Shadows of Old Araby

The chopsticks restaurant in salalah, the capital of the Omani province of Dhofar, is no longer open, its "passable" food and "awful" service (as one unsympathetic guidebook had it) now just a sweet-and-sour memory. Yet only a few doors away, the splashiest new eatery in the forgotten, once glorious town is Chinese Cascade, which serves Mandarin prawn toast, cauliflower Manchurian and vegetable wontons. It's "The Authentic Chinese Restaurant," if you believe the sign, but when an unsuspecting visitor steps in, he finds that the waiters, the diners, the owners — everyone is Indian. "Here there are so many Pakistani restaurants," shrugs...

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