The other day my mum realised that I hadn't actually left the house in days, so on her way home she rang me to say we were going out for dinner. I wore make up for the first time in about a week and actually brushed my hair. Success. Nothing like the prospect of eating out to get you motivated.
We went to probably one of my all time favourite restaurants in Muscat: Al Jood. Al Jood means generosity in Arabic and it's certainly applicable for this amazing little place. I'm not going to lie, the decor really isn't up my street at all and there's a big flat screen TV playing Arabic, Lebanese and Bollywood music videos at full volume (which actually do have some kind of charm I have to say) but oh my goodness is the food AMAZING. It's simple, freshly made with fresh ingredients and served fuss free. It feels as if you've been invited into the home of an Lebanese family, it's got a very authentic feeling and doesn't give itself any airs and graces.
We opted for a selection of mezze. We of course couldn't have mezze without hommus, and I think hands down this is the best hommus I have ever eaten. We also loaded our pitta bread with baba ghannoug (a version of hommus but made out of roasted eggplant rather than chickpeas) and had helpings of fattosh/fattoush which is a bread salad. To satisfy my carnivore brother we also ordered some lamb kibbeh (wikipedia describes them as 'torpedo-shaped fried croquettes') which I had never eaten before but they were extremely delicious. It's always great to try out new things and find a new favourite. We also of course had to eat falafel, the ones I normally eat are shaped in little balls so getting them in a donut shape was a revelation to me. They were so tasty we ordered two plates worth of them.
I tried to make a push for desert (I was dying to have some authentic baklava) but my food baby was telling me otherwise. Next time. Our whole meal including drinks came to a measly £17. You really can't complain, we certainly didn't as we dragged our full bellies back home.
If you so happen to be in Muscat you can find Al Jood in the Al Khuwair part of town, I'd give you more details but the restaurant doesn't have a website and it's located on a road called 'Street 39', not sure how helpful that is. Once I'm back in Cardiff I will have to find a replacement Al Jood, I can't go for too long without Lebanese food. Have you guys ever tried any? You really need to!