered for 45 minutes until it is soft and succulent, which is then served with vermicelli rice. I found the dish delicious, as it reminded me of home-cooked food.
Next on my list was the herb-marinated fillet of salmon, which was given a coating of breadcrumbs in pesto sauce. It had a slightly charred exterior, which helps make the skin extra crispy, and was served with lemon butter sauce. I further dug into some grilled jumbo prawns, marinated in herbs and served with tahini sauce, which only heightened my feeling of wow-ness, as I savoured it with some fattoush salad, complete with crispy fried Arabic bread. Also on my table was penne pasta, which was served with Parmesan cheese, marinara sauce, garlic and olive oil, as a subtle accompaniment to my food.
But the climax came with the rich, creamy Toblerone chocolate cheese cake, topped with grated slivers of the famed Swiss chocolate, which was an absolute delight to indulge in.
I finished my food with Kyoto coffee, which is a slow, cold brew which takes about eight to 10 hours of meticulous preparation, is a must try for coffee lovers.
Chemex is another signature brew at the Lobby Lounge. This brewing method extracts the finest flavour from the coffee beans. The coffee simply runs through the filter and gives you a pure and smooth taste, which just cannot be compared to anything else.
If you are looking for a new place to celebrate with your family, whatever the occasion, then Ginger at Sundus Rotana is the right place to do so.