I can without a trace of doubt, in all honesty, declare that I have faithfully been in love with the Arabian delight ‘Shawarma’, ever since I can remember. I can also go to the extent of committing to this love till my last breath – and I mean it.
I recently went on a weight loss spree and had to wane myself off this addiction (which was hard to do as a Turkish restaurant is right next to my work place). So every time I would walk out the aroma would engulf me. I would inhale and fill my lungs with the robust aroma of mildly marinated meat being transformed into scrumptious crispy tender chunk by the spit fire.
Growing up, Shawarma was a staple while vacationing in Riyadh. When I would return to India my commitment continued as there was no substitute for it and abstinence was the only way forward.
Even when the effects of globalisation brought Shawarma to India it could never match up to the authentic flavours of the Middle East. The Indian option was nowhere close to the original neither was the Ukrainian one, which had no trace of garlic and would be stuffed with vegetables. It was only after I came to Oman that I renewed my relationship with one of my favourite go to foods.
Best Shawarma places in Muscat:
Camilia Restaurant – CBD, Ruwi
Even though the pickled green chillies are missing Camilia Restaurant in CBD, Ruwi is the answer to my prayers.
Yum Yum restaurant – Qurum
The close to perfect version. The only minor drawback being too much garlic mayonnaise (I know there is no such thing as too much garlic, but still it’s a tad bit much for me)
Istanboly Coffee Show – Al Khuwair
I go here only if the above mentioned places are not accessible.
First Bite Experience:
I hold the warm white roll in my left hand and gently unwrap it with my right, not all the way, coz I want the wrapper to hold the meat shaving that get squeezed out while biting into the roll. Then I get it close to my mouth and my sense of smell is already en-route to nirvana. I bite into it, knowing the first bite will keep me from the exotic goodness that follows. Then comes my second bite, the blandness of the pita bread is soon cut by the creamy garlic, the juicy chicken and the crispy fries. As I moan and shake my head with every consecutive bite my nostrils smile and my mouth weeps and the fulsome flavours keep me coming back for more.
That’s why I call it the faithful kind of love.