Where We Are Going Today: Arches Coffee House

Where We Are Going Today: Arches Coffee House
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Updated 05 October 2022

Where We Are Going Today: Arches Coffee House

Where We Are Going Today: Arches Coffee House

With plenty of natural sunlight seeping in from the windows, Arches Coffee House in Alkhobar is the perfect little getaway from your desk if you’re on deadline and want a slight change of scenery. Under many of the chairs, there are outlets so you can charge your device as you recharge, too.

On the afternoon of our visit, people with laptop bags had them leaning on the walls as they sipped their beverages quietly while looking out of the window.

If you do not want to read your notifications or respond to emails, an area in the back contains a bookshelf with a selection of books to browse and borrow. A few games are available there too, if you feel like passing the time in that way.

The cafe has a selection of savory and sweet delights, notably the mozzarella and tomato danish, their labna with zataar croissant and their raspberry eclair and date cake.

The barista recommended we try their banana pudding, a glass jar containing layers of fresh banana slices smothered with custard-like creamy goodness with a sort of cake base at the bottom.

They recently introduced matcha to the menu and it is offered in both hot and iced varieties. Beverages can be made with regular full-fat milk or one can choose lacto-free milk and they offer Alpro brand’s barista coconut variety, almond or soya as options.

Also at the barista’s recommendation, I tried their pineapple iced tea, which was refreshing. The iced tea had tiny pieces of fruit floating in the cup to nibble on. What I liked was how the iced beverage contained round ice cubes which melted very slowly and did not water down the drink rapidly.

The cafe, as the name implies, has arches. The white ceilings are carved to honor their architectural inspiration.


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


’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease
Updated 30 January 2023

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease

’Constant danger’: Life after leprosy, a long neglected disease
  • Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities

PARIS: Dan Izzett has lived with leprosy’s effects on his body for 70 years, and has lost much to what he calls an “ancient, fascinating, very unkind disease.”
The Zimbabwean former civil engineering technician and pastor was diagnosed at the age of 25 in 1972, but first contracted the disease when he was just five.
That long incubation period gave the bacteria that causes leprosy, Mycobacterium leprae, lots of time to spread through his body.
His right leg was amputated in 1980 in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare. Now 75, Izzett has no feeling above his elbows, below his knees or in 70 percent of his face.

Karim Sawadogo, a former leprosy, paints a picture at the Raoul Follereau Institute near Adzope, on January 26, 2023. Listed by the WHO as one of the 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), leprosy is transmitted from a sick person to healthy person. (AFP)

That lack of feeling poses a “constant danger,” Izzett told AFP in a phone call from his home in southwest England.
In October 2020, “I put my hands on a hot plate and hadn’t noticed it until I could smell my flesh burning,” he said, leading to the amputation of the middle finger of his right hand.
The following year, the little toe on his left foot was amputated. Last month, he lost another toe.
Izzett said he chose to speak out about his experience because millions of survivors who were less well off were unable to, partly because of the stigma and discrimination that still surrounds the disease.

Leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, has been haunting humanity for at least 4,000 years, often affecting the poorest communities.
It is a considered a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization, and remains under researched and little discussed compared to many other illnesses.

Leprosy patients are seen at at the Raoul Follereau Institute near Adzope on January 25, 2023. (AFP)

In 2021, more than 140,500 new cases were detected worldwide, nearly three quarters of them in Brazil, India and Indonesia, according to the WHO.
However pandemic-related disruptions have led to nearly 40 percent fewer cases being detected a year, with fears that tens of thousands have gone undiagnosed.
Even before the pandemic, the official numbers likely did not reflect reality.
“We know the number of patients who have been tested, but we do not count the forgotten, undetected patients,” said Bertrand Cauchoix, a leprosy specialist at the Raoul Follereau Foundation in France.
This is in part because the disease’s incubation period can last up to 20 years. Testing and diagnosis also takes time, during which patients could potentially infect their family members.
Before he received his diagnosis, said Izzett, “my wife got the disease from me.”
Back in the 1970s, Izzett was given the antibiotic Dapsone, which was then a lifetime treatment.
In the mid-80s, a combination of drugs including Dapsone known as multidrug therapy (MDT) became available. It can cure leprosy over a 12-month course — though nerve damage and other remnants of the disease remain.
Mathias Duck, a former chaplain in Paraguay’s capital Asuncion, only needed six-months of MDT after being diagnosed with leprosy in 2010.
“I consider myself the luckiest person affected by leprosy because I was diagnosed and treated in time and so I have no impairments whatsoever,” the 44-year-old told AFP.
The WHO provides MDT to patients worldwide for free, with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis donating doses since 2000.
However there has been little progress for new treatments.
“There is no money for leprosy, only charitable donations,” Cauchoix said.

Alexandra Aubry, a specialist at the Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases in France, evaluates whether every new antibiotic developed for other illnesses could also be used for leprosy.
Her laboratory is one of the few in the world able to carry out tests on the leprosy bacteria, which does not survive in a petri dish.
They are trying to find a way to “simplify” treatment so it can take less than six months, she said.
There are also a couple of vaccines being developed, though they remain in early phases of human testing.
“It is very complex to get funding for this,” Aubry said.
“To assess the effectiveness of a vaccine, you have to follow the vaccinated population for 10 to 15 years,” with the timeframe extended further by the disease’s long incubation period, she said.
In comparison to how swiftly the world responded to Covid, leprosy efforts are “a drop in the bucket,” Duck said, calling for far more research and political action.
But he added that there is something everyone can do for World Leprosy Day on Sunday — stop using the word “leper.”
“We call it the ‘L word’,” Duck said, describing it as discriminatory.
“It’s a little step that most people can do,” he added, “to give people affected by leprosy “the dignity they deserve.”

 


Where We Are Going Today: Trieste cafe in Riyadh

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Updated 29 January 2023

Where We Are Going Today: Trieste cafe in Riyadh

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  • The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches

Very few things brighten up the day like enjoying breakfast and coffee with friends at a bright and beautiful cafe. Newly opened on King Abdulaziz Road in Al-Shati district, Trieste has it all.

The cafe offers both outdoor and indoor seating options and an impressive international breakfast and brunch menu with plenty of choices.

The name is inspired by an eponymous seaport in northeast Italy. The eatery has bright walls enhanced by the sunlight streaming in through the tall windows. The high-ceiling interiors have a European and Nordic vibe that comes from the combination of rustic and modern aesthetics. The cafe’s musical playlist completes the mood.

For a refreshing early morning drink, I ordered Bungalow, a thirst-quenching mojito with passionfruit and mango. My breakfast involved two different options of the Trieste tartine, a French-style open sandwich. The first was a slice of sourdough bread topped with fried halloumi, labneh, figs and apples, and drizzled with sweet and sour balsamic sauce.

The tartine avocado was a sourdough bread paired with guacamole, creamy feta cheese, and roasted hazelnut, which added some exciting crunch to the dish. This was topped with a sprinkling of pomegranate and molasses.

The menu also offers dishes inspired by countries around the globe including egg-bun sliders and eggs benedict, egg tornado served the Asian way, and Italian pesto sandwiches. There are also Middle Eastern falafel bites, which are cheesy falafel balls served with pesto tahini sauce and a salad mix.

It’s hard to miss out on coffee and dessert at Trieste. I ordered a caffe latte to start the day along with the Trieste pancake which is covered with fresh blackberry jam, sprinkled with toasted oats, and topped with melted butter and labneh cream. The pancakes are served on a plate with a maple syrup base to double the joy in every bite.

Trieste has four branches in Riyadh. For more information visit their Instagram @trieste_sa.