Muscat: Malayalees in Oman are upbeat about their traditional festival of Onam falling on a weekend this year. Many Kerala-styled restaurants had started messaging their loyal patrons about the special Onasadhya (the grand customary feast) well in advance.
Downtown Ruwi area which houses most of the Malayalee diaspora in the capital region has a raft of typically Kerala restaurants, including popular ones such as Kairali, Ananthapuri, and Achayans.
Upmarket Chettinad style restaurant Woodlands in Ruwi, also serves typical Kerala specialties though this time around Onasadhya is a no-go as the chefs who specialize in Kerala feast items are stuck in India.
Nishant, Manager of Woodlands who hails from Kerala, though has been promised a grand Onam feast by his wife, an ace-cook, especially of traditional Kerala dishes.
Many restaurants are offering only take-away of Onasadhya as the huge crowd that gathers during such festivals gets too much to handle. Says the manager of Achayans restaurant in Wadi Kabir that the restaurant will remain closed for in-diners on Onam day, though take-away will be in on full-swing. Foodlands restaurant, another popular one with the Malayalee community especially for those residing in the uptown areas of Al Khuwair and Shati Al Qurum, is taking guests to dine-in but only through booking, and they are fully sold out and it is only the take away offer that is available now for those who want to try the tasty fares of this restaurant.
The customary feast at most of the restaurants is priced between 3 and 4 Omani riyals that has 26 items of delicacies. Special request needs to be made for extra portion of pappadams or kheer, or payasam as it is known among Malayalees.