If you are fond of grilled fish but indulge in it only occasionally, as restaurants charge too high for grilled seafood, an affordable, attractive option awaits you right by the seafront at Muttrah corniche.
On an average, a whole grilled fish costs anything between RO6 to RO10, depending on the restaurant you visit in Muscat. The price can also go through the roof if you choose to dine at a restaurant in a five-star hotel or resort where the overheads charged do not quite justify what’s on the platter.
But consider this new option: Buy your fish at the Muttrah Fish Market, where prices are much lower than those at the seafood counters in supermarkets. You can choose from a whole variety of fish caught daily off Oman’s shores – sharry, kingfish, hamour (grouper), barracuda, dover sole, sultan, tilapia, tuna, etc. Purchase your choice and get it cleaned at the market itself, but keep the fish whole. Then head to the Turkish restaurant bang opposite the fish market – they are willing to marinate and grill your fish for you for as low a charge as 600bz for a medium sized fish.
A young lad from Bangladesh would approach you with a grinning face to take your order. Specify how you would like the marination to be – normal, spicy or tangy, especially the salt level. It takes around 30 minutes to grill a fish weighing 1kg.
The spices used for marination are a ‘secret’, so don’t expect him to let you into it, but be prepared to be delighted like never before as the fish grilled here tastes out of the world. Most patrons visit the place regularly as they find it to be extremely economical.
There is yet another outlet – Arouse Al Bahar Restaurant and Grills – that offers to grill fish for those who need it. The only difference is that this shop is not opposite the market but a stone’s throw away.
Tips to consider:
- Visit the market around 9 am to get the best deals
- Bargain, but don’t overdo it
- White flesh fishes are best for grilling
- Seek advice from the restaurant on the best catches
- Pack your grilled fish well, if you need to drive far away
(Text: Anirban Ray)