Top restaurant suggestions across the Kingdom during Eid holidays

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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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The Eid breakfast is a cherished tradition. (Instagram)
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Updated 11 April 2024
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Top restaurant suggestions across the Kingdom during Eid holidays

  • Suhail provides an authentic Saudi hospitality experience based on traditional cuisine
  • Le Grenier a Pain in Riyadh is a charming French bakery and brunch spot

JEDDAH: The Eid breakfast, when loved ones come together to share delicious food and create lasting memories, is a cherished tradition. If you are looking to elevate your Eid breakfast experience, here are some top restaurants from around the Kingdom:

Suhail

Suhail provides an authentic Saudi hospitality experience based on traditional cuisine. Its ambiance takes inspiration from the captivating allure of the Arabian Peninsula desert, offering a comfortable setting for diners.

Lute Twaiq

Indulge in Italian and Levantine cuisine at Lute Twaiq. The Riyadh restaurant offers a breakfast buffet featuring traditional Italian and Levantine delicacies, including pasta, risotto and Neapolitan pizzas. Options like the eggplant beef hamsa are also available, prepared in the Neapolitan style. Eid breakfast starts at 6 a.m., perfect for early morning celebrations. Dammam residents can also enjoy Lute Twaiq at a branch in the city.

Le Grenier a Pain

Le Grenier a Pain in Riyadh is a charming French bakery and brunch spot. The menu features an array of French baked treats, including flaky croissants, buttery pain au chocolat and indulgent quiches. For Eid breakfast, Le Grenier a Pain serves specially prepared dips and diverse cheese platters, ideal for sit-down family gatherings or as a grab-and-go option.

ALFOLK

Enjoy breakfast at ALFOLK in Shangri La Hotel, featuring an international cuisine spread for SR595 ($158) per person. Alongside delicious dishes, guests can enjoy live music by two talented musicians, a photo booth and fun activities like face painting and clown performances. A fun-filled morning is the perfect start for Eid festivities.

The Waterfront Kitchen

The Waterfront Kitchen serves breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. After enjoying a delicious meal, guests can continue their Eid celebrations with the regular lunch menu. Families can also take advantage of two hours of complimentary access to the kids’ club.

Burnt restaurant

Celebrate Eid at Burnt restaurant with a morning feast featuring a curated menu of dishes. Try the cheese platter, offering three dips paired with flavorful accompaniments for SR43. The restaurant also serves fried Asian eggs, a fusion of roasted potato and kohlrabi with Korean chili and miso, topped with fried eggs and sesame, for SR24.

Atareek Al-Madi

Atareek is a cultural hub featuring a museum, art gallery and space for Hijazi folk celebrations. It showcases traditional karweet and mirkaz wooden benches adorned with intricate Arabesque designs. Atareek’s Eid breakfast serves popular Saudi dishes like mugalgal, mandi lamb, Saudi white coffee and Ta’ateemah.

Pattis France

Pattis France, nestled on Prince Turki Corniche Road along the Alkhobar waterfront, provides a refined setting for an elegant Eid morning with family. The menu boasts a variety of egg dishes — scrambled, poached, or as omelets — alongside French baked treats and artisan desserts.

Fatte w Snobar

Fatte w Snobar offers authentic Levantine cuisine across multiple branches in Alkhobar, Dammam, Al-Ahsa, Abha, Al-Qassim and Madinah. The restaurant provides convenient breakfasts and grab-and-go packages perfect for Eid. These curated boxes feature a variety of dishes, including creamy hummus, foul, crispy falafel, succulent kebdah, omelets, assorted cheeses, pickles and fresh salads.

Mild

Located in the heart of King Abdullah Branch Road in Madinah, Mild offers a modern culinary experience perfect for Eid breakfast. With a chic and contemporary interior, Mild presents a carefully crafted menu that blends international flavors with local inspirations. From cheese platters to Arabic falafel bowls, refreshing falafel salads to bold bruschetta bowls, and Mexican omelets to Tunisian shakshuka, there are choices for every palate. With options ranging from sandwiches to tacos and focaccia, Mild ensures a pleasant dining experience for all.


Recipes for success: Chef John Mark offers advice and a salmon batayaki recipe

Updated 23 May 2024
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Recipes for success: Chef John Mark offers advice and a salmon batayaki recipe

DUBAI: Chef John Mark has worked at a number of prestigious establishments over the years, in the Maldives, Mauritius, the UAE, and India, among others. Now, he’s the chef de cuisine at Japanese restaurant Gishiki 45 in The St. Regis Red Sea Resort. 

Here, Mark discusses embracing mistakes, his favorite dish to make, and the importance of a healthy working environment. 

Gishiki 45. (Supplied)

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish?  

I love the smell of garlic and the smell of onion. These two ingredients are very important in Asian cuisine; they give the dishes a nice aroma and flavor, and can enhance any dish.  

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food?  

I’m not one to criticize any chef or restaurant unless there are mistakes in the dish that I ordered. I respect chefs. I respect people who are working in the hospitality. And if I do need to say something, I make sure to say it in the right manner. 

What’s the most common mistake that you find in other restaurants? 

That the service team and the kitchen are at war. This is the chef’s responsibility. We need to make sure that the service team and the kitchen are one. It’s so important, because, as chefs, we cook, but the service team deal with the guests. The only thing that we want is to make the guests happy. So we need to be a team. 

What’s your favorite cuisine? 

Thai food. I love coconut flavors and Thai food has coconut in almost all the dishes. The flavors and the smell are rich. It makes me happy.  

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home? 

My daughter loves to eat. I let my family try different cuisines, but she really loves pasta. So, I cook pasta for my daughter — and for my wife of course. We also have a famous dish in the Philippines called chicken adobo, and when I am home I like to cook that for my family. 

Gishiki 45. (Supplied)

What customer request most annoys you? 

You cannot be annoyed at your guests as a chef. You need to be flexible. We are here, in this world, to learn, and this is a huge opportunity. I can’t just focus on one thing like a horse; I have to keep an open mind. Why not try what they ask for, if this is what they want? 

What’s your favorite dish to cook and why?  

It’s something we’re famous for in the Philippines. It’s very authentic, you only really see it in the villages. It’s called beggar’s chicken. It’s so delicate. It’s a long process. You need to marinate the chicken and stuff it, then you wrap it in banana leaf. Then, you put mud on it. You cook it in the mud. So, when its cooked, you need to break the mud and open it. It smells amazing.  

As a head chef, what are you like? 

When I started as a chef, there was a lot of tension and a lot of shouting, but I don’t think this is a good environment. I don’t want it to be quiet in my kitchen, but I don’t want tension. Of course, I can be a little strict, but I don’t want anyone to shout at my staff. I have to talk to them nicely. Shouting is not on my menu. 

Chef Mark’s Salmon Batayaki recipe    

INGREDIENTS: 

160g salmon; 1 oyster mushroom 

For the dashi water:  

Mix 100ml water; 5g konbu; 2g katsuobushi 

For the batayaki sauce: 

Mix 2 spoons soy sauce; 20g butter; 50ml dashi water; 1 spoon yuzu juice 

INSTRUCTIONS:  

1. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and dust with corn flour. 

2. Heat fryer to 180 celsius and fry the salmon for 2 minutes. 

3. ⁠Prepare a heated non-stick pan. Heat your batayaki sauce. 

4. ⁠Put your salmon and mushroom in the batayaki sauce and simmer until the sauce becomes shiny and has a buttery texture. 

5.  Garnish with crispy leek and serve.  


Chef Igor Macchia talks Italian-infused creations, collaboration with Riyadh’s new Lavazza Coffee Design eatery

Updated 23 May 2024
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Chef Igor Macchia talks Italian-infused creations, collaboration with Riyadh’s new Lavazza Coffee Design eatery

DUBAI: Italian chef Igor Macchia is excited about the opening in Riyadh of Lavazza Coffee Design, which infuses his signature dishes and brews with Middle Eastern tastes and flavors.

Having designed the menu for the establishment, which opened on May 23, Macchia is looking forward to Saudi Arabia customers experiencing his creations.

Italian chef Igor Macchia designed the menu at Riyadh's Lavazza Coffee Edition. (Supplied)

“The creative process started from a local consumer taste perspective combined with the Lavazza Italian DNA and my Michelin-star background from La Credenza Restaurant (San Maurizio Canavese, Torino, Italy),” said Macchia in an interview with Arab News.

Lavazza’s premium 1895 collection cosists of  limited-quantity microlot coffee, specialty blends and single-origin brews. (Supplied)

“I’ve visited different restaurants and spots in Middle East and tasted a lot of local recipes to get inspiration for my project for Lavazza Coffee Design store. The result is a rich and tasty menu, ranging from breakfast to dinner, ideal to be paired with 1895 premium coffee, selected by Lavazza for this store in Riyadh.”

Inspired by Lavazza’s flagship stores in London and Milan, the Riyadh location boasts signature design elements, such as the iconic chandelier made up of more than 300 illuminated coffee beans and the main counter finished with exhausted coffee powder and resin for an original effect.

Additionally, the coffee experience is elevated by the introduction of Lavazza’s premium 1895 collection sourced from around the world. It consists of limited-quantity microlot coffee, specialty blends and single-origin brews.

During the interview, Macchia spoke about his favorite dish, early mistakes and management style.

When you started out as a professional, what was the most common mistake you made when preparing/cooking a dish?

I’ve never done a mistake — joking. I think the most common mistake was to enrich a lot a recipe looking for the best taste while, at the end, it’s sufficient to start by buying good quality ingredients and just treat ingredients by giving value to them for a wow effect.

What’s your top tip for amateur chefs, cooking at home?

Cooking is all about passion. Recipes are good to start with, but they need a personal touch, to become real wonderful dish.

What one ingredient can instantly improve any dish?

Parmesan cheese in all kinds of forms: wrapped, chopped, etc.

When you go out to eat, do you find yourself critiquing the food? What’s the most common mistake/issue that you find in other restaurants?

When I go out for dinner, it is a moment of pure pleasure and I love enjoying it without any fussing or critiquing. I personally like restaurants where clients’ satisfaction is at the center of the experience. The most common mistake is building up a very beautiful venue but with no soul in it. The vibe you can feel inside your preferred spot will make the difference.

When you go out to eat, what’s your favorite cuisine/dish to order? And why?

It all depends on the mood: it can be a traditional place like an Italian trattoria as well as a fine-dining restaurant or ethnic food which I do love.

What’s your go-to dish if you have to cook something quickly at home?

Easy and fancy at the same time: rigatoni with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, finished with a pinch of Lavazza ground coffee powder.

What request/behavior by customers most annoys you?

Clients are our everyday guests: we need to listen to their requests. Maybe one suggestion coming from a client, one day it will be a new dish on the menu.

What’s your favorite dish to cook and why?

The risotto, no doubt about it. I spent my summer childhood in the Vercelli area, where the Piedmont rice comes from. The risotto has a special place in my heart.

What’s the most difficult dish for you to get right, whether on your current menu or not?

I think the “Tiramisu by Lavazza” — the iconic Italian coffee-based dessert — should be the one. The sponge cake, instead of the lady fingers biscuits, needs to be prepared in the right way to be light and airy. Then you finish the dish with mascarpone foam with syphon and pour with the 1895 Cocoa Reloaded espresso on top. Different steps and texture for an amazing result.

As a head chef, what are you like? Are you a disciplinarian? Do you shout a lot? Or are you more laid back?

I’m personally a disciplinarian but I’ve learned, during my career, that the team motivation is key to reach great results. No need to shout, jst need to build a team spirit.

Recipe: MASCARPONE & DRIED FRUITS TOAST

The chef's marscapone and dried fruits toast. (Supplied) 

Start by selecting a sour dough bread, cut 1 cm slice and gently toast it.

Spread generously with mascarpone cheese, add pomegranate seeds, decorate with fresh mint leaves and finish with a sweet sauce made with honey and chopped dried fruits like dates, pistachio and nuts. Serve it to your guests for a fresh and tasty breakfast. Ideal to be paired with your preferred coffee.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Casa Noor

Updated 23 May 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: Casa Noor

When Noora Ahmed Almubsher decided to start a home-based business, she went all in. In 2021, armed with a degree in business, she used her passion for food to fill in the gaps she found in the market. She wanted to create something innovative that reminded her of home, and thus named her entrepreneurial pursuit “Casa Noor.”

While the word “casa” translates to “home” in Spanish, a place which generates comfort, warmth and deliciousness, her products and “noor” or “light” in Arabic, are very Saudi-centric.

Based in the historic Tarout Island in Qatif in the Eastern Province, she handpicks ingredients from local farms while sprinkling in what she calls the “Noora” touch.

Her purple-hued Saudi-made sauerkraut will perk up any boring dish, offering a perky pickled pick-me-up that is both healthy for your gut and fun for your taste buds. I added it to the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich, the oozing melted sharp cheddar merged well with the sauerkraut bits that offered a fresh, tangy bite to the crunchy toast.

We also tried her pickled loumi lemons in a jar, an essential staple in Qatif. Those lemon-lime bits of citrus goodness have a distinctive taste as it requires very high temperatures and humidity to generate that signature Sharqiya flavor. They are perfect for chicken marinates, to scoop up into rice, or drizzle into tart desserts.

For the Noora Tea blend, which was curated specifically to celebrate Founding Day, Almubsher brought in ingredients from different parts of the Kingdom and combined them into one mix. She joked that it was extra personal since it shares her first name, but it is also a loving tribute to the late Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman, whose name is proudly displayed at the front of the world’s largest woman-only university in Riyadh.

“Our goal is to demonstrate that Saudi Arabia has the capacity to produce world-class products that reflect our rich agricultural heritage,” she told Arab News. “These products are not only healthy and free from preservatives and hydrogenated oils, but they also taste good.”

“We want to convey to the world — and to our own community — that we have the resources and expertise to offer clean, sustainable, and locally-sourced food options that are accessible to everyone. This aligns perfectly with the broader objectives of Vision 2030, which aims to diversify the economy and promote local industries,” she said.

For more details and to order, visit her Instagram @casa.noor.


Where We Are Going Today: ‘Modawar’ cafeteria in Jeddah

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Updated 19 May 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: ‘Modawar’ cafeteria in Jeddah

  • Modawar keeps things exciting by occasionally introducing new fillings and shapes, such as the sambusa and musakhan filling inspired by the traditional Palestinian dish

If you are in Jeddah and craving a convenient yet scrumptious breakfast, look no further than Modawar. The recently opened grab-and-go breakfast spot has come all the way from Alkhobar and promises a variety of options.

Modawar specializes in baked pastries and is modeled after a classic cafeteria. The Saudi brand lives up to its name, serving customers small circular pies loaded with a variety of contents inspired by traditional breakfast dishes.

The brand has something for everyone’s taste, including falafel with tahini, potatoes and eggplant, cheese and egg, and feta cheese with a special blend. The shakshuka pie, mixed cheese pie and chicken pie are worth trying.

But what sets the eatery apart are the diverse options for group orders. The liver and egg box, featuring eight pieces each of the two flavors, is great for sharing.

I chose a custom box of 12 pies with a combination of liver, shakshuka and egg pies. Each was bursting with flavor and the cheese melted perfectly. To top it off, every box comes with a selection of sauces, including tahini and hot sauce, along with a cup of hot karak for the perfect breakfast kick during the weekend.

Modawar keeps things exciting by occasionally introducing new fillings and shapes, such as the sambusa and musakhan filling inspired by the traditional Palestinian dish.

The outlet also offers a selection of fresh juices, including watermelon and orange, as well as iced and hot red tea.

For more information and updates, visit Instagram @modawar.sa.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Armin restaurant in Riyadh

Updated 17 May 2024
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Where We Are Going Today: Armin restaurant in Riyadh

  • Armenian cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Eastern European influences

RIYADH: Riyadh’s popular Armenian restaurant, Armin, takes visitors on a journey of authentic flavors with its heartwarming, aromatic and herby dishes.

Armenian cuisine is a blend of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Eastern European influences with ingredients such as rice, lamb and sumac.

Armin hits the taste nail on the head with a selection of Middle Eastern dishes featuring chicken and lamb kebabs, tabouleh, fattoush, vine leaves, and a popular eggplant dip, muttabal.

The menu provides guests with options aplenty, with vegetarian and omnivorous diners catered for, making it an ideal spot for dining out.

Upon arrival, guests are spoiled with freshly baked pita bread, perfect to plunge into their dipping of choice.

The best appetizer on the menu is the hummus with meat and topped off with crispy pine nuts, making a perfect combination of nutty flavors.

A must-have side dish is the spicy potato, cooked to perfection with a kick of spice and a touch of garlic and coriander.

The star main course is the shish barak, a traditional Armenian dish consisting of dumplings made with a thin dough wrapper and filled with flavorful beef or lamb with onions and a mix of spices.

Shish barak is boiled, unlike Chinese or Japanese dumplings, which are usually pan fried or steamed.

The only downside of the visit is cost — Armin’s prices are on the high side. But given its customer service and delicious food, it is a price worth paying. Although many dishes on Armin’s menu can be found in Middle Eastern restaurants for a fraction of the price, the quality of the ingredients here is unmatched.