Start-up of the Week: Saudi chef’s fusion cuisine aims to satisfy all cultures

The main encouragement to start his business came from his family, friends and followers on social media. (Supplied)
Updated 19 September 2018

Start-up of the Week: Saudi chef’s fusion cuisine aims to satisfy all cultures

RIYADH: Mansour Ismail, owner and head chef at Chef Culture, said what makes his establishment unique is that people feel as if they are eating at home.
Chef Culture, in the north of the eastern province of Alkhobar, specializes in traditional Gulf and international fusion cuisine. It was launched on May 25 and provides catering and takeaway services.
“I started my restaurant because I believe I have a unique touch which is going to spread across the world,” Mansour told Arab News.
The main encouragement to start his business came from his family, friends and followers on social media, he added. Chef Culture’s signature dish is tandoori lamb, a reflection of the fusion of Gulf and Indian cuisine. “What makes this dish unique is the balance between the two cultures in terms of spices and flavor. This has always been the best-selling dish on our menu,” said Mansour.
Another example of mixed flavors is the Japanese dish shrimp tempura, which is made with Halabi pistachio. Mansour added that a popular order with their catering services has always been the cherry kebab, in which Gulf and Armenian flavors are blended together. What gives this dish its distinctive flavor is that its cherry sauce is made from fresh produce.
“Our main concentration in Chef Culture is in mixing different influences of food from around the world,” said Mansour. He added that all the dishes were created from scratch and took him through trial phases of tasting the food before he was satisfied with the end result of his creations.
The goal at Chef Culture is to showcase Gulf cuisine with an inter-national twist by providing a blend of flavors and a taste that suits the palates of different cultures.
Mansour’s message to aspiring chefs is that the food industry is growing at a rapid pace and that there are big opportunities for talented people to thrive in the culinary world.
He started cooking 12 years ago as an amateur, then decided to develop his hobby by attending cooking courses in India. The chef also attended local and international live cooking shows. This gave Mansour the idea to mix Gulf cuisine with others from around the world, particularly from India, to create his fusion food menu.


Where We Are Going Today: Jeddah’s Dopamine Cafe

Updated 24 January 2020

Where We Are Going Today: Jeddah’s Dopamine Cafe

Complementing coffee with books and games, the perfect place to spend hours without being bored is Dopamine Cafe in Jeddah.

What sets this place apart from others in Jeddah is the range of activities that people can enjoy while having a cup or two of coffee.

The walls are lined with books for those seeking a moment of calm or are on their own, while groups of friends are guaranteed hours of entertainment thanks to the collections of games at the tables. Warm lights and soft music enhance the cozy and relaxing concept the cafe is going for.

It serves custom-crafted beverages, baked goods, breakfast options and more. The hazelnut cake is one of the best cakes I have had for a while — a chocolate sponge topped with espresso buttercream frosting and hazelnut chunks.

The cafe is calming and a great way to detox from the loud city and its busy lifestyle. It is located on Prince Sultan Road in Al-Rawdah district.