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Culinary excellence

The 16th edition of Oman Restaurant Awards felicitated winners in 14 categories

Culinary excellence received a shot in the arm for the 16th year as the stalwarts of the restaurant world in Oman – those who have mastered the art of fine dining, service excellence and creating a beckoning ambience for diners – romped home with their coveted trophies at a glittering event held at the ballroom of Shangri La Barr al Jissah Resort and Spa on January 9.

The evening, replete with all the trimmings of a gala awards night, belonged to the champions of cuisine while the turnout, which comprised the cream of the hospitality industry and their elite teams,

rose in unison to cheer each winner in 14 different categories, ranging from cafe to fine dining. If something was missing, it was the chain of command, as greenhorns and captains of the culinary world in Oman came together on one common platform to celebrate what they do best – delight the diner!

The 16th edition of Oman Restaurant Awards (hosted by Apex Media a day before the nation entered into mourning for its beloved leader, Late HM, Sultan Qaboos bin Said), had brought in joy for many establishments which enjoyed a series of successive wins and new hope for newcomers.

At the outset, Saleh Zakwani, chairman and editor in chief of Muscat Daily, welcomed the gathering while Mark Rix, CEO of Apex Media, thanked the representatives of the key partners – African & Eastern, Daleel 1010, Enhance Oman and Ultimate Sound & Light. He then set the ball rolling for the evening which comprised an explicit four-course dinner to the accompaniment of a talented band – The T Band – which delighted the audience with an eclectic set of meaningful renditions that couldn’t possibly avoid the all-time Eagles’ hit single of the seventies – Hotel California and Frank Sinatra’s evergreen My Way.

After dinner, the elite judging panel comprising Abdulnasir N al Raisi, Jesal Asher, Vanessa Fernandez and Xia Cai, who scored the finalist restaurants on a series of parameters to sift out the best, were recognised for their expert evaluation. The awards, presented by Saleh Zakwani, saw The Restaurant (The Chedi Muscat) emerging as the Best Restaurant of the Year. It also bagged an award in the Fine Dining category.

The Edge, Crowne Plaza Muscat, emerged the winner for the Best Ambience while Woodlands scooped the award for Best Service. There were joint winners for the Burger category – B+F Roadside Diner and Burger Place – while CHAR (W Muscat) was adjudged the  Best Newcomer.

Speaking to TheWeek, most of the winners dedicated their awards to the hard work and selfless service put in by their teams, not with an eye on bagging an award but with the sole intention of delighting their diners. They also looked upon the

awards as a greater responsibility for them to continue serving their patrons and maintaining excellence in every single aspect of the hospitality industry where the customer is always considered the king.

Sponsors speak

PERFECT PLATFORM TO RECONGISE FINEST TALENT IN HOSPITALITY, SAY SPONSORS

Sean Clancy

On Trade Manager, Oman, African + Eastern

The awards have definatley played a major role in the growth of the sector through continous promotion and awareness. This has resulted in extremely positive responses from the Omani population who now view the hospitality sector as a viable career path to work and open new businesses in.

Ahmad Abbas

General Manager – Retail and Food Service Solutions – Enhance Oman

These awards gives us, at Enhance Oman Food Services Solutions, a great opportunity to recognise the entire team for their efforts to ensure we cater to the hospitality industry with the best of class standards. As part of the Sultanates vision 2040 to become a top-of-mind destination, these prominent awards provide a great platform to showcase the finest within this industry.

Gurpreet Singh Ahuja

Country Head – Strategic,

Daleel 1010

Our association with the popular Oman Restaurant Awards was a step in creating better awareness of our brand. It has proven to be a perfect platform to recognise, appreciate and reward the best among the restaurateurs and the hospitality industry. Over the years, it has become a benchmark of excellence for the food and beverage sector of the country.”

 

Winners

Ambience

The Edge, Crowne Plaza Muscat

Asian

Charm Thai Lounge & Restaurant, Crowne Plaza OCEC

Burger

B+F Roadside Diner and

Burger Joint

Cafe

Mani’s Cafe

Fine Dining

The Restaurant, The Chedi Muscat

Independent Restaurant

Mint & Coco

Indian

Qureshi Bab-Al-Hind, Hormuz Grand Muscat, a Radisson Collection Hotel

International

The Kitchen, Kempinski

Hotel Muscat

Italian

Bella Vista, Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort

Middle Eastern

Bait al Luban

Newcomer

CHAR, W Muscat

Pub Food

Duke’s Bar, Crowne Plaza Muscat

Service

Woodlands

Restaurant of the Year

The Restaurant, The Chedi Muscat