Saudi Arabia’s F&B scene is blooming and the capital city’s restaurants are ripe for the picking
Saudi Arabia’s dining scene has seen a dramatic evolution in recent years, with a focus on Riyadh. Five venues from Saudi Arabia’s capital city made the MENAs 50 Best Restaurants list, which launched this month. Here’s where the voters – a mix of food journalists, chefs, restaurateurs and gourmands – say you should spend your riyals.
Officially the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia this year, Japanese concept Myazu mixes traditional techniques with innovative modern-day culinary creativity to create a vibrant assortment of dishes. Helmed by Ian Pengelley, the restaurant features new style Japanese favourites including marinated yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, scallop and foie gras gyoza, black cod and wagyu beef. With a lively atmosphere that mirrors its menu, look out for the concept’s secondary outpost in AlUla.
For more information, visit www.myazu.com
Focusing on quality over quantity when Marble first opened, it would only operate for a few hours four times a week for a few hours a day, serving a concentrated menu of four main dishes, all served with a side of fries. Along with chef-owner Abdulrahman Alsowailem’s signature burger, the brisket, ribs and ribeye also draw loyal crowds of carnivores. Key to the concept’s success has been an in-depth knowledge of butchery and the specific tastes of the local clientele. Seasonal and limited edition dishes including Saudi lamb ensure regulars have something new to sample. From more information, visit www.marblecuisine.com
One of the first modern and quality-driven steakhouses in Riyadh Porterhouse presented a menu featuring twists on classic dishes when it was opened by chef and restaurateur Khaled AlHussaini in 2016. In the six years since, the restaurant has become known for its dry aged cuts and wagyu steaks grilled over fire. Other signature dishes include the Montreal-style cured meat board and the roasted veal bone marrow and escargot. For more information, visit www.porterhouse-sa.com
LPM Riyadh, Riyadh
A recent addition to Riyad’s culinary scene, LPM’s arrival in the Saudi capital had been highly anticipated for years and it quickly became a favourite with diners familiar with its outposts across the world. Overseen by chef Durga Misra, simple, Mediterranean-inspired dishes that make use of the best ingredients dominate the menu which features French classics including escargot and foie gras. Set in the Mandarin Oriental AlFaisaliah Hotel, the restaurant has lived up to its famous name in terms of its culinary offering, service and buzzing atmosphere. For more information visit www.lpmrestaurants.com/riyadh
When it opened in October of 1985, one of the first authentic Japanese restaurants in Saudi Arabia, Tokyo has remained an industry stalwart since it opened in 1985. The restaurant has evolved in the three decades since its debut. A rebranding in 2017, ushered in a new more contemporary concept that remained rooted in Japanese tradition and another brand refresh was carried out last year. The culinary team led by chef Vince creates long standing bestsellers including Tokyo’s bento, the miso-glazed black cod, beef tataki and a wide selection of innovative sushi rolls. For more information, visit www.tokyoarabia.com
For the full list visit www.theworlds50best.com/mena