Hooked on Seafood

Sheraton Hotel’s perfectly orchestrated Seafood Night is what a foodie doctor would have ordered to appease lovers of seafood and indulge foodies who have a refined taste for all things divine

 Alaskan crabs, Gillardeau oysters, giant prawns, and the whole gamut of clams, mussels and scallops…

These are a few of the seafood stories that flavour the Courtyard every Wednesday. Stories that tease your appetite and unfold exotic lures to lead you on a culinary trip to see food.

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A whole lot of seafood… From the shores of faraway lands and from local fisher folk who never fail to deliver fresh fare.

Laid out in perfect symphony with the well-manicured lawns around the poolside, the food stations are a treat for seafood lovers and gourmands seeking to pamper their palates with elements of food novelties and dishes that are designed to set a taste benchmark. Whether you are tucking into exotic varieties of oysters or relishing a fried pomfret, it is the perfectly crafted palate-pleasing element that eggs you on to pause and continue on your fish trip.

With variety adding spice to the night, it is haven for those endowed with ravenous appetites. There are around 50 different dishes on the agenda of the theme night, Jeremie Lannoy, Director of Marketing, tells us as we walk around the food stations to mentally note the ‘must taste’ dishes.

“Oysters are a must,” orders Jeremie and we heed, happily. Of the different varieties of oysters on offer on the night we made a date with the Seafood Night, we picked the Gillardeau (a brand of edible oysters that are produced by the Gillardeau family and their small private company in France), topped it with a tangy sauce and sucked it in one go.

Perfect!

While we didn’t make an inventory of the number or the variety of dishes created for the theme of the day, we had a fair inkling that it was going to be a long and scrumptious evening, with food stretching from the cold section to the appetisers and hors devours to the cheese zone to the grills to the fish-and-chips to the curry place and the not-to-be-missed desserts.

As if cued by an old quote, ‘The sea hath fish for everyman,’ Sheraton Hotel’s Seafood Night is put together to cater to every kind of diner with fine edible seafood that the world of food has to offer. There is, apparently, a counter for every palate.

Long time residents of Oman, who grew up or grew old, using Sheraton as a metaphor for all things Ruwi (heart of the city, at one time), would recall the popularity of the seafood night of those days. While the pricing was more in tune to the times, one thing that the hotel has retained from then is the novelty, whether it’s the array of food, the cooking expertise or the presentation itself. Live cooking is a forte that continues to bring in diners, even new ones who have a cultured taste for seafood.

The theme night was and is popular. This time around, there is live music to set the mood and permeate the air with a festive flavour. Thanae Pachiyannakis of Classic Music and Arts and her team made the evening all the more beautiful.

Interestingly, the Seafood Night has found an immediate connect with foodies seeking that much more from their dining out experience. The flow of repeat customers is an indication, maintains Jeremie, while hinting that the theme night getting copied by other outlets in the industry is further proof.
He believes diners are ready for newer culinary experiences that are designed to shift away from dishes that keep getting repeated in menu after menu, for sheer lack of creativity and the comfort-in-familiarity factor. With fish grills and cold sections adding a fresh appeal to the evening, Sheraton has initiated the change to cater to diners who want to up their dining quotient with exciting new fare.

Our long and relaxed dinner at Sheraton saw us tucking into food from every station – be it oysters and crabs or the curry flavours. The elaborate starter section had us savouring a little of everything – from fresh salads to prawn cocktail; the grills got us working on squid, lobster and fish on a bed of mango salsa and the curries beckoned us with a Goan variety of prawn curry and steamed rice.

And then the desserts happened. The array of pastries, cakes and sweetmeats at the counter vied for our attention, begging us to devour every one. If only the tummy had relented… We tried the chocolate cake with mango tucked in, alongside a lemon meringue and orange cheesecake.

Bliss…

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