Great service and even better food await you at Piatto in Jeddah

1 / 4
This Jeddah-based restaurant is the perfect spot to satisfy your pizza and pasta cravings. (File photo: Shutterstock)
2 / 4
The restaurant offers a fresh, crisp salad at the beginning of every meal.
3 / 4
With their delightful thin crusts, Piatto’s pizzas are top notch.
4 / 4
The shrimp pasta alfredo is delicious.
Updated 13 November 2017

Great service and even better food await you at Piatto in Jeddah

JEDDAH: When you enter Piatto in the Etoile Center on King Abdulaziz Road in Jeddah, close your eyes and imagine yourself in an Italian street café — it is not hard to do.
This charming restaurant’s paved flooring, umbrellas and water fountains are the perfect backdrop for casual Italian food. Whether you choose to sit on the ground or first floor, you will find that the large windows flood the entire place with bright sunlight, adding to the ambiance. The restaurant is spacious, so in spite of it being a popular hangout, you will hardly ever have to wait for a table.
My family and I have been going to Piatto for years and not only has it retained its preferential position in our eyes, the quality has always been consistent. The day we set out from our house for Piatto, we can be assured of a flawless meal.
On most occasions, we opt for Piatto’s business lunch deal — at SR49 per person, it is a steal. To take advantage of this deal, make sure you arrive at the restaurant between 1-2 p.m. on weekdays only. Be aware, however, that the deal usually only applies during the school calendar and not during school holidays. If you wish to get up to date information on the various promotions and deals, it is best to give the restaurant a call close to the time of your visit.
As you take a seat, you are presented with a complimentary salad and basket of garlic bread. Hands down, this is my pick for the freshest salad in Jeddah. The salad consists of crispy iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and onions drizzled generously with a tangy, creamy dressing. I find that a dash of salt and a splash of balsamic vinegar perfects this salad and makes it quite hard to stop eating. Do not forget to mop up the incredible flavors with chunks of the rosemary garlic bread. As if that was not enough, both the complimentary salad and the garlic bread basket are refillable. I could easily head home after filling up on just the salad and garlic bread, the rest of the dishes come as a bonus.
The lunch deal menu is separate from the regular menu and there are just a handful of items diners can order as part of the deal. I highly recommend the pasta alfredo, both the chicken and shrimp. This pasta is smothered in a white sauce and is the creamiest, most flavorful pasta I have ever had. The chicken melts in your mouth and, as an added treat, the ever-helpful server will grate fresh parmesan cheese over the dish at your table.
I would also recommend the pizzas, nearly all of which are good. I tend to skip the grilled chicken and artichoke pizza, which I find a little tasteless, but the pepperoni pizza is always a hit with the children. The pizzas are cooked Italian style, with thin crusts, and are not overloaded with cheese. That means they do not make one feel heavy and too full.
Carbonated drinks and Piatto iced tea are included as part of the lunch deal and these are refillable while sugar syrup can be added to the iced tea according to your preference.
Finally, each order comes with a scoop of ice cream. This is really something worth saving room for. In my opinion, Piatto serves the best ice cream in Jeddah and my absolute favorites are coffee and pistachio. The coffee ice cream is topped with roasted coffee beans which end the meal very satisfactorily. Serving sizes for all the dishes are quite generous and we often end up taking leftovers home to enjoy the next day.
Although not included in the business lunch menu, I love the taster soups. This is a dish consisting of three little pots of lentil, tomato and French onion soup. The French onion soup is delicious and consists of plenty of caramelized onions, as is the refreshingly simple lentil soup.
Another dish I enjoyed thoroughly is Piatto’s risotto. Risotto is a rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. It is a hard dish to get right and another famous restaurant in Jeddah served it to me quite proudly, but it was underdone and the rice was raw. Piatto’s risotto is smooth, creamy, oozing with flavor and perfectly cooked.
Credit is also due to the waiters who are always friendly and helpful, in particular Mr. Binsin from Nepal who always makes sure we are comfortable and well looked after.
The indoor play area on the first floor for children is well stocked with arcade games and is free to use. It is a great way to keep kids occupied while waiting for the food to be served.
For us, Piatto is a regular fixture on our calendar. When it comes to quality and value for money, I cannot think of any other restaurant that can top it and this is what makes us such loyal customers. Our children love the food and the atmosphere – what more could you ask for? If you have not already, give it a try. I guarantee, you will not regret it.


Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

Updated 2 min 23 sec ago

Plastic particles in drinking water present ‘low’ risk — World Health Organization

  • WHO issues first report on microplastics in drinking water
  • Reassures consumers that risk is low, but says more study needed

GENEVA: Microplastics contained in drinking water pose a “low” risk to human health at current levels, but more research is needed to reassure consumers, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday.
Studies over the past year on plastic particles detected in tap and bottled water have sparked public concerns but the limited data appears reassuring, the UN agency said its first report on potential health risks associated with ingestion.
Microplastics enter drinking water sources mainly through run-off and wastewater effluent, the WHO said. Evidence shows that microplastics found in some bottled water seem to be at least partly due to the bottling process and/or packaging such as plastic caps, it said.
“The headline message is to reassure drinking water consumers around the world, that based on this assessment, our assessment of the risk is that it is low,” Bruce Gordon of the WHO’s department of public health, environmental and social determinants of health, told a briefing.
The WHO did not recommended routine monitoring for microplastics in drinking water. But research should focus on issues including what happens to chemical additives in the particles once they enter the gastrointestinal tract, it said.
The majority of plastic particles in water are larger than 150 micrometers in diameter and are excreted from the body, while “smaller particles are more likely to cross the gut wall and reach other tissues,” it said.
Health concerns have centered around smaller particles, said Jennifer De France, a WHO technical expert and one of the report’s authors.
“For these smallest size particles, where there is really limited evidence, we need know more about what is being absorbed, the distribution and their impacts,” she said.
More research is needed into risks from microplastics exposure throughout the environment — “in our drinking water, air and food,” she added.
Alice Horton, a microplastics researcher at Britain’s National Oceanography Center, said in a statement on the WHO’s findings: “There are no data available to show that microplastics pose a hazard to human health, however this does not necessarily mean that they are harmless.”
“It is important to put concerns about exposure to microplastics from drinking water into context: we are widely exposed to microplastics in our daily lives via a wide number of sources, of which drinking water is just one.”
Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card, a study commissioned by the environmental charity WWF International said in June. That study said the largest source of plastic ingestion was drinking water, but another major source was shellfish.
The biggest overall health threat in water is from microbial pathogens — including from human and livestock waste entering water sources — that cause deadly diarrheal disease, especially in poor countries lacking water treatment systems, the WHO said.
Some 2 billion people drink water contaminated with faeces, causing nearly 1 million deaths annually, Gordon said, adding: “That has got to be the focus of regulators around the world.”