The opening of Anjan Restaurant at Shangri-La Al Husn Muscat is a testament to the growing popularity of Indian food in West Asia and the UAE. The restaurant’s focus on contemporary Indian cuisine with an Omani twist has been well received by a global audience, including Indians.
In an interview with ET HospitalityWorld, Rohit Ghai, the chef behind Aangan, shared his journey, the newly opened restaurant and his thoughts on the Indian food scene globally.
Guy’s culinary journey began in his mother’s kitchen in Punjab, where he learned the importance of cooking. Having been part of several notable brands, Guy was awarded a Michelin star for Jamavaar in London in 2016, and recently released his cookbook, Tarkari: Vegetarian and Vegetarian Indian Dishes with Heart and Soul, a treasure trove of his early culinary and travel journey. . expertise.
“Indian food has always been very popular in West Asia and the UAE, but in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for more authentic and innovative dishes,” said Ghai. “This is reflected in the increasing number of Indian restaurants opening in the area, offering a wide range of cuisines from different regions of India.”
Aangan aims to recreate the spirit of the Indian courtyard, where families and friends come together to share meals and create lasting memories. Anjan at Shangri-La Muscat aims to offer a culinary experience that transcends borders and nationalities. “We wanted to emulate the warmth and togetherness of Indian homes where people enjoy meals with their loved ones,” says Ghai. “Anjan is a place where culinary masterpieces go hand in hand with the creation of memories.”
The newly opened restaurant’s menu is a mix of carefully curated Indian cuisine with an Omani twist. Guy has taken authentic Indian spices and combined them with techniques to present Indian food in a contemporary light while respecting the complexities and traditions of Indian cooking. “Visiting Amman gave me an insight into what diners prefer, which helped me craft the menu,” he explains. “Some of the dishes have been specially prepared for Anjan and appear alongside his signature curries, Indian breads and desserts.”
He added, “Interestingly, I have noticed that food connoisseurs from all over the world who eat at my restaurants have developed a taste for authentic Indian cuisine. I don’t change recipes radically unless requested to do so for health reasons. What I prefer is to create a careful balance between spice and heat levels, even for non-vegetarian foods. I still love making spice blends, sauces and marinades.
Aangan proudly embraces locally sourced ingredients, including seafood, poultry and vegetables. Guy believes in the importance of supporting local businesses and providing diners with a connection to the area through their meals.
The restaurant is distinguished from other Indian restaurants, not only in Oman but around the world, by its contemporary presentation, blend of flavors, and outdoor terrace overlooking the Gulf of Oman. He said: “Incorporating Indian and Omani heritage into its interior design adds another layer of exclusivity to the dining experience, which is enhanced by Shangri-La’s renowned hospitality and I am excited to showcase the best of Indian cuisine to the world.”
As we wrapped up our conversation, Guy shared some exciting plans, including ‘A Taste of Shangri-La’, a month-long dining event until September 30, 2023. “This event will feature specially crafted menus across Shangri-La’s five Muscat specialty restaurants, including… The new à la carte menu diners can also look forward to a six-course tasting menu featuring Anjan’s signature dishes.
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