ROSSO: A different kind of Italian

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Updated 13 February 2013

ROSSO: A different kind of Italian

Rosso is Italian for Red and it is also a modern contemporary Italian restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh. The restaurant is anything but average from the décor, location to the homemade Italian dishes.
The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the hotel and is not very visible when you walk into the hotel lobby, creating a more private atmosphere for customers.
As soon as you step into the restaurant, the unique food experience begins, with an antipasti section in the center welcoming you with its various Italian delicacies.
The entire restaurant is engulfed in red, from the carpets on the floor to the dark red leather chairs and sofas that seat up to 142 diners, giving it a dramatic flare. Diners are transported further to the Italian capital with the artwork hung on the walls revealing old pictures of Rome in black and white shades and the soft Italian music in the background, livening the atmosphere.
Diners are invited to witness their favorite dishes being cooked right in front of them as the kitchen is open and the chef is within eyesight. For those who would like to host a private dinner at Rosso, the restaurant also has a private dining area that seats 16 people.
I was welcomed at the door with a friendly waiter who ushered me to my table. The chef followed suit, giving me his favorite suggestions, after ensuring I don’t have allergies to any type of food or ingredient.
Amongst the chef’s first recommendations was the Tartara D’Aragosta Con Cremino Di Patate, a cold starter, comprised of lobster tartar with potato cream; a brilliant combination. The dish was served with layers of cherry tomatoes, radish and bread cubes drizzled with olive oil and topped with raw lobster meat and black truffle. To top this delicious meal off, potato cream was served with black truffle on the side.
My next dish was a hot pot of Lasagna Pasticciata- notoriously known to be the best in town. The portion size was just right, and the lasagna itself tasted like it was cooked in an Italian housewife’s kitchen. The flavors of the minced beef, tomato sauce and the cheese tasted fresh and were cooked to perfection.
For the main dish, I had the Branzino Arrosto which is a roasted Chilean Sea Bass served with smoked eggplant, mint, sweet pepper and topped with lemon sauce. The white fish was very soft, and light and the lemon sauce complemented the dish.
Chef Marco Terranova recommends the Bisaccina Di Carne Farcita Con Mozzarella Di Bufala to Arab News readers. It is made of a veal parcel filled with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, black olives and basil.
You should also try the Porcini E Bresaola pizza made with mozzarella cheese, porcini mushroom, air-dried beef bresaola, truffle oil and chopped black truffles.
The best part of the meal comes at the end with the Nutella Pizza; just the name alone is enough to stir your taste buds. This sinful dessert consists of two slices of dough stuffed with Nutella chocolate spread, slices of banana and a scoop of pistachio ice cream on the side. The ingredients say it all; I guarantee you will be coming back from more of this.
Rosso has a rich menu of mocktails and juices; I had the strawberry Mojito made of lime and fresh strawberry juice, crushed ice and mint leaves. You can also try the Rosso Shirley Temple, which is made oforange juice, lemon-lime carbonated beverage and grenadine syrup.
Rosso is only open for dinner so make sure to put on your smart casual outfit and enjoy a fabulous meal.
Opening hours: 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Expect to pay: SR250

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Take a healthy approach to the issue of nutritional supplements

Updated 21 April 2018

Take a healthy approach to the issue of nutritional supplements

JEDDAH: There is a growing need for dietary supplements in Saudi Arabia, given the increasing popularity of junk food and the effective role supplements can play in treating diseases caused by mineral and vitamin deficiencies.

A recent study found that 22 percent of Saudi people take nutritional supplements. It is no surprise, then, that many Saudi businesses have forged partnerships with international dietary-supplement companies.

Dr. Rowaidah Idriss, a Saudi dietitian with a Ph.D. in nutrition, said dietary supplements can be defined as substances that provide the human body with a nutrient missing from a person’s regular diet. However, she stressed that they are not intended to replace healthy eating.

She also warned against taking them without first talking to a doctor or dietitian, as some products can have side effects, especially if taken before surgery or with other medicines. 

“They can also cause problems if someone has a history of certain health issues,” she added.

A blood test can determine which nutrients we are not getting enough of in our diet, and therefore which supplements might be beneficial. Nutritional supplements are also used to help treat certain health conditions. 

“Vitamin C, for example, is often used to reduce cold symptoms,” said Idriss. “Fish oil is taken to lower elevated blood triglycerides.”

She suggested four daily essentials that can bridge nutritional gaps in our diet: a multivitamin, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids. 

“I routinely recommend a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement to my clients after consulting with their doctors,” she said. 

“For menstruating women, who require 18 milligrams of iron each day, a daily supplement helps boost iron intake.”

She said people over the age of 50 are advised to take a multivitamin to ensure they are getting enough B12, which plays a key role in the functioning of the nervous system and the development of red blood cells. 

“Older adults are more vulnerable to B12 deficiency because they are more likely to have decreased production of stomach acid, which is needed to release B12 from the proteins in food.” said Idriss. 

“It is also a good idea to take a daily multivitamin if one is following a low-calorie diet.”

She also pointed out that a high intake of DHA and EPA, the two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, are linked with a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. A deficiency of DHA might also increase the risk of Alzheimer’s. 

“A daily intake of 1,000 milligrams of both DHA and EPA is equivalent to eating 12 ounces of salmon a week,” said Idriss.

The dietitian believes that the Saudis who take food supplements often do so more to benefit their appearance than their health. 

“Saudi women consume more dietary supplements than other people in Saudi Arabia,” she said. 

“They do so either to lose weight or to care for their hair and nails. Bodybuilders also take large amounts of supplements.”

However, both groups, according to Idriss, tend to take supplements on the recommendation of friends and trainers, not doctors. 

She warned that commercials and social-media rumors can persuade people to buy supplements online that may not be approved as safe by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and advised people to get as much of their daily nutrient needs as possible from healthy eating.

Dr. Rowaidah Idriss

“Along with vitamins and minerals, a healthy diet provides fiber and hundreds of protective phytochemicals, something a supplement cannot do,” she said, adding that the body absorbs natural food more effectively than supplements.

In addition, combining supplements with medications can have dangerous, even life-threatening, effects. 

“Drugs for heart disease and depression, treatments for organ transplants, and birth-control pills are less effective when taken with herbal supplements,” she said.

“Taking an anticoagulant, aspirin, and a vitamin E supplement together may increase the potential for internal bleeding or even stroke.”


Natural sources

With the spread of fast-food restaurants and their alluring ads, the long-term health of the Saudi people is in danger, as children and young people snub natural sources of nutrients, such as fruit and vegetables. 

“This can lead to many deficiency diseases. Moreover, vegetarians can develop similar illnesses due to the absence of meat in their diet,” she said.
Dr. Ashraf Ameer, a family-medicine consultant, said the importance of nutritional supplements lies in treating mineral and vitamin deficiency, especially for pregnant women, growing children, diabetics, people with chronic diseases, and the elderly. 

“However, these products should come from reliable companies and meet Saudi food and drug requirements,”he added.

Mohammed Yaseen, who has a food supplements business, said his company works with a leading British health-care company to provide the Saudi market with high quality products.

“With this we hope we can contribute to the national transformation program by raising private-sector spending in health care from 25 percent to 35 percent, which in turn would lead to the sector’s financial sustainability and boost economic and social development in the Kingdom,” Yaseen said.


Vitamin Terms

DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. EPA stands for eicosapentaenoic acid.  Phytochemical is a biologically active compound found in plants.