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Six Senses Zighy Bay – Sensationally Sustainable

What would you say if FooDiva told you all of a particular hotel’s produce for its four restaurants is either organic or local, or sometimes both? You probably wouldn’t believe me, but that’s exactly what I discovered on a weekend jaunt to the sensational Six Senses Zighy Bay resort in Oman – just a couple of hours drive or so from Dubai.

The resort has its own organic garden supplying in a good harvest up to 18% of its vegetables, herbs and fruit – in some cases the tomato crops have been so abundant, the kitchen’s not known what to do with the excess. Expect lots of home-made tomato sauce when you visit! Furthermore, the resort is fringed by 1,000 date palms, plus another 130 fig trees.

Fish where possible is purchased from Dibba fish market, but often has to be supplemented with UAE or international imports. The rest of the resort’s organic produce is flown in from Australia (grass-fed beef and lamb), Saudi Arabia, France and the UK (free-range poultry), Egypt, Lebanon, India, Kenya and Thailand.

The fine dining restaurant is actually a five minute drive from the resort in a chauffeur-driven 4WD, perched on a cliff top 293 metres above sea level – quite aptly named Sense on the Edge. The resort’s lights flicker in the dark down below, as you take your seat ‘on the edge’. Don’t expect a la carte here, but a choice of three seven-course menus – Arabic influence, Asian or vegetarian – priced between OMR 40 and 55 (roughly multiply by ten for dirhams). Now FooDiva’s never been a huge fan of degustation menus as I detest being told what to eat – but the team were well aware of our dietary requirements (having completed preference forms on reservation) and suggested we mix and match from all three menus.

I must admit the dishes astounded us with the quality, seasonal produce, quirky marriage of ingredients and fabulous flavours. My favourite – an Omani quail encased in a kunafa pastry with figs and date molasses picked from the resort’s trees and served on a bed of cumin coated chick pea. A close second was a sea bream from the local Khasab waters, and peach couscous with braised raisins, tomato and onions drizzled with tahina lentil sauce. I simply love the creative use of local ingredients. It’s a shame the restaurant’s not open for lunch so you can really appreciate the breathtaking views, but clearly guests much prefer chilling at the resort during the day.

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