‘Misunderstanding’ closes posh Japanese restaurant in Riyadh for half a day

‘Misunderstanding’ closes posh Japanese restaurant in Riyadh for half a day
“We closed this morning and reopened tonight. We are fully booked tonight,” says Nozomi GM
Updated 23 November 2018

‘Misunderstanding’ closes posh Japanese restaurant in Riyadh for half a day

‘Misunderstanding’ closes posh Japanese restaurant in Riyadh for half a day
  • The restaurant was shut briefly following allegations that rotten meat was being served
  • The restaurant is known for its delicious Asian cuisine and high prices

RIYADH: The luxury Nozomi Japanese restaurant in Riyadh was closed by the local municipality on Thursday after an allegation that rotten meat was being served there. 

The restaurant, which has a large loyal client base, is known for its delicious Asian cuisine and high prices. 

Twitter and WhatsApp groups carried mixed comments from customers responding to the allegations. 

“I’m never eating there again!” said Sarah Al-Mutairi, while another customer said: “The prices are already sky-high, can’t they afford to get good-quality meat without poisoning us?” 

However, others defended the high-end restaurant with comments such as: “It’s dry-aged beef btw. They’re idiots!”

Hamza Bens, general manager of Nozomi, told Arab News: “Last night, we had an inspection; it was a misunderstanding. We have cabinets to dry and age the beef. Dry aged beef tastes better, it takes a few days or weeks to improve the texture and flavor of the meat. It is common worldwide, you’ll find these cabinets in most restaurants.”

He said: “We closed this morning and reopened tonight. We are fully booked tonight. Once they understood the concept we reopened Nozomi straight away.” 

He added: “We are the best restaurant in town for five years in a row. People are calling me saying that they love Nozomi and are still coming, regardless of the silly rumors.

“We pay people to get the best-quality ingredients from around the world. We are meticulous with the quality of our food. The meat is of a high grade and we always try to provide the best quality throughout the seasons.”

He explained: “It was basically a misunderstanding that we cleared up. Nothing more, nothing less, and our doors are open tonight to a full reserved house.”