Travel In Pictures: 7 Must-sees in Muscat – 3. The Fish Souq & the Fruit & Vegetable Souq

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If you had just two days in Muscat, then the 3rd of the 7 places that I recommend you don’t miss is the Fish Souq.

I’ve banged on several times now about how Omani food is great. One of many things that makes it so is the large and exotic range of super-fresh fish and seafood that comes straight off the boats in Muscat harbour, sold on in many cases via the Fish Souq.

Located at one end of the Mutrah Corniche in central Muscat, it needs little more introduction other than to say that it’s a fabulous place to experience raw Omani life, with the fishermen haggling over their catch of squid, prawns, kingfish, hammour, shark, tuna, sardines, cuttlefish, anchovies and other local fish.

A wander around the Fish Souq might just allow you to put a name to a face when you’re enjoying seafood at dinner later. In Muscat restaurants, these fruits of the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea typically find themselves served classically chargrilled, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon. Or as an ingredient in Samak Bil Narjeel – fish in a fragrant and spicy coconut sauce. That dish takes its flavour influences from Zanzibar in East Africa, the then capital of what was once Oman’s extensive empire.

Don’t miss also the Fruit and Vegetable Souq, in one of the buildings adjacent to the Fish Souq. Here, for instance, a half kilo of really fresh, good quality dates of several varieties – which would cost you a fair chunk of cash at home – can be picked up for around a quarter of an Omani Rial, or 50 pence.

The Fish Souq

Click individual photos to enlarge & scroll

The Fruit & Vegetable Souq

Click individual photos to enlarge & scroll

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