maître d’ - La Mer, Muscat
Written by Chris Anderson
Resting on the shores of the Indian Ocean, Muscat, in Oman, is a fantastic city to sample seafood, with nowhere more suitable than the aptly named La Mer.
Open since March 2011, this restaurant has already carved a reputation for itself, while attracting a long list of regulars. These customers were lucky enough to sample the latest additions to the menu recently, giving their feedback to the team of chefs. Fish remains a solid theme with new dishes offered – the restaurant even has its own sushi chef – but talk to anyone working there and you’ll find it isn’t the only attraction. “La Mer is three restaurants in one,” says head chef Adel Ahmed. “We have inside, but there is also the garden, and we have just opened up the rooftop. Each offers a different set of dishes, as well as a different experience.”
Part of that experience involves staring at beachside views – perfect on a warm winter evening to enjoy with the food. “Popular dishes include the surf and turf with beef tenderloin and prawns, Moroccan fish tagine, and the La Mer sushi platter,” continues head chef Adel. “We always use chilled, not frozen, meat and most of our produce is local – it comes from Oman.”
Head chef Adel Ahmed is originally from Jordan, and took up his appointment at La Mer after living and working in Oman for seven years. Something that has always impressed him about the country, and Muscat in particular, is the high quality of seafood available, such as hammour, tuna fish, kingfish, and kettlefish that can be found in the city’s fish markets, fresh from the sea. Visiting the markets is something Adel enjoys, but his work at La Mer means he is often too busy to venture down. “From time to time I’ll visit,” he says, “to see what is new, or if I need something special.”
And would that something special include the famous Omani lobster? “Occasionally,” he tells us, “but it isn’t really the season for that right now. A couple of months maybe, it’s something you’ll see more of during the cold season.”