Nizwa, Date Palm Oasis, and Omani Street Food Mishkak

Nizwa, Date Palm Oasis, and Omani Street Food Mishkak

– Apart from the hump, the
actual meat is very, very lean. Wow. Grilled camel mishkak. (upbeat music) Good morning everyone, it’s Mark Wiens with in Muscat, Oman. Mustafa is coming to pick Ying and I up and we’re gonna do a few
more things around Muscat and then we’re actually
gonna take a quick day trip over to Nizwa which is
his hometown and it is one of the cultural capitals of Oman. Our flight is technically
tomorrow but it’s at 1 a.m. So we’ll be going to the
airport later tonight so we are actually packing
up and we’re gonna check out of our hotel now and
we’re gonna leave our bag in Mustafa’s car and then
we’ll go around all day long. (upbeat music) We got all checked out of our hotel, met up with Mustafa and
we are driving now towards the Opera House. We’re not gonna go to a an opera or a show but we’re gonna try to
get a tour of the inside and I think they are pretty formal. I did bring with me a collared shirt, so hopefully we can get in
with the collared shirt. Oh, it’s been a long time. The actual structure of the
Royal Opera House in Muscat is incredible and impressive. The architectural design and
it is just impressively clean and even just walking now along, this is a marble floor on the bottom, you can hear your shoes
squeaking because it’s so clean. – My name is Salman,
I’m gonna be your guide (mumbles) Opera House. The Royal Opera House was
opened first time in 2011. – Our tour guide has said that the roofing and all the wood is mahogany from Burma and then all of the flooring
and all of the marble is from Italy. (tour guide mumbling) – We use exotic system here. That mean if you are on
outside, you cannot hear anything from inside. Just if you touch here,
you can feel the (mumbles). – Oh, yeah.
– Yeah. – This is the main auditorium. (laughing) – Wow. It really opens up into a huge auditorium. Even just speaking I
can hear my voice carry, so the acoustics in
here must be incredible when there’s a performance. – [Salman] This is the main auditorium. The capacity of seats
is about 1,100 seats. – [Mark] And the small
booths, it’s just four seats? – Four seats.
– Okay. (easygoing music) That tour lasted just
for about 15 minutes. Oh wow, it’s really blazing
hot once you come outside. Another good thing about taking the tour of the Opera House is
that they crank the AC nice and cold in there. I don’t think I’m really
the opera going type of guy but definitely after taking that tour and going on the inside, I would love to go to an opera here. From the Royal Opera House,
we just took a quick drive over to the Grand Mosque. And it is just incredible. Just impressive the amount of marble and just the open spaces, the minarets. A couple of the main features. Number one is this unbelievable chandelier which I am walking underneath right now and the whole dome. Number two is the carpet. In this entire prayer
hall it is just the single one carpet which was actually stitched within the prayer hall
so that it fit perfectly and it’s all just one
entire gigantic carpet. (easygoing music) We are driving on our way to
Nizwa and this should take a little bit over an hour. We got some snacks including Chips Oman. Which is the famous potato chips in Oman. Oh, they’re not just plain potato chips, they have some kind of
chili seasoning on them. Oh yeah, they smell
actually quite fantastic. Omani potato chips. Yeah, I think it is a chili seasoning. Then that is your typical potato chip. Always crispy and salty and addictive. We arrived to Nizwa, that was a good drive and the first thing we’re gonna do is go to the Nizwa Castle and the Nizwa Souq. (speaks foreign language) It’s kind of like many people will give it as a gift. Yeah, or buy for a special occasion? – [Man] Special occasion,
weddings, (mumbles). – At the back of this market,
they have a very famous Omani desserts. The dessert is called halwa. – Halwa and like–
– Drink coffee with it? – [Man] Swallow it and
throw it with coffee. Omani coffee, this is the way to do it. – All right. So they have one tin open
here that you can sample. You can grab a spoon and
it is made of a combination of starch and sugar and nuts. It kind of has a jelly-ish texture to it. Mm, kind of has a… Kind of has a spice fragrance to it. I think they use a lot
of rosewater as well. There’s a lot of rosewater
that’s used as well as well as ghee which is the fat. I’ll just eat the whole thing. Mmm, oh the nuts are really good in there. It is pretty sweet, it’s
like a sticky jelly. It’s almost like a
roasted, burnt taste to it. Maybe that comes from the sugar. A little bit of spiced tinge as well. Then you gotta follow that with coffee. Yeah, so the coffee is
not sweet, but the halwa is very sweet and then you
chase it with the coffee. We have just entered the
Nizwa Castle and Fort. The castle dates back to the ninth century and the fort is from the 17th century, so they added that on later. The walls of the fort
are 34 meters in height and 45 meters in diameter. Hello, Ying.
– Hello, Mark. – I’m climbing a flight
of stairs and emerging onto the roof area. Oh yeah, now we have a
nice view of the fort. Ying is waiting in the staircase protected from the sun. So we are entering into
the tall, rounded fortress. Walking up this staircase,
there are all sorts of traps and one of the interesting
traps is this crack in the wall right here above me. They would pour boiling
date juice down the hole on the victims on the people
trying to get to the fort. So imagine I’d just be
standing here and some hot, flaming boiling syrup
comes falling on your head. Then you also gotta be
careful on the ground, they had some traps here
where you’d fall into a hole. I had to switch hats real fast. This sun is some of the most
intense sun I’ve ever felt. I’m gonna hike up the staircase now. One of the things that’s
amazing is that the fort is self sustainable so
they have an internal well where they can get fresh
water and then they can get all the supplies they need in here. It’s basically an entire mound
of earth that is designed to protect from canons
and guns and all sorts of weapons and it really
is an amazing fortress. The walls are so thick. There are some great
views of Nizwa from here. You can see the entire
village, the Old Souq, the old areas of town, the little oasis of date palm trees and the
mountains in the background. We finished walking around
the fort and we walked over to a restaurant called
Bin Ateeq for lunch today. It’s a restaurant that
some of you recommended me, so thank you all for the recommendation. This is their branch in Nizwa. They also have a couple
of branches in Muscat and we just ordered a
couple of different dishes. Man, that sun will just
drain you of your energy. I’m in need of some nourishment right now. The food has all arrived
and we got a private room and we’re eating Omani
style on the ground. What they do is they
have carpets in the room and they put out a piece of
plastic for any spillage. Okay, this is the first dish,
what’s the name of this dish? – Thareed.
– Thareed. – [Man] Thareed. – It actually looks sort
of like some kind of a mash but those are pieces of bread
which are halfway pureed and then there’s fish in it. Then there’s curry sauce
and you usually just use these three fingers,
grab a piece of the fish. Oh, that is hot and then
mix it with the bread. Oh, that’s really hot. That is really flaming hot. The bread just absorbs the
heat, so you gotta eat it fast. Mmm. Oh, that is wonderful. That is like stuffing. It’s like bread that’s moist. It’s fluffy and salty,
you can taste a blend of curry spice in it. And then the fish, the fish is… Kind of a dry slightly fishy tasting fish. That complements the
salty, curry bread stuffing extremely well. You can tell that it’s
like bread that’s mixed with curry and has just
been cooked with curry so that it’s sort of, it’s
soggy, but in a very good way. This is a little bowl of
ghee which is fat, oil. It’s very common to pour
some of it on your rice especially white rice. I’ll just add a little bit on this side. We got a piece of fried fish. I will break a little
piece, is it king fish? – [Man] Yes. – I think it tastes like,
it’s like king fish. Maybe it’s king fish in the (mumbles). Okay, it’s all king fish. For the bread dish,
you’re supposed to just use your three fingers, but for this dish, you can go back to your whole kind of hand and I’ll try Omani style
which is where you take the rice into the center of your palm. Mmm, wow. That is like some really
strong butter, yeah. Tastes like animal, more
animal tasting butter, melted butter. – [Man] This is Makbus. – Makbus.
– Makbus. – [Man] You know Makbus? Rice cooked with a heavier
meat or chicken or fish. But it is cooked together. – I will first take off
a piece of that meat and then go for rice. – Mmm, yeah. You can tell that the rice
has been cooked with the meat because the rice is just
infused with the meaty flavor. It doesn’t have a strong
taste but you can definitely taste a little bit of spice,
maybe a little bit of cumin in there and maybe turmeric. But the spice is quite
light, but then it really just kind of focuses on that meat flavor. For my next bite, I’ll go
in for some of the chutney. Then also some of the
salad, I think this is a tomato based chutney. There are little bones in this meat, so you gotta take it off the bone. There’s a little bone. Mmm, good. With the chutney it’s excellent though. That just complements it so well. It’s like a tomato puree
but you can also taste a lot of garlic in there. That was some very much
needed nourishment and energy and back out into the blazing sunshine. That food was really good. What I really liked, the
bread dish with the fish was very interesting and very good, but definitely the lamb and the rice with the tomato garlicky
chutney was my favorite dish. (easygoing music) We just took a drive for about 30 minutes and we are at an area called Al Hamra. This is a city, town, more like a town, but then we came to the
ancient, old part of the town. There are narrow lanes
with mud structures. We’re gonna walk around
here for a little bit. – [Man] Is it closed? – You can see these walls are made of mud and some kind of grass as well. We’ve just stepped into
a place where they have the irrigation canal running. This is in the middle of the hot desert. There is flowing, very clear looking water and it’s flowing down there somewhere. Walking through this
ancient village is amazing and it’s so quiet and peaceful. Some of the homes here have been abandoned and they’re deserted but some of the homes are still in use, people live in them. It’s cool. This is incredible, it’s
like exploring a lost city. It’s just completely quiet. We’re the only ones here. Hello, Ying. – [Ying] Hello, Mark. (exotic music) – We drove up the mountain
for a little ways, just up from the village we were, the oasis that we were in before. This place is called Misfat Al Abriyeen, and it is another small, little village up on the side of the rocky mountain. There are also many farms, date trees, so we’re gonna walk around
here and I’m already loving this little village
and you can see just homes built on to the
top of the rocks as well. (group murmuring) We are coming to the irrigation system and down to the farms. Immediately the temperature
drops, it’s fantastic. There’s a cold breeze from the mountain and the trees and the
water just provides relief to the hot sun. In the middle of just
barren bone dry desert and there’s another amazing oasis. There are date trees,
there are banana trees, there were mangoes up there, there’s rushing water. This is incredible to see this oasis in the middle of the desert. (Ying mumbling) Looks like we’re back in Thailand. – [Ying] Yeah. – Almost. (exotic music) The canal and irrigation system is really the lifeline, the blood vessel
of this entire community. There’s a stream of water
which comes from a well in the mountain or from
a rock in the mountain and then it’s channeled
through the entire village and through the date palm trees. You can see, I’m sitting
on the ledge right now, the water is flowing and
then every now and then, there’s a little opening
which is blocked right now. When they wanna get water
down to the next level, down to the next terrace,
they open up that channel of water and then it trickles
down to the trees below. It kind of reminds me of the rice terraces in a number of different countries in Asia except this is the Omani version of that. We drove back to Nizwa
and there was no way I could leave Oman without one more dose of pre-dinner mishkak. (speaks foreign language) – [Man] One kebab and? – Kebab, camel, chicken, that’s good, maybe that’s good. (speaks foreign language) These mishkak stands sort
of set up in the parking lot of the fort, the fort
is behind me illuminated and you can just smell the
aroma of the grilling meat from across the parking lot. They had camel, so I had
to get a skewer of camel and I also got a couple
of chicken and squid and a kebab as well. I’m just bathing in
the smoke, enjoying it. (speaks foreign language) They have a couple of
tables sitting out here in the parking lot. It’s a wonderful atmosphere, environment. You can smell the meat
grilling and I just got a couple of skewers. When Mustafa told me they had camel, I had to get a skewer. This is my last night in Oman. This one on the top I believe is the camel and I think that is the piece of the hump. This one is the kebab,
there’s some squid in here and some chicken. Oh man, he put the
spicy sauce all over it. I gotta start with the
camel, how could I not? Wow. I am just amazed at how good camel is. It’s incredible and that
is some awesome sauce too. That sauce is tangy, a little bit spicy and pretty salty, but
that goes incredibly good with the smoky, charred meat. I think one of the keys to making mishkak is you gotta cook it on a
really hot flaming fire. The coals are white hot
and then he fans the flames so it really gives it a smoky touch to it. That’s delicious, camel skewer. I should also mention
that apart from the hump, the actual meat is very, very lean. Wow. Grilled camel mishkak. Next up fro the kebab. Wow. That tastes like meatloaf, mm. Has a little bit of a
spongy texture to it, but then it’s like a hamburger on a stick. I gotta eat that piece of hump next. Oh, wow. You don’t even need to
chew, it just starts to turn to liquid as
it touches your tongue. That is like the equivalent of kobe beef or of like tuna belly, oh wow. I think I have a new
favorite piece of meat. Okay finally chicken skewers. Oh, yeah, that’s good as well, but gotta give it up for that camel. I thought I was gonna
say the drive-through is really popular and now they’re no more. – [Man] They all left. – They all left. The drive-thru here is especially popular. Many people just drive
up, order some mishkak, get it through the window and
then just sit in their cars in the comfort of the AC to
devour skewers of mishkak but I cannot trade this ambiance sitting on a plastic chair in a parking lot. Omani street food mishkak was fantastic. We are now walking across the parking lot to go have dinner. – [Man] Those are fish,
they are most popular. – At this restaurant, they
have all the seafood up front on ice and you just choose
the seafood you want and I think they’re gonna
grill it all up for us. We’re gonna take a seat
and fresh grilled seafood coming up very soon. Final meal in Oman and we got a variety of different seafood. A big plate of shrimp,
some squid and a fish. They grilled it up, it smells
smoky and we’re getting ready to dig in for dinner tonight. I’m gonna begin with
the shrimp and these are some jumbo ocean shrimp. Look at the size of this. Few things make me
happier than jumbo shrimp. You can see there’s some
kind of a spice blend on it. Maybe some garlic and
I might just squeeze it with a little bit of lime
first or lemon actually, this is lemon. Then I gotta peel. Is it okay to use both fingers? – Yeah, yeah.
– Okay. It’s hard to. Okay, I will. I will pull off the head and
set that aside for later. We also got a couple of
Mediterranean Levantine dishes. This one is mutabal and also some hummus. One of the common ways to eat
seafood, especially shrimp is to dip it in mutabal. I think that would be
almost like tartar sauce. Mutabal is a roasted eggplant dip. Oh, yeah. I am so happy eating shrimp. These are really, really firm. That mutabal makes it, it’s
almost like a tartar sauce, but like a smoky, creamy, eggplant dip. Oh, yeah. I’ll take this out, whoa,
that is a giant tortilla like bread. I’m gonna actually set this down, gotta go for a little bit of lemon. Squeeze some lemon on there. Bread and fish. And salad, add a little bit
of salad and then mutabal and dip. Mmm. Yeah. That fish is definitely char grilled. It has a smoky burnt flavor to it. And then just a really meaty fish. I really like it with that mutabal. I’m gonna squeeze lemon
all over this squid and then go in for a couple of nuggets. Should I dip as well? I’m going hummus this time. Wow. That squid is like creamy soft. Or did I get the egg? I think I might’ve gotten squid egg ’cause it’s almost like creamy soft. – [Mustafa] I recommend you (mumbles). – [Mark] Yeah, (mumbles). – Okay.
– Yeah. Some lemon. – And Mustafa is
recommending I go for some of the belly of the fish, go
for a little bit of lemon. Oh yeah, fish belly is a wonderful thing. All the fat and there’s
some bones in there. Oh, nice. Oh, yeah. The seasoning is quite
simple but it’s all about that grilled flavor and the lemon that accompanies it so well. We finished dinner with Mustafa. That was some good seafood
and now we have jumped into a taxi, it’s about 9:30
p.m. and we are on our way to the airport. That was about an hour
and 15 minutes drive. We made it to the airport. This is it for our trip to Oman. We were only in Oman for two full days, but it seemed like we were
here for an entire week because we did so much in the two days. I wanna say a special thank you to Mustafa for taking us around. Without him, we definitely
couldn’t have done what we did, so thank
you very much, Mustafa. It’s about 11:30 p.m.
now, our flight leaves. We’re flying on Turkish Air to Istanbul. Our flight leaves at 1:20 a.m. I am thrilled to be going to Istanbul and I am going to include
everything on tomorrow’s video. I’m gonna end today’s video now. Thank you all for
watching, please remember to give it a thumbs up if you enjoyed it and I will see you on the next video. Stay tuned tomorrow, in an hour from now, but it’s tomorrow we
are going to Istanbul. (upbeat music)

96 thoughts on “Nizwa, Date Palm Oasis, and Omani Street Food Mishkak

  1. this is such a nostalgic video, my grandfather actually served as the Sultan's personal bodyguard at one point in time

  2. Hi Mark, Thank you for the video on the street food in Nizwa. I am going to Oman tonight and Nizwa will be my first stop. I am looking forward to my first trip to Oman 🙂

  3. Oman is true land of pece
    V good peopl great country everything just waoo .. waoo
    Love from pakistan .
    ( mark & mustafa )

  4. oman may be nice….what about yemen their neighbor… of the poorest countries in the world. Oman is totally loyal to the usa corporate interest…yemen is not…..all of oman wealth is off the blood sweat and tears of usa citizens buying their terrible oil

  5. I used to enjoy the videos but never gave thumbs up coz I wasn’t bothered. But I realised how important it is to you n it’s a way of showing our support. So I’ll be putting thumbs up on all your videos from now on . Regards from NZ

  6. Welcome everyone in Oman I will be happy to welcome any visitor I live in Muscat I have a 4×4 Car
    💐 I am happy to visit you 🙂

  7. خير من يمثل العرب الشعب العماني شكرا لكم الله يديم عليكم الأمن والأمان في ظل قائد مسيرتكم السلطان قابوس بن سعيد

  8. Am Arabic…. why this idiot take you to places not belong to food . He should or send you to have breakfast instead showing you stupid rocks buildings…. this country has disgusting food straight up and Oman betrayed country …

  9. I remember the calm and peace of Oman but what made my stay special is the WEED. My cousin linked me with an American in Muscat who sells the best quality WEED in Oman.If you need good weed in Oman,u can reach him at CLARKDEVLIN84(at)YAHOO(dot )COM and he will get you the best quality He is discreet, reliable and deals face2face.

  10. Thank you the review show for featuring Muscat.. we watch it so many times and i loved it.. hope u can watch mine too..

  11. What gracious and generous people you are lucky enough to encounter in your travels.Huge shout out to all those that have hosted or guided you and your family in your foodie/social science adventures. Stay safe. Another great video.

  12. Hey Mark we really wanted to interact a bit more with Mustafa we became so curious about him and Ying and Micah-what do they think of the food too Keke Keke

  13. I love it , but only one mistake 😃how come you eat all these food without a little bit of alcohol 🍷, 😂😂😂🤣 it is very hard for the citizens of that country , their party 🎊 look like nothing . 😃good food needs wine 🍷

  14. Kudos to Ying. She has to be very pregnant because Micah was born in November of 2016! She is an amazing woman! Mark! You are one of the happiest man that I know! My hero dad was the same way! Happy!

  15. I'm learning more about Oman I have always been fascinated with the Middle East. And it's on my bucket list I want to move there one day. Oman is amazing from what I'm seeing in this video.

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