Being a Motivational Speaker

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I really love doing motivational talks! there is something about being on stage that fires me up and gets me really excited!

I recently did a talk for the American Women’s Group….and I realized a few things on why I really enjoy it!

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For one, i’m talking about one of the best parts of my life! it was a long and hard year but the result was the Antarctic….and sharing the photos alone gets me very nostalgic and excited!

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Secondly, sometimes…..I see the change in people’s eyes, when I talk about plastic bags, the look of shock and immediate action just appears on people’s faces!

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Its always fun though……the experience of the freezer gives people something to talk about! and its a good escape from the heat!

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But you know? it wasn’t always like this……I remember the first time I had to present to an audience.

That was back at uni, and it was a class of 10 people……I was so nervous that I felt ill! I couldn’t stop shaking and I almost murmured all my words!

Then again, when I had left for Australia, I was a very shy introverted guy that was too shy to hold a conversation. It was troublesome for me being in a new place, not knowing anyone AND being introverted and shy…….so I got myself a job in a suit shop where I had to talk to strangers and strike up a conversation ALL the time! it wasn’t easy to start but then I started loving it!

As for motivational speaking? that just happened after I came back from Antarctica during my press conference…..that was the first time I stood in front of people to share my story and I guess that’s how it happened!

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Most of all, I love doing my talks at schools……In my opinion that’s what makes a change! young kids really are impressionable and when they hear why they should care, they start persuading their families!

If you ever have the time, please do come to one of my talks and tell me what you think!……and make sure you bring a jacket 😉

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Omani Petrolheaditis – Fueled by @Redbulloman

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Omanis have a certain passion for the road…..growing up here, the open road stirs up some passionate emotions.
We didn’t have an outlet to let that passion out back then…and when the automobile association opened up the go kart track it was busy like nothing else…but then it closed down for a while…During that time I had left Oman to Australia and I fueled my petrolheaditis fairly well! Maybe a little too well…..I use to race V8 cars and it was just my thing!

Oman however has a little different kind of motor sport love….Omanis seem to love drifting!  When F&F: Tokyo drift came out, the cinema was full for weeks!!!…..almost a decade since I left Oman, and now that iv been back, petrolheaditis has taken a hold on young Omanis! From photographers to karters and racers!

RedBull seem to be very aware of that…..because their drift event hit the right spot! It brought in talented Omanis to do what they love most….burn rubber and be awesome!

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The afternoon started with a few games of guessing objects, horribly moving a ring through a wire (i didn’t event try cuz im horrible at it) and most importantly…..soothing sounds of fearsome cars!

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Red Bull were awesome to give us our Polaroid photo before the event kicked off!

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When the drivers got off to their sideways start I was really impressed……the accuracy of those drivers was just amazing! I have been exposed a little to the world of drifting as a spectator and I can tell you that this is just amazing!

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Here’s the thing with drifting, its not what hooligans on the streets think they are doing……..no, drifting is actually very controlled. If you call your self a drifter you better know how to control your car through an obstacle course sideways, otherwise you are just someone who like burning rubber.

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But why use words when I have photos of sideway action!

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A Culture of Brave Foodies – ‫#‏عزومة_عمانية

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You know……iv been asked about my blog and how iv been blogging about food alot lately
Well if you disregard that im a food photographer….should you still be surprised? in short….No

Just think about our culture…….unlike many other countries, our culture doesn’t have the bar/club culture and in summer its insanely hot so there goes most of your camping and trekking activities. entertainment for many of us here means going out for a meal!

But its more than just that………..people are very passionate about it here. I mean VERY passionate.

Through my dealings with restaurateurs I quickly realized something……this isn’t just business to them, its a burning dream thats coming true, and their personalities will be clear and obvious in how their restaurants are run.

So recently Omran has organized an event to showcase local restaurant SME’s, it had a very beautiful name to it as well (#‏عزومة_عمانية) which means, An Omani Invitation..it has such a nice meaning in arabic full of hospitality and friendliness …….instantly I wanted to go, these guys are smart and passionate and if i can help out with a photo or two then hey, im all in!

I got there and I was IMPRESSED!

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I know a few restaurateurs, and they are very passionate but I always assumed that those are the people in my circle…..I was very pleasantly surprised that each one of the people I met is wildly passionate and invested in their restaurants. So much, that they spent the whole time serving the customers with pride flowing when they talk about their restaurants.

I was very impressed with 3 places in particular…..

The first one is Shuwa Express,

I love Shuwa, its one of my favorite Omani meals, and this new take on it is one of my favorite food related things that has ever happened!!! im not exaggerating……..I love the fact that its a sandwich with sauce and the same authentic spices of shuwa! innovation while keeping the traditional flavors. If you haven’t tried it then you are missing out and should get yourself to bareeq al shatti!

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The second Place was village food…..I absolutely love the arabic name, it means a lot…it means neighborhood food, and thats what’s so cool about it….the culture of growing up in your neighbourhood and that its your mini town with all your friends there…that brings nostalgia to many people who grew up here! The food he brings is what you want a catering company to provide! simple yet very tasty dishes……..burgers and rolls, sandwiches that look and taste fresh.

In an industry where many go fancy, this guy’s simple approach with a focus on taste and quality is what really brings it to the table…….if you are luck enough to speak to him then you will be really inspired by his passion!

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The third one was the big shocker for me………iv been at the Chado tea lounge in Oasis in al shatti (opposite bareeq al shatti) and I was always under the assumption that it is an international franchise that came to Oman.

I was shocked to know that its an Omani brand through and through…….the logo, the setting……the selection of teas!!!

The owner was telling us the story behind it and OH MY GOD this guy knows his stuff!!! he obviously loves what he does and against odds he is doing something amazing……

My thought now is that why are we not making this a big brand in Oman? this brand can be big and really grow……and one day, I see it going around the region being the place for tea lovers!

The private tea room in Oasis is amazing and it deserves a post on its own…..im still in shock as im writing this.  Just go to Chado and tell me that you didn’t think a big group made that happen!

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Im very lucky to know these entrepreneurs……just think about what they do, They fully invest their time and money into something they love.

Would you be able to quit your job in the next year and open up a business of your own? to not rely on your stable income and put all bets on a business you dream of having? well I know I can’t….not now at least.

So next time you go to a restaurant and think of posting your experience online, just think about it………….don’t use words like ‘pathetic’ and ‘disgusting’…..if you had a bad experience then say how you would want it to be better, and if you had a good experience then let them know! nothing will make a proud business owner feel better than knowing that their hard work is appreciated by the people that they made it for.

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For now, I must say……im feeling very proud to know such brave foodies.

A New Theme In Town

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What food speaks to you? everyone has their favorite cuisine….but for me, its a very complicated question.

I get asked what my favorite meal or cuisine is and while I can tell you right off the bat whats my favorite meal (the veal shoulder with red peppercorn cooked by Alfredo Russo), I can’t really get my head around what my favorite cuisine is……I often find myself cooking French or Italian, going out to eat Indian, Chinese or Nepalese…..so I really can’t tell.

One thing is certain though…….I sometimes have cravings for spicy food, and when I talk spicy…im thinking more like nuclear grade material going into the food. Naturally I then have to find an Indian restaurant and ask them for the spiciest thing on the menu.

Now, this creates a little issue. My partner is the opposite, what she considers spicy is usually on the lemon&herb scale for me…. The Best Western gave us a very good option! usually hotels cater their Indian food to accommodate the non spicer’s but have enough dishes to keep me satisfied, so when they announced the Indian theme night, I was happy!

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We started with the chef explaining pani puri to us, and i was very excited! earlier this year I had gone to Chennai in India, and that was one of my favorite things to eat there!

I wasn’t disappointed…apart from it being very tasty, you could also individualize your own mix to suit your palate! Definitely a good start!

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The salads were up next accompanied with a mango lassi……I loved the lassi, im a big fan of mangos and that was great!

The salad was as spicy as I would like it and the presentation was nice……there were also non spicy salads and they were great!

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Now for the mains……well thats where we had the splits…

The presentation was good and the varieties were good………the vegetarian options were good, especially the paneer which was really flavoursome!
the daal was nice with the papadums and the bread was fresh.

The issue came with the meats, they just didn’t cut it.
They lacked flavor and felt very masked……The fish was a little too oily and the meat was a little chewy.
I spoke to the chef and it is their first Indian theme night so as they are working out their formula. I could see this working well in the future, but it was a miss for this time.

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The deserts were really amazing!!

The gulab jamun was AMAZING but nothing compared to the ras malai….by far my favorite dish of the meal!!!
I wasn’t expecting this after the mains…….I was so surprised and delighted that I only took one photo.

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Verdict? While I enjoyed the salads and deserts, the mains could get some work.
The ambiance was nice and the wait staff were very friendly and interesting! they brought their own personalities…..I would gladly go there again, im sure with the effort they are putting they will be a new great spot for foodies! if nothing…im gonna go there for the pani puri and ras malai!

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Photogra-foodie

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Iv been taking photos for a while now, I actually started my love of photography with Macro / floral photography and its still something I love doing.
In the past while however…..iv been investing into a new kind of passion, Food Photography!

(photo cred: Anna Chesalina)

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Iv written here before that it wont take you long from the time you meet me till you get to realize that im a foodie….I love trying out new places and I dont mean just the fancy ones, I really enjoy finding the ‘hole in the wall’
So as a photographer, when the opportunity of doing a professional shoot for a restaurant came, I jumped at it!

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Many of you have seen YouTube clips of how photographers stage shots by making plastic versions of their food or doing insane things to take photos of them in a way they wouldn’t look naturally. Well ill tell you a thing or two about that…..
1. Sometimes its unavoidable….We shoot using lights that get quite warm, taking photos of ice cream can prove to be difficult (not impossible, just very difficult)
2. Restaurants and businesses here in Oman generally can’t afford that.

So now that’s out of the way, I absolutely hate faking shots……My idea of food photography is that it should show the food in its best way, not its unnaturally perfect form! so until now I haven’t had the need to hire a food stylist, rather…I work with the chef’s to bring the dishes out in the best way they should look. (here is a shot of me during the shoot and of the shot I took, photo cred: Anna Chesalina)
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One of the fun things that I love about food photography is that you have to be precise….and hungry.
Im not kidding! you end up looking at food in a really different way when you are hungry so I try to skip a meal before my shoots.
Downside….you starve while being confronted with great smells and beautifully plated food
Upside……you get to eat it when you are done!!

Yes….. that’s the question I mostly get when I say that I do food photography…..although I must confess, I usually shoot up-to 15 dishes a shoot so I do bring along friends for ‘support’.

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Here is one thing that iv noticed though…..restaurateurs don’t really understand the business of new media, they don’t get that a good photo can make a customer come to you no matter where you are.
Most restaurants say that they can’t afford a food photographer or that they are fine with their phone-camera photos for social media.
To those who could identify with the above, do this….check the instagram account of a café called ‘passion café’…..these guys have brilliant photos and have create a buzz well before they opened just because of those photos!! (and no I didn’t take those beautiful shots).
Similarly….check out restaurants that have one dish highlighted with a professional photo in a menu, ull notice that particular dish selling more (The people who told me that wish to remain anonymous).

My last bit to add about that just happened last week.
We were at a restaurant that I had done the photography for (Anar at the Wave Muscat) and I had the photos on my phone. When my friends were looking at the menu and were confused, I pulled out my phone…that was the last time I saw the phone before all orders were done. Actually, the waiters noticed this so when new people joined our party (it was a birthday,so it was a whole bunch of people) the waiters just referred them to my phone! (which was just being passed around)

Food plays not only with your taste buds, but with your sight…..there are many studies done in the field of psychology that showed the huge difference in opinions in the perceived taste when the same dish was presented differently (don’t worry, I wont get all nerdy on you).

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So next time you see a great photo of a dish in a menu, take a moment to appreciate that you, and particularly the way you like to look at beautiful food made someone’s job possible 🙂

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A TALE OF PHOTOS – PART 2

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I wanted to revisit some old photos for this post but for some reason, only one place has been on my mind….. The 7th continent,

Its been 492 days since I stepped onto Antarctica the day that I wrote this post, my journey was a year before that and it was long and difficult. I faced issues with funding, training, acceptance and failed friendships…..kinda shows you who your real friends are. And it shaped my life, in more ways than the obvious.

One of the unexpected ways is that before Antarctica, I was stuck in a dead end job that I hated and I lost my eye for photography….when I was doing my research for getting myself there, something happened….. I started to grab my camera after it having collected dust on my shelf, I started buying books and reading things, I was becoming a photographer again!

I practiced so that I could get it right in Antarctica…and when I got there, it paid off!! It started with Argentina! My camera was always an arms length (photo cred, Ameer Abdulhussein, my edit)

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A Chair With a View

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This was a beautiful day, the first day meeting our teams! I had just met a group of people who would be my life long Antarctic companions. The amazing thing was, during my time in Oman I thought I was an alien with this hard mission ahead…..but when I met Alice, Swati, Oli, Arriane, Subash, Omar, Millie and everyone else…..it felt like we knew each other for years, and we all knew what it took to get there. we instantly bonded and became a family in the strangest most natural way…all in a few minutes.

We all hung around the hotel lobby looking at the gorgeous beagle channel in awe….you know, places like this are so beautiful that you really get blown away and that’s what happened to me! I just had to capture that view! That lobby was a perfect excuse for me…..I sat in that chair sending my photos to the media in Oman and updating my blog, but it was much more than that…..the lobby was the place where everyone came out of their hiding spots rooms and was the perfect place to get to know the people who had to really work hard to get here.

First Sight

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Now, this isn’t a particularly impressive photo on its own right….but by far one of my all time favorites!

After a year of preparations and difficulties, it didn’t seem real….not even when I got on to the Sea Spirit. actually…..I talked to many people, and the feeling was the same, Antarctica still seemed like it was a world away but when ‘Jumper‘s’ voice popped on the PA telling us all that there is an iceberg ahead, it really hit me……Im really there….

So I took my big lens out and rushed with the others to see my first iceberg, it was amazing…..seeing a block of ice float on water may not sound that magical but when you see it….you feel an immense passion and your mind starts thinking….is this real?

That feeling lasted my whole time there and this photo, whenever I look at it, reminds me of the first time in my life that I felt that shock and awe…..

The grandness beyond your mind’s comprehension that a floating block of ice could inspire so much beauty ……

A Latin affair

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Well….Where do I start?
When I got invited to have a meal at the newly opened Rumba Lattina at the cave complex, I brought just a macro lens expecting your average food review….

But when I got there I was so shocked! Instantly I regretted not bringing the rest of my kit to take photos of the place….

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My first experience was so amazing that I had to come back and take more photos and eat there again! which got me thinking, how do I cram my two experiences??

Ill start off with the place itself, when you head to the cave restaurant you see your reception and your typical just put chairs and a table kinda restaurant …but then you go down and you see an almost hidden place with a fancy looking door….open that door and you wont think you are in Oman anymore!! think i’m kidding?? look at the photos and see for yourself!

Your first view is the main bar (which doesn’t have its license yet…after ramadan i’m told) and the pool tables. Honestly, I don’t usually associate a pool table with a trendy up-class place, but here it really works in with the feel of the place. I was in Argentina last year and the music / decor / pool table really fits in…..its not just the decoration, its the vibe!

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The long bar is very impressive, the details and colors are outstanding, the decorations are all authentic and brought from Latin America which is why I felt so nostalgic!

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The Mayan lounge is lattina’s version of a VIP lounge, and its very impressive and offers a nice secluded privacy accompanied with a nice blend of Latin music.
gentlemen….if you mess up, this is the perfect place to make up for it!

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finally…..The dining area, its the authentic Latin way….its as simple as that, if you have been to Latin America you would see a version of this and feel like you are there! (that pic is nicked from their fb page)

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Getting impressed? There’s more!

The main bar is the station of a very impressive man….johnny!

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Johnny is a dedicated bartender who even has a tattoo “the bartender” on his arm! and he does not mess around when it comes to making a VERY impressive mocktail…well actually he loves having fun doing it as he juggles the bottles and his hat, throw in an apple or two….

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Johnny and his creations are one of the reasons why you will be seeing me here VERY often.

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Now for the food! its just as impressive as everything else!

We had two very unique horderves, a cheese stuffed date which as strange as it sounds I absolutely loved! if it was a regular dish on the menu I would have it every time!

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The second was tapioca chips and sauce (a root like thing)….again, this is something that I picture myself having with a drink and watching a game or chatting with friends over

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As I mentioned before, I was in Argentina last year, the food there is addictive! I don’t mind the ‘Latin’ places here but they are mostly Americanized versions of real Latin food…..so when I saw Empenada’s on the menu I was very happy! its what I use to have everyday in Argentina!

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They looked, tasted and felt like i was really back in La Boca with my Antarctic team chowing them down while we share photos and laugh about the crazy things we did….nostalgia overload!

they were so good that the next time I went I ordered them again!

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The Temale’s were very nice as well! the presentation was very impressive and if you have never had one before, this is a good place to start.

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The first meal we had was the chocolate chicken…..I didn’t taste the chocolate but my partner did. while I liked it, she didn’t….its one of those dishes that you either love or hate…..I loved it 🙂

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The next was the double cooked beef….while it didn’t look the part, it tasted absolutely amazing! iv also had this dish while I was in Argentina (even though it isn’t actually Argentinian) and actually…..this one tasted richer than the one I had there!

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The third dish was a Latin style schnitzel…..and that had a very unique flavor! i really liked the tangy bit mixed with the crispiness! chicken lovers would galoooore for this!

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My friend had the burger, and when it came out we both looked in wonder as that thing was as big as his face! it smelled absolutely amazing and he looked like he enjoyed it…actually he looked like he was on some kind of burger drug….at that point I was too full to try the burger so I guess its my next order 😉

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Now that’s it for the mains, but I was told about how the Argentinian grill is THE thing to come for….that it is by far the BEST steak in town (and this is coming from an impossible person to please when it comes to steak)….for now i’m building up the steak craving till I head to Lattina again!

For desert, the carrot cake was very nice but the flan was what got to me! to be honest I was hoping to see Churoz on the menu but hey….you really cant complain with your options!

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Seeming that the best time I had was in Argentina, this place feels like its where im supposed to hang out! everything is authentic….the chef is from the region and so are his staff, the ingredients too! and the vibe….that’s the best thing that the staff brought with them.

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A Turkish Getaway

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I absolutely love my job….so for those who know me, it wont be a surprise that Iv always cashed in my holidays…..This time I needed to take this because well….I cant cash it in anymore! So my family and I decided we would look for a new place to see…..and the dart fell on turkey!

Now half of Oman has been visiting this place since the advent of the new Turkish shows that have been showing up this side of the world, so we thought we wont go to the usual cities like Istanbul!

Our plane took off and I got worried to start with…..the people started rushing and crowding with no respect to ques or priority. …..but that faded away the second I saw turkey!  From the air its such a gorgeous place!
After 2 flights and no sleep at all, we got to Antalya, and it looked so green and mountainous…..my kind of place! I saw the glimmer of so many solar panels.

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The hotel is a really cool concept,  sea life resort provides its guests with everything free of charge!  Food drinks, ice cream…..you name it, its yours! And the view is just stunning!

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We went to the mall next as we just had a short time before we all were going to crash from the lack of sleep…but I woke up when I got there…..Barney Stinson would feel like he is in heaven! Suites are just gorgeous and very cheap! The quality is top notch too!! In a non related topic….I now have a suit pyjama and a suit swimming outfit.

Not much done apart from a walk later to see the city but the adventure is yet to begin…..we will follow the trail of waterfalls tomorrow and 4×4 through forest and water terrains the day after! Ill try to fit in an hour for jumping off the side of a mountain strapped to a kite at some point 🙂

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A Second Glance

After spending some time in Turkey, I have to say……I have mixed feelings about the place.

It has great potential and some really great places but there are things that completely ruined it for me; for one….im absolutely sick of haggling over everything! including the food prices at restaurants!

secondly, while we did have some good times at the adventure trips, some of them were complete scams….a 4×4 trip pictured bashing through waters and going up some mountains in interesting terrain……we got a 1628 suzuki that the 4×4 didn’t work and the places we went to were the guide’s cousins house and his grandmas restaurant which they asked us in every stop to pay for something or the other…….

It’s really the first time I decided, im not that interested in coming back……

Non the less! The place had some amazing things to offer……..for a photographer like me, the waterfalls there make you want to stay the whole day around them!

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Of course, you can’t forget Turkish coffee and the old Islamic architecture that has been made into shops! and the greek / roman ruins!

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While the 4×4 trip was a total scam, our happy silly family wasted no time in just joking around and having fun! the view was great at 2 of the spots!

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And you cant forget the food……If I were to ever come back here, I would make it a point to invest all my time having the clotted cream and natural honey for breakfast!

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If all else fails, then just relax in the woods on the mountain, get up there in a telefreak (and don’t forget the selfie) or enjoy a gorgeous sunset!

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Discovering Everest……In Oman

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How adventurous are you when it comes to food? would you try anything from most places? Well I would… The more local or exotic the dish is, the more I would like to try it!

There’s a hidden gem in Muscat that iv been going to for a while now and every time I bring someone there they keep questioning and wondering where im taking them….but after they try the food they always come back! The Everest cafe is a small and hidden cafe in Hamriya which serves my favorite dish….Momo’s …a Nepalese dumpling like dish which is completely different from anything you would have tried.

Why is it such a hidden gem? well for one…..it’s in an ally way in Hamriya….right by where the Al Fair was….you literally have to go through an ally in between buildings to find it, and for me…that’s part of the charm!

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Once you find your way in ull see a small few seater shop….I like to go upstairs, its roomier and mostly no one goes there 🙂

This is what the upstairs looks like 🙂

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I’m sure you are thinking after all these photos, why?  well simple….because it has my favorite meal in Oman…..I actually leave work sometimes, get stuck in traffic on the Hamriya rush hour which takes me an hour or so to get to Everest cafe to just eat and go back home!

Ull see a simple menu, with many different dishes, im going to discover a few more out of this place for the next time I blog about it, but for now…Ill just show you the one thing everyone comes here for….Momo’s

Momo’s are a dumpling like dish native to nepal, usually steamed or fried and served with a sesame sauce and a spicy chili sauce….your choice of filling, vegetable or chicken! my favorite is the chicken.

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They are served with a soup, more like broth…which i like to just add a spoon of to the momo’s to add that extra flavor.

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The beauty of Momo’s are in the sauce…..the sesame sauce adds a very unique flavor which iv not tasted before and its not spicy for those who don’t like spicy food 😛 …….The chili sauce however……well that’s going to blow a hole in your mouth (still an amazing sauce which I can never get enough of!)

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The vegetable Momo’s are brilliant as well, actually the first time I had them, I didn’t even think they were vegetarian…..they are very filling too!

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My usual order would include the steamed chicken Momo’s and another dish……Chili Momo’s

Don’t let the name scare you, they aren’t actually that spicy….iv had people who don’t eat much spicy food enjoy them 🙂 the sauce of the chili Momo’s is what makes them very unique, theyr fried so they have that extra crunch to them as well!

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There you go, ull find me there a lot….so if you want to get there, you can find the place on foursquare (iv added it there)……its in the building after HSBC in the main hamriya road…before cleopatra (the phone shop) where the old Al Fair use to be….just got to the HSBC building and its in the ally way behind the main shops 🙂

Or you can just take me for a meal there 😛

An experience with Alfredo Russo

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Im a foodie…..iv always loved everything to do with food! cooking it, watching people cook or going out for a meal! so when I heard that chef Alfredo Russo is coming to town I jumped up and calculated my salary to book my experience!

A good evening for me is enjoying a nicely cooked meal with good friends and I do love going to the fine dining establishments every once in a while….but fine dining and experiencing meals from a Michelin star rated chef are two different things!  When I wrote the first draft of this blog I thought….nah I cant publish it, I feel like I might have enjoyed this too much! but when I talked to the people who I went with, I heard the same words.

Chef Russo got it down to a science, each bite was a real experience on its own as each flavor mixed….see what I mean when I said that it felt like I was going mad?

We arrived at the Husn hotel at Shangrila…a place I haven’t been to yet and entered Sultana which I will go to again for sure!

overlooking the rest of the resort with a beautiful glass wall and an even nicer balcony….it was the perfect spot for chef Alfredo to show off his magnificent food.

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Lets start with the …well….starters 😛

The veal wrapped tuna was so refreshing and unique in taste….the tuna was so smooth and it mixed perfectly with the sauce and the veal! a very unique blend of flavors which I didn’t think should mix but it was a perfect match! it was matched by the royal service…..all the waiters came at the same time! a whole bunch of them! they all served the dishes like it was orchestrated… but you know….pictures speak louder than words!

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Not knowing what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised! then the next dish came and it was as if Alfredo Russo knew my taste! it was a beautiful polenta, a north Italian dish that is crispy from the outside and soft on the inside, which was laid on a bed of mushrooms and a delicious sauce……i smelled the cheese before the dish arrived!

Cheese, mushrooms, crispy outside and soft inside……how can you go wrong?! well you cant and each plate was polished off as we all got some bread and didn’t waste a bit of the sauce!

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The next dish was the most unique in my opinion…..it was a zucchini lasagna with Parmesan cheese but oh wow how much flavor can be brought out from a zucchini!!! it wasn’t your typical lasagna and the hints of Parmesan cheese just complement everything, that sauce was just the perfect amount to not overpower the other flavors and give enough attention to the cheese and zucchini!

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Has anyone ever asked you: if you had only one dish that you are allowed to eat forever….what would it be?

well my answer came in the next dish; a roasted lamb shoulder with pink peppers and potato cream!

By far the best thing I have ever tasted in my life……the top of the lamb was so crispy and nice but as you dig through it falls apart….it melts in your mouth!

the cream was just the best sauce for the lamb so I was confused….I loved the lamb alone and I loved it with the sauce…I never ended up making my mind!

I have a thing where I look for the best part of a meal (the best mix of pepperoni and sauce on a pizza for example) and leave it for the last bite so I can keep that best bite for last……with this dish I couldn’t….it was all just perfect!!

At this point…..I would realistically pay 100 riyals just to have this dish again…..im not uber rich so ill have to live off instant noodles for the rest of the month but it will be worth it!

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Chef Russo couldn’t have hit the spot more if he had asked me for my favorite tastes before hand….but you know…there was dessert too!! A chocolate millefeuille with mint……now im not a huge fan of chocolate but this was nice, a good blend of chocolate and mint and that bit of ice cream in the middle was just right! chocolate lovers, this will be your heaven!

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The chef came to us at the end of the meal and he got the applause of a performer on stage! I wouldn’t have expected less!!

By far, this was the best dining experience iv had and ill be looking forward of seeing what the shangrila will bring next!

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