Ramadan Recipes: Za’atar cheese twists

Ramadan Recipes: Za’atar cheese twists
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Updated 29 April 2022

Ramadan Recipes: Za’atar cheese twists

Ramadan Recipes: Za’atar cheese twists

Za’atar cheese twists are a popular snack among Arabs.

Za’atar is a versatile herb mix that used in many dishes in the Arab world. It can be used dried, minced or fresh.

The herb promotes good health as it contains a variety of minerals and vitamins. It is full of vitamin C for immune support, potassium for healthy cells, and manganese for bone development as well as blood health.

In addition to food, Za’atar can also be used in medicine because it contains chemicals that help reduce bacterial and fungal infections. It also helps in relieving coughing and has antioxidant properties.

The twist snacks are quite versatile and can be made with a variety of ingredients, including nuts, honey, chili, sumac, sesame seeds and black seeds combined or separated, or plain with no additions.

The simple dish takes no time to make, and can be cooked using healthy homemade dough.

All you need to make the twists are a few ingredients: 375 grams of puff pastry, 75 milliliters of milk, 70 grams of grated cheddar, 50 grams of grated parmesan and 3 tablespoons of za’atar.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius and place all the ingredients on a counter.

Spread the dough on the counter into a rectangular shape until 5 millimeters thin, brush it with milk, sprinkle the cheeses and za’atar on top, fold the dough in half like a square and gently press the two layers together using a rolling pin.

Cut the dough into equal strips about 2 centimeters wide, then twist each strip multiple times with your hands and place them on a baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until brown. Let the twists cool before serving.


Myazu head chef Ian Pengelley talks World’s 50 Best award honor for best restaurant in Saudi Arabia 

Myazu head chef Ian Pengelley talks World’s 50 Best award honor for best restaurant in Saudi Arabia 
Updated 08 February 2023

Myazu head chef Ian Pengelley talks World’s 50 Best award honor for best restaurant in Saudi Arabia 

Myazu head chef Ian Pengelley talks World’s 50 Best award honor for best restaurant in Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: In a ceremony held last week in Abu Dhabi, Japanese eatery Myazu was named the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants MENA list.   

Winning the honor for the second time in a row, Myazu head chef Ian Pengelley – a household name in Asian fine dining – says he is “proud and honored” to have received the accolade.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MYAZŪ SAUDI (@myazusaudi)

Known for its authentic Japanese food made using traditional techniques but with modern flair, Myazu first set up shop in Riyadh in December 2020, before opening up outlets in Jeddah and AlUla.  

“Obviously, there’s a lot of hard work involved in running a restaurant and when in the kitchen, your product must be consistent. And one of the things that we do well is we create the best team ever and the right environment for everybody to perform and create. And, again, more hard work,” said Pengelley when asked about the key ingredient to Myazu’s success in an interview with Arab News.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MYAZŪ SAUDI (@myazusaudi)

One of the things that Chef Pengelley likes to make sure he does before putting a menu together for a new restaurant is travel to the source, a guiding principle he used when designing Myazu’s menu in the UK and across other Asian markets. Moving to Saudi Arabia also posed an exciting challenge for Pengelley, who started out his career as a kitchen porter at the age of 16.  

“I have to be honest, it’s been very, very challenging, but also very, very exciting. A new region, undeveloped region in the restaurant scene. It's very challenging. But we've enjoyed it. And it's been great bringing people from all around the world and creating a fabulous team here,” said Pengelley.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MYAZŪ SAUDI (@myazusaudi)

Myazu, set up under the Modern Food Company umbrella, is set to build on the success of its popularity, says Pengelley.   

“We have just opened up another room, which is a bit more intimate and dark, called Arts by Myazu. We've also just created a liquid nitrogen ice cream trolley. So, we have a trolley that wheels around the restaurant and we actually make the ice cream in liquid nitrogen in front of the guests. So we’re trying to be innovative, creative and original. And fun. Lots of fun.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by MYAZŪ SAUDI (@myazusaudi)

The Modern Food Company is also looking at exciting times ahead. “We have a new restaurant opening in in April called Robata, which is a Japanese robatayaki concept. Very sexy, very fun, very funky,” he said. 


Where We Are Going Today: EL&N - a new dining destination in Jeddah

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Updated 07 February 2023

Where We Are Going Today: EL&N - a new dining destination in Jeddah

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With its striking pink details, like the neon pink piano, there is no doubt that EL&N London is one of the world’s most Instagrammable cafes. The aesthetic has given the new dining destination the label “The riviera paradise in Jeddah.”

London’s famous EL&N, which stands for “Eat, Live & Nourish” has finally made its mark in Jeddah with a new opening in Atelier La Vie on King Abdulaziz Road. Aside from the allure of the shades of pink and artistic interiors, the decadent pastries and specialty coffee are worth the visit.

The eye-catching new cafe features a patisserie display with freshly-baked goods and offers a variety of artisanal coffee and specialty drinks and dishes on the menu. Their extensive drinks menu will have something for everyone.

At breakfast and brunch their menu includes the EL&N acai bowl, pink vitamin boost bowl, cinnamon s’mores waffle, smashed avocado on sourdough, breakfast mezze, eggs florentine, and more.

Mains include chicken and pink waffles, chicken and saffron risotto, buttermilk chicken burger, falafel wrap, and macaroni and cheese puffs. Desserts include rose macrons, cheesecakes and tarts, and a range of cakes.

EL&N was first established in 2017 by Alexandra Miller. It quickly expanded and now has 25 outlets across Europe and the Middle East, including ten in London, seven in Saudi Arabia, and more stores in Kuwait, Paris, Milan, Doha and Dubai.

 


Where We Are Going Today: Niyyali - Lebanese restaurant

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Updated 05 February 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Niyyali - Lebanese restaurant

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Niyyali is a new fine dining restaurant located at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jeddah, where flavor, creativity, and culture align to bring the true essence of Lebanese cuisine.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony of Niyyali was held under the patronage of Fawzi Kabbara, the ambassador of Lebanon to the Kingdom, last week.

The truly authentic and elevated dining experience offers fabulous seating plans with urban architecture and lighting inspired by the stars in the sky. The welcoming and prompt staff leave no stone unturned to ensure a pleasant visit.

The restaurant’s name is the Lebanese Arabic word that means “lucky me.”

Using top-quality products for its recipes, the menu offers a deep dive into Lebanese flavors, and includes both traditional and fusion options.

Ali Al-Hajj, the executive chef who created the menu, has brought a unique, modern twist to the dishes which offer an immersive gastronomic journey of multifaceted flavors.

During our visit, we were delighted by the variation in each bite. Our meal began with signature dishes including hummus truffle, which was decorated with a drizzle of white truffle oil and truffle flakes; shrimp fatteh, which was unusual but delectable; and fattouch, the star amongst starters.

Those in the mood for a touch of seafood should try the whole roasted lobster that comes with a mix of parmesan and akawi cheese. We tried the mixed grill platter, a selection of juicy and tender kebabs, chicken tawouk, and beef tikkas.

For dessert, we were served a platter of seasonal fruits, and halawet jebneh, a Syrian dessert that is beloved in the Levant, which is a roll of dough served with qashta and mascarpone cheese and garnished with pistachio, sugar syrup and rose jam.

Our experience at Niyyali was made even more special as we were seated in the terrace area that overlooks the Red Sea and the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, the second-longest racetrack on the Formula One season calendar.

The intimate and picturesque ambience of the restaurant makes it the perfect venue for couples who want to spend some time together or celebrate special occasions. The outdoor seating is also great for friends and families who want to dine in and enjoy hookah with a view.

 

 


Where We Are Going Today: Hot Pot - a Chinese cuisine in Riyadh

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Updated 03 February 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Hot Pot - a Chinese cuisine in Riyadh

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  • It offers a selection of add-ons to the hot pot concept: meat, vegetables and noodles, an array of seafood including shrimp, fish, and crab balls or squid rings, or more common selections such as crab sticks or sea bass

While the temperatures are still low in Riyadh, what better way to send off the winter season than to gather with friends and family for a hot meal?

In your next hunt for comfort food, head to Hot Pot, a local joint where diners get to experience a modern take on Chinese cuisine.

Historically, Mongolian warriors would keep warm as they gathered around a fire beneath the pot in which they had cooked their meal.

In modern times, restaurants offer a divided or split pot, commonly known as yuanyang pots, for diners to fill their soup with different ingredients, or choose a different broth-base for each side.

Hot Pot, located on the northern end of King Abdulaziz Road, is a cozy spot.

It offers a selection of add-ons to the hot pot concept: meat, vegetables and noodles, an array of seafood including shrimp, fish, and crab balls or squid rings, or more common selections such as crab sticks or sea bass.

One of the more popular dipping ingredients is beef rolls made of thinly sliced meat, but it also offers sausages, chicken wings, tofu, and much more.

A miso-based sculpted teddy bear is placed in one of the yuanyang pots as the server pours the hot broth into the container, dissolving the figure into a hearty base. The selected ingredients are added in, including veggies and noodles.

The meal can also be made vegan just by removing any meat orders to the pot.

Diners can also add on various dips to their bowls, such as Chinese chive flowers, chili sauce, and sesame paste. Pour in the cooked creation onto your sauce-glazed bowl, and pack a punch with the flavorful meal.

The restaurant is also decorated with modernized Chinese murals and lantern motifs, overlayed by East Asian instrumental melodies, giving a cozy but authentic ambiance to the dining experience.

Hot Pot is open to the public from 12-2 p.m., and opens again from 6-11 p.m. daily with limited seating.

 


Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery
Japanese eatery Myazu in Riyadh has been named the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia. (Instagram)
Updated 02 February 2023

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabs top spot at MENA’s 50 Best Restaurants awards as Myazu voted Saudi Arabia’s best eatery

ABU DHABI: Japanese eatery Myazu in Riyadh has been named the best restaurant in Saudi Arabia by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants MENA list in a ceremony held in Aby Dhabi on Monday night as Dubai’s Orfali Bros Bistro nabbed the overall top spot.  

The ranking is voted on by a body formed of 250 restaurant experts in the region, known as the Academy. Each member casts seven votes for those that are – in their expert opinion – the best dining experiences in the MENA region.

The top 10 consisted of eateries from around the region, with a heavy showing from Dubai, including Moonrise in Dubai at number 10, Zooba (Zamalek) in Cairo at number 9, Fakhreldin in Amman at number 8, Kinoya in Dubai at number 7, George & John in Tel Aviv at number 6, 3 Fils in Dubai at number 5, Ossiano in Dubai at number 4, Fusions by Tala in Manama at number 3, Trèsind Studio in Dubai at number 2 and Orfali Bros Bistro in Dubai at number 1.

“Also crowned The Best Restaurant in the UAE, this Dubai establishment is the restaurant embodiment of three brothers from Aleppo, Syria. The dining experience here is focused on storytelling, where every flavour, ingredient and technique has played a special part in the trio’s story. The atmosphere, with the rhythm set by the work in the two-storey kitchen overlooking the dining space, is fun, indulgent and at times nostalgic,” the organization posted on Instagram shortly after the announcement.

Commenting on Saudi Arabia’s best restaurant, the organization posted: “Under the leadership of chef Ian Pengelley, (Myazu) is a spot where harmony reigns in texture, aromas and flavors. Some dishes push the envelope of gastronomic craftsmanship while others focus on Japanese fan favorites, but all are set apart by a sophisticated presentation that has become part of this restaurant’s DNA.”

 

The eatery ranked number 18 on the list, just after Tawlet Mar Mikhael in Beirut.

Meanwhile, the Middle East & North Africa’s Best Female Chef Award 2023 went to Palestinian chef Salam Dakkak and this year’s Estrella Damm N.A. Chefs' Choice Award went to Moustafa Elrefaey of Zooba in Cairo.

 

Here is the full list of restaurants: 

1.           Orfali Bros Bistro, Dubai

2.           Tresind Studio, Dubai

3.           Fusions by Tala, Manama

4.           Ossiano, Dubai

5.           3 Fils, Dubai

6.           George & John, Tel Aviv

7.           Kinoya, Dubai

8.           Fakhreldin, Amman

9.           Zooba, Cairo

10.         Moonrise, Dubai

11.         Reif Kushiyaki, Dubai

12.         Kazoku, Cairo

13.         Zuma, Dubai

14.         OCD, Tel Aviv

15.         Lowe, Dubai,

16.         Baron, Beirut

17.         Gaia, Dubai

18.         Myazu, Riyadh

19.         Tawlet Mar Mikhael, Beirut

20.         Em Sherif, Beirut

21.         LPM, Dubai

22.         Sachi, Giza

23.         Marble, Riyadh

24.         A by Yuval Ben Neriah, Tel Aviv

25.         CUT by Wolfgang Puck, Manama

26.         Hoseki, Dubai

27.         La Grande Table Marocain, Marrakech

28.         Coya, Dubai

29.         Shams El Balad, Amman

30.         Sachi, Cairo

31.         Masso, Manama

32.         Animar, Tel Aviv

33.         Coya, Abu Dhabi

34.         La Closerie, Tunis

35.         11 Woodfire, Dubai

36.         Sufra, Amman

37.         Iloli, Casablanca

38.         LPM, Riyadh

39.         Sesamo, Marrakech

40.         Milgo Milbar, Tel Aviv

41.         Alee, Amman

42.         White Robata, Kuwait City

43.         Zuma, Abu Dhabi

44.         Jun's, Dubai

45.         Reif Kushiyaki, Cairo

46.         +61, Marrakech

47.         13C Bar in the Back, Amman

48.         HaBasta, Tel Aviv

49.         Hakkasan, Abu Dhabi

50.         Bonjiri, Salmiya, Kuwait